Take this figure with a grain of salt, but that’s what the latest news is saying. Now if Nintendo poured all of that into a console box itself then we might have something decent on our hands, but if this is split between the console and the tablet controller – oh boy!
To say that least this seems super cheap. Like to the point where I could imagine the tablet screen being unresponsive because it’s so cheap. Forget the Box says that the tablet controller costs $50 to make while the entire Wii U package (including controller) costs $180 to manufacture. We did play with the Wii U at E3 2011 and based upon that unit it felt fine and was responsive. In theory the E3 2012 Wii U model will be the final build so it’s possible that things have changed in the past year.
Should this news cause red flag warnings? Maybe, but Nintendo knows how to deliver good touch screens even if they do require a stylus to be played ala DS. From what we know the tablet controller is also only part of the way you’ll control your games. You’ll still use your Wii-motes, which who knows if Nintendo will improve the technology in those for the launch of the Wii U. Hopefully they will.
So why is Nintendo being so cheap? Well first off it in theory it should benefit the consumers by allowing them to pay less for the console. Well if Nintendo charges over $300 for the Wii U as they are being claimed to do, I don’t really see how that is allowing gamers to save any cash. The source says: “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.”
Here’s a run down of just how cheap the costs are on some elements:
NFC capabilities: $5, with a future estimated price being around $1
Wii U tablet camera: $6
Wii U tablet touchscreen: $14
To me if Nintendo wants to do something long term and make investors happy, they should create new franchises while still of course milking those from the past. With the Wii it seemed like they only had one successful new series Wii Sports/any game Mii related. I mean seriously the Wii has been on the market six years and I can only name one new franchise. It’s not like the Mii games have memorable characters that Nintendo can milk through other media. Nintendo needs to get its act together and take creative risks once again.
Nintendo isn’t the first company to ever mark up prices to make their money back. Part of what makes Nintendo so successful is that they have always sold their consoles for a profit instead of a loss. If the Wii U becomes a hot Holiday item this year Nintendo won’t have to worry about much for years to come. No matter the costs, I just hope that the Wii U is responsive and the graphics look great.