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No Plans for a Wii U Price Cut, According to Iwata

by on January 31, 2013

No-Wii-U-Price-Cut-Says-IwataIn a statement made for Nintendo Japan, president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata has confirmed there will be no Wii U price cut any time soon.

There’s so much to take from the statement, not least of all how Iwata feels responsible for the recent financial results:

I feel deeply responsible for having failed to achieve sufficient results in this most crucial period of the year, the year-end sales season.

Apparently, the UK (and we specifically mean the UK, not Europe) and Nintendo aren’t enjoying a fantastic relationship right, as Iwata continues:

Out of all the major countries in which we operate, we perform least favorably in the U.K. market. The U.K. market is the largest market in Europe but we only have Nintendo titles placed towards the bottom of the list, and Nintendo platforms have the least presence. Nintendo 3DS experienced the biggest year-on-year drop this year-end sales season, too.

The unfavorable situation in the U.K., which is the largest market in Europe, is contributing to lower Nintendo’s pan-European hardware market share. On the other hand, in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, Nintendo hardware occupies more than 50% of the market share, which is a bigger market share than in the U.S. There are even such countries like Italy where Wii is outselling other companies’ home console machines. These graphs must better illustrate the reason why the software hit charts in each country show different sales trends.

Onto the Wii U specifically, now:

On the other hand, sales of Wii U progressed favorably in the beginning except for the imbalance of supply and demand between the Wii U DELUXE SET and the Wii U BASIC SET. However, since we were unable to incite enough excitement in society, we have failed to maintain its momentum after the turn of the year.

In addition to this, because of some delays on the development side, we were unable to continuously supply software at the beginning of this calendar year. This has further upset our scenario for market penetration, for which momentum is the key.

While it was pointed out that, unlike in the case of Wii, it was difficult to instantly understand the appeal of Wii U, those who purchased it, although there are issues to be addressed, have shown a certain degree of satisfaction with our product value, but since its value by nature is something that takes time to appreciate and hence cannot be spread amongst society instantly, we have yet to communicate its value to the wider public. To put it another way, we delivered Wii U to those consumers who we thought would be the first to buy it, but information has not successfully been passed on to those consumers who we think will be the next people to buy it. This must be one big factor with which Wii U could not maintain its momentum.

On the idea of a price-cut:

With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown. I would like to make this point absolutely clear.

And just like in the Nintendo Direct, Iwata directly addresses the complaints of slow startup issues with the Wii U:

Also, we are receiving many comments and requests from consumers about issues such as the time to start up the system and switch between software, and the duration of the initial system update. I acknowledge that we will need to further increase the appeal of the platform through the system updates we have planned for this spring as well as this summer.

There’s plenty more interesting information in the statement, so again, here’s the link to the original story.