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Ubisoft CEO on Wii U price: "I can't say I'm happy"

Yves Guillemot remarks on Nintendo's hardware pricing and expresses his desire to see it come down

The Wii U launches in under a week now in the US, with the Deluxe Set commanding a $349 retail price point ($299 for the white-colored basic version). While holiday shipments will surely sell out at these price points, next year could be another story, as Xbox 360 and PS3 continue to come down in cost. Ubisoft is the biggest third-party supporter of Wii U at launch, but even its CEO Yves Guillemot acknowledges that Nintendo may have to lower price.

"I always prefer lower pricing, so I can't say I'm happy," Guillemot told GamesIndustry International in an interview to be published tomorrow.

"I'm never happy when the machines are expensive. What we have to do there is remember that compared to an iPad, it's cheap. With what it brings [to the gaming table] it's cheap. But I hope they'll be able to drop their price in time."

Even this holiday season, Wii U will be competing with lower-priced Xbox 360 and PS3 bundles, but as Microsoft and Sony both look to push their hardware at lower cost at the tail end of the cycle next year, Wii U's pricing could look downright exorbitant if Nintendo doesn't act on it. 2013 should prove to be a very interesting year.

Stay tuned for our complete interview with Ubisoft's top executive in which we discuss the casual audience, the dip in sales for dance games like Just Dance, and Ubisoft's learnings from Facebook games, among other topics.

Update:The full interview is now available. In it, Guillemot acknowledges that Ubisoft does have interest in THQ's assets.

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Latest comments (10)

Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University4 years ago
In relation to European/UK prices... You and me both!!

To a large extent Nintendo's oversea prices are dictated by the currency market, but I feel we can place some blame on Nintendo for not setting an SRP and retailers for hiking the price up to the extremely high end of "vaguely reasonable pricing". That being said, the price will obviously come down over time.
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Tony Johns4 years ago
To be honest, I don't care about the cost of shipping to Australia.

The price of games in Australia is way too high and the prices have never been adjusted to represent the US dollar or the UK pound.

That said, when the older consoles come down in price, it is often too little too late for those of us who already brought those consoles in the first place and feel like we are being ripped off for being dedicated to the companies for a long time.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
Are Nintendo not selling the console at a loss?

Might be tough to drop prices on a time table that Ubisoft is happy with.

Especially if the Yen doesn't play very nice.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
I think the WIi U price isn't that bad, all things considering. It could have been worse and remember that Nintendo still needs to make a profit off of it. But it will be interesting to see how well it does once the holiday season is over and the initial demand is satisfied.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
If the Yen were at a reasonable rate I imagine it would be $50 cheaper, but as it is we won't see that price until next holiday.
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Bill Garrison Studying Student, DigiPen Institute of Technology4 years ago
In the short run it won't make a shred of difference. Look for first price drop by fall 2013.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 4 years ago
I understand that he's quite well known for his gaffs but surely saying this is a bit of a political no-no for Yves Guillemot. They are the most heavily invested 3rd party in the Wii U and are providing the best exclusive content for launch in my opinion (Nintendo included). Wouldn't it be better for him just to keep his trap shut, even if he didn't like the price?

Also as other have mentioned, seems a little silly for him to be making these comments without a caveat such as: "I understand Nintendo's position in the current economy balance but it would have been nice for the price to be more competitive."
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Nick Parker Consultant 4 years ago
Stock availability is going to be an issue with just 5.5 million units manufactured on a global basis before end of March 2013. You don't want to leave money on the table by dropping price on a product that's going to all sell-through anyway at the full price. I'm not sure where Yves (quite a shrewd man) is going on this as Wii U will sell out many times before the middle of next year so he shouldn't be concerned it will not sell at this launch price.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange4 years ago
This man is not a good gambler. He placed a huge bet and now he's getting cold feet. He's not realized that Nintendo can still pull off a "3DS Miracle" with the Wii U, and it doesn't have to be a price drop. All it needs are the heavy hitters fans are really waiting for.

It's quite unfortunate that people are still not seeing the technological difference between the Wii U and these 6-7 year old consoles. People nowadays have very short term recollection on how similar 1st gen games for 360/PS3 were to their previous generation's last ditch efforts. You can't accurately gauge the capability of the Wii U based on what we are seeing now.

I have a feeling Nintendo's just holding back and games that truly show the Wii U's potential shows up midyear 2013 at E3. By this time, the 360 and the PS3 will start to show their age. Games that are coming out for them by March 2013 will be the last technological marvel we'll be witnessing and framerates will start to chug if they try to push further. The Wii U's going to print money next Holiday season.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 4 years ago
If the Yen were at a reasonable rate I imagine it would be $50 cheaper, but as it is we won't see that price until next holiday.
Its not the Yen that has an unreasonable rate, its the dollar that lost so much value.
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