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Reports Divulge Possible Wii U Manufacturing Costs

Reports Divulge Possible Wii U Manufacturing Costs on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

With the Wii U set to quite literally take the world this year, unconfirmed reports have hinted at how much it could cost.

Nintendo's approach to hardware has typically been a cost-effective one - the guts of the Wii, DS and their older brothers were considered with a healthy profit in mind and to make the retail price affordable for the general consumer. Some might argue that the Wii leaned a little too much towards the budget end when it came to components and where the industry was at over five years ago. With the Wii U set to leap into HD with a new controller - just how much will it cost to produce?

According to unconfirmed sources involved in the manufacturing side at Nintendo, the Wii U will cost around $180 to produce, with an estimated consumer price of around $300.

Around $50 is said to be going into the new tablet controller to produce.

Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo's main concern with the Wii U. They are cutting costs in the Wii U's hardware to build back confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition.

The $180 value only includes the console and controller, and doesn't factor in any trade discounts, marketing, shipping and packaging. The report also divulges more on the company's approach to the custom GPU and CPU - enough power to keep in line with the current consoles but keeping costs down to keep profits strong and flowing.

Nintendo got a bargain price on the custom GPU and CPU that the Wii U uses. There is a bigger focus on downloadable content, applications, video content, digital distribution, and services to create a stream of revenue. Investors will be ecstatic with the news.

Regardless of manufacturing costs, Nintendo have a decision to make when it comes to setting that all-important retail figure. Launching too high may find another immediate price-drop akin to the Nintendo 3DS, but as a home console with brand-new technology a $300 tag may just be acceptable.

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09.04.2012 12:05



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Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

More than anything I'm just disappointed (with the rumours) of what could likely be true. I was really hoping that Nintendo would pull through. I'm not concerned about first party as Nintendo can pull amazing graphics out of their home console. I'm more concerned with third parties which is the real selling point. You want your console to be able to play what your mates can play and if they don't have better tech then it becomes highly unlikely. Different engines will yield different results anyway.

Time will tell.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The best thing the Wii U has going for it hardware wise is that it looks like the system is finally using a more conventional architecture. The biggest problem with the Wii wasn't just that it was weaker -- it was different. Developers couldn't simply scale down their engines for the Wii, they often had to completely re-configure them. That takes time and money, and in the end developers decided it simply wasn't worth it.

At least with the Wii U the more standard architecture will make it a lot easier for developers to port their games. We're already hearing devs say they can practically "drag and drop" their existing code unto the Wii U. So even if the Wii U is significantly weaker when the next generation rolls around, I don't think that we'll see developers skip out on porting games to the Wii U like they did with the Wii. They may not look as nice, but they should at least be there.

C3 Moderator

Sonic_13 said:

1) It may not be a year and a half, but it will most likely be a year.
2) You really don't think Wii U is going to sell very well?
3) Wii U is already seeing some of the largest 3rd party support a Nintendo system has had in many many years. Obviously sustaining that level of support will be important, but you can't use that old argument at launch.
4) No, it will not be able to play DVDs (or blu-rays), but that capability is of lesser significance with each passing generation. As long as Wii U can stream Netflix and Hulu (as well as maybe others), then it's basically a non-issue.

1) Only one person can play? That is factually incorrect. Five people can actually play at once.
2) Comments from Ubisoft, EA, and others have all stated that Wii U's online is not terrible.
3) Overpriced? Ignoring the fact that the system has no price, value will vary from person-to-person.

The year and a half was only relevant because of the DVD boom, allowing the PS2 sales to skyrocket before the competitors came out. The 360 came out a year in advance too but it didn't help that system much at all.

I think in terms of money gained by the company, it'll sell as much as it needs to. But the Wii costed less when it launched and was a big, new thing. Now motion control is hardly new and a lot of people are sick of it. But when you look at Wii sales, the system has only recently started leveling off and falling behind the competitors. How much of that will be lost if the Wii U costs more than but is less powerful than competitors we'll have to see. I'm not sure it won't sell, but I don't think it'll sell like the Wii did.

The third-party support will be completely gone as soon as the next systems come out. It'll suffer the same issues companies have now with the Wii; it'll cost them extra time and money to develop a separate game from the ground-up to work on the system's less powerful hardware. I think the WiiU will have a great first year, possibly two, but after that it'll be the Wii part two. It also remains to be seen if the system really can't handle some PS3 and 360 games, and how much that'll affect it.

I wasn't talking about DVDs like the WiiU not playing it is a bad thing. But a HUGE part of the PS2's success was that it was one of the cheapest DVD players available at the peak of the format's success over VHS, something Sony tried (and failed) to replicate with the PS3's Blu-Ray. Had the DVD boom not happened, I think it's very likely the PS2 would never have gotten off the ground and would've suffered the same fate as the Dreamcast. All I said was that the WiiU won't have that, so being out a year early isn't going to help it.

One person can play with a WiiU controller and four more can offer accessory support. It's like the difference between playing Call of Duty multiplayer on Xbox Live and playing the stupid piggyback mode on Call of Duty for Wii. Of course some games will put better use to Wiimotes than others, but the majority of games seem like four people can basically be an accessory to one other. I know the days of four people playing on one system in one room are faded, but it seems a little early for them to be entirely eliminated.

Companies said the same thing about the 3DS, but that system is basically just like the Wii: cumbersome friend codes, no first or third party support for features like adding friends in-game and voice chat, etc. The features are there but nobody is using them, I can't help but feel it's Nintendo exerting its world-famous control over how third parties use their hardware. But that's the 3DS and I may be wrong, so it's another thing I'll have to wait and see. Like I said before, most of my concerns are speculative, I'm still very much keeping an eye on this system.

Obviously value will vary from person to person. What I said was overpriced compared to its technologically superior competitors. At $300, it'll cost the same as or more than the Xbox 360 and PS3 but allegedly can't outperform either. This problem is set to double when the next Xbox and Playstation consoles launch, and I'm not sure how much a price drop will help the system in terms of support. As far as it relates specifically to me, I'm not sure the tablet control is worth that extra cost. I would rather have had a system I could buy and replace the need for an Xbox or PS3 entirely.

I own a Wii and there are games on it I love and I'm sure the WiiU will at some point pull off the same, but basically what I'm saying is I miss the days when I only had to buy Nintendo's system and I could play pretty much everything I wanted. I wanted a Gamecube and never even cared about the Xbox or PS2 (until Kingdom Hearts at least) but I couldn't buy just a Wii without missing out on a lot of great games. Obviously you'll always miss out on some, but with the Wii I was missing out on a lot and I feel like unless Nintendo is making another new system to compete with the others, I'll be missing out if I only buy a WiiU.

( Edited 10.04.2012 05:43 by justonesp00lturn )

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

Stulaw said:
It's amazing how much negativity can come from obviously made up information. We know nothing about the system, and every single negative comment has come from annonymous sources and Michael Pachter.

Nintendo would really have to go out of there way to make a system with newer technology worse or on par with the current generation, I mean it's already been conformed to have more RAM. Plus the Gamecube was released at a far cheaper price than the xbox and ps2, and the only real ifferences were lack of ethernet and dvd drive. They can always cut beck in places that aren't necessary for gaming in the system.

If I'm being negative, I apologize. As others have said, I'm more concerned than anything else. When the WiiU first showed up I was extremely excited for it. Since then I've seen nothing new at all except for rumours like these, and almost all of them are cause for concern. I know they're just rumours, but almost every rumour that came out about the 3DS (and even the WiiU in the months before its announcement) were entirely true. People correctly predicted the price of the 3DS beginning the very day it was announced.

That said, I just read over this article again and somehow I missed the part where it said "$180 to produce and retail at $300". That $180 seems incredibly fake. First, I don't think Nintendo has ever set a system's retail price at nearly double what the system costs to make. Don't they usually make an operating profit of like $5 on each system sold? And second, I think the Wii costs more than that to make, not sure how something 2-5 times as powerful is costing less. Especially since $50 is supposedly the controller, meaning the hardware in the system only costs them $130? Just doesn't seem reliable to me.

Another thing I've noticed sort of counters the rumours that the WiiU isn't as powerful. Assassin's Creed 3 will be a launch title. That game isn't even out yet, meaning it's likely using the most up-to-date technology, including graphics. Ubisoft is one of Nintendo's biggest supporters, but not so much that they'd develop an underpowered Assassin's Creed title for the Wii. If the WiiU can run Assassin's Creed 3, it really can't be less powerful than the Xbox 360 or PS3. Not by any significant amount, I mean.

Rumours are rumours. Sometimes they're true, sometimes not. This string of them just has me a little worried, that's all.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

Who thinks Nintendo should step in early (months before E3) to talk about the Wii U specs? There's so much negative talk recently that I think it's hurting Nintendo a lot.

IF their machine is not weaker than the PS360, I think they should just put all worries to rest and release the specs.

@Echoes221: Remember the Wii? A console that was less than half as powerful as the 360 or the PS3? That had over a 100 fun games? A console that has all the Nintendo 1st party exclusives?

Yeah, a 720p-1080p console with all the Nintendo 1st party exclusives AND a tablet controller with motion control and a camera and mic sounds AWFUL... Day 1 for me!

And we also have to remember that the "rumor" that it was less powerful thatn 360 or PS3 has been proven false by the developers working on Darksiders II, Alien Colonial Marines... and by freaking Epic, which loved to hate on the Wii for the past 6 years.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

edit: None of those devs have actually gone on record to state the Wii U is more powerful. They've all said they're happy with the hardware, but that doesn't mean it's better.

The Colonial Marines guys even said it's "on par" with the current generation. That doesn't mean stronger. That means roughly equivalent.

Echoes221: Remember the Wii? A console that was less than half as powerful as the 360 or the PS3? That had over a 100 fun games? A console that has all the Nintendo 1st party exclusives?

If the Wii U turns out like the Wii...I'm simply not interested, unfortunately.

The Wii is the reason some of us are concerned.

( Edited 10.04.2012 18:07 by Jacob4000 )

C3 Moderator
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

edit: This was to Marzy...who has apparently deleted his post.

That's fine -- I'm sure a lot of people loved the system. I enjoyed many of its games. But some of us still see it as a dud that is indicative of everything we don't like about the new Nintendo.

We want the Wii U to be different, and we're concerned it's not going to be.

( Edited 11.04.2012 14:26 by Jacob4000 )

C3 Moderator

Nintendo is always going to have strong first-party titles. Their competitors can't even compete when it comes to first-party software. And I don't doubt the WiiU will have some third-party gems as well. Like I said, it would just be nice if I could own only a WiiU and not feel like I'm missing out on hundreds of great games that aren't and won't be on it. But because of its power, the WiiU will be competing with current-gen consoles (and I already own a 360 so too late for that), and when Sony and Microsoft release something new, the WiiU will have the exact same problems the Wii currently has. The drop in third-party support will be immense. Nobody is saying it'll have zero good games or anything, just that it'll be very quick to run its course.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:
Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

EdEN said:
@Echoes221: Remember the Wii? A console that was less than half as powerful as the 360 or the PS3? That had over a 100 fun games? A console that has all the Nintendo 1st party exclusives?

Yeah, a 720p-1080p console with all the Nintendo 1st party exclusives AND a tablet controller with motion control and a camera and mic sounds AWFUL... Day 1 for me!

Yes I did, but Nintendo's first party offerings haven't been that enjoyable at all. Mario Galaxy, Metroid, MKWii and SMBM were all brilliant. But since then I haven't enjoyed any of their first party titles at all. And third party offerings have been terrible with the exception of LKS, MTDB, NMH1/2 and a few others. I was really craving for more titles all the time and they just didn't come.

100 titles just isn't enough to choose from. Considering a load of offerings were JRPG's et al which I just don't enjoy. The Wii was fun while it lasted and I truly enjoyed my time with it, but Nintendo feel so backwards when I compare them to their competitors that I struggle to get back into them.

I am in no means trying to create a split here, this is just what I feel

I dunno, maybe my taste's have changed over the years.

Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

Marzy said:
Hey you guys! The next Xbox and PS4 are going to be prefect! everyone knows that right? I mean, there's been official specifications released and everything, we've even seen games running on them. Gosh! The Wii U is going to fail miserably once they release, the visuals look stunning on PS4, I think the next Xbox looks slightly worse though? It's hard to tell!

Sony and Microsoft have totally got it this time... oh wait, I just remembered, we know nothing about those consoles at all.

Still not the point. We know that their next gen offerings are going to be considerably stronger with near enough regular controllers. I can't see microsoft straying away from the Kinect anytime soon.

I guess there's a chance Sony or Microsoft will release less powerful systems than they currently have out, but besides that chance being astronomical, that's totally missing the point anyone was trying to make.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

Lol, okay. You haven't actually even read any of my posts (or if you have, you're purposefully mis-characterizing them) and I also like how you just spent three posts telling us no one knows anything at all about any of these systems but now suddenly you know "the point" of the WiiU and I don't. I mean, in one post Stulaw up there very respectfully pointed out how misguided my worries were. All you're doing is building up straw man arguments and being totally condescending toward others over arguments they aren't even making.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

Can't be bothered to explain or be involved in this thread any more.

Bye. Smilie

Well, hopefully next time we chat I'll have been less reactionary earlier on and we can both be more respectful. Later.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

Hmm... 300$ doesn't sound to bad for a new system even if the tech will be out shined in two years or so. I guess the real question is how wide that gap in tech will be when compared to what Sony and MS have to offer when their new consoles make their debut.

Then the problem is do gamers actually feel like they got what they paid for. That could vary from person to person, and if they have a lack of knowledge when it comes to general gaming (like many of the new customers Nintendo lured into gaming) then something like a new tablet controller may justify that pricing. It's new, packed full of features not regularly found in games on consoles, and no one else has it... yet.

As for the rumors, like many of you have said its just speculation and really holds no water. It's just weird that so many people aren't turning a blind eye to it and just letting things play their course waiting to see what Nintendo actually reveals. You would think that we as gamers would be use to the rumor mills and are more hesitant to jump on the band wagon.

Well, pretty much 100% of the 3DS rumour mill both during and after release actually happened: The no-glasses 3D, system being somewhere between Wii and 360 in terms of graphics, card size (physical and memory), price, subsequent price drop, Circle Pad Pro, etc. All predicted months in advance and all entirely true, so far only the re-release with second circle pad built in has yet to come to fruition.

I guess it all depends on the source of the rumor. I'll try to be more wary of "some guy at some company we won't name" in the future.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

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