Nintendo Plans to Reduce Wii U Price and Offer New Handheld

Japanese videogame maker Nintendo will be reducing the price of its most expensive Wii U from $350 to $300 due to market pressure following disappointing sales. Customer preference for the Wii U Deluxe model encouraged the company to reduce the price on that model first. The company also plans to offer new games and expand its lineup of handheld consoles. Nintendo will be releasing the 2DS, which can play mobile titles without a 3D image.

“The 2DS, which comes with blue or red back casings, is radically different from the other mobile devices Nintendo makes. It eschews the clamshell style design with screens on each side that can shut like a book for a single piece of plastic affixed with two screens stacked above one another on one side,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

The device will still have a 3D camera in the back to play augmented reality videogames.

Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, said the company realized there was interest in a product without 3D images after it warned that they could negatively impact children under six years of age who used that setting on the 3DS handheld.

The 2DS is set to launch on October 12 for $130, which is significantly cheaper than the cheapest 3DS which costs $170.

The release of the 2DS is an important move for the company, since it did not experience success with the Wii U console.

“In the April to June quarter, Nintendo reported it sold 160,000 units of the device, vastly lower than competitors and even its own Wii, which was first released in 2006,” explains WSJ.

Microsoft and Sony plan to take advantage of Nintendo’s struggles by releasing their own videogame consoles with flashier visuals, better cameras, and interesting new titles.

Fils-Aime said that he and the company attribute recent difficulties to a lack of new games. However, he hopes that the release of new titles from “Super Mario Bros.” and “Donkey Kong” will help increase sales.

The company has bounced back in the past. “The 3DS too underperformed expectations after its launch, driving Nintendo to cut its price by as much as 40 percent after five months on the market. That, along with a slate of new games, made a difference, Nintendo said, and now the device has sold more than 30 million units,” notes WSJ.

While market researchers project that the worldwide console game market will be growing at a slower pace than it was in 2007, Fils-Aime is not worried. He is confident that Nintendo can market to the many people who have not yet played games. He also noted that products from Apple and Google help introduce people to games.

“We are constantly thinking about how do we get consumers who have not yet played videogames to play their first one,” he said.

Nintendo has also confirmed launch dates for numerous new games, including “Super Mario 3D World,” the follow-up to “Super Mario 3D Land” that helped increase sales for the 3DS two years ago.

Related News:
Nintendo Stands By Videogame Strategy, The Wall Street Journal, 8/29/13

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