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Iwata: Wii U likely to cost more than ¥20,000

Price converts directly to $250 or £150, but will Nintendo inflate cost in Europe?

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has reportedly told Japanese newspaper Nikkei that the new Wii U console will "likely" be more than ¥20,000 when it launches in Japan.

That price, translated and reported by Bloomberg in a longer piece on the console, would convert to more than $250 or £150.

The Wii was initially retailed at ¥25,000 in Japan, $249.99 in the US and £179.99 in the UK, a price point which put it below that of its competitors - a factor considered important to its success.

However, the recently launched 3DS saw a less direct price conversion, with the ¥25,000 Japanese launch translating to $249.99 in the US but £229.99 in the UK and €249.99 in Europe.

What the final cost of the console will be in any territory remains moot, but interest remains in whether Nintendo will factor in the strength of the Yen against the pound and Euro in calculating its prices.

Retail laws prevent Nintendo from issuing a static RRP for its hardware, but there will be a standard cost to shops, who will also have to absorb a fair amount of the UK's stringent 20 per cent VAT rate in order to remain competitive.

As the disparate offers for 3DS in the UK illustrated, there is some leeway in setting that profit margin, but how much of the cost the retail sector can absorb remains to be seen.

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Dan Pearson

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