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Ubisoft: A Wii U price cut would be awfully nice

A company executive says that a lower price means more hardware sales, which means more software sales.


Nintendo's Wii U could benefit from a price reduction, a Ubisoft executive director says.

Speaking to Edge-Online in an interview published yesterday, Alain Corre said that his company "always" likes to see a hardware company cut the price of a console.

"We always want the hardware to be at a low price because we want as many fans as possible to afford to buy our games, so that's for sure," he said in response to a question asking if he'd like to see Nintendo cut the price of its console. Corre is Ubisoft's executive director of the EMEA region.

The seemingly general answer was followed by a prediction: "We think that Wii U will find its public at some point. Some were expecting sales to be quicker, but we are optimistic."

The Wii U is in a bit of trouble at the moment. Although it only launched in November, Nintendo could only muster 57,000 unit sales in January, putting it far behind its chief competitors, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Speculation abounds over what the Wii U's issues are, but everything seems to come back to one place: a lower price would help.

The Wii U is the most expensive console Nintendo has released. The device's basic set comes in at $299.99, while the deluxe set, which adds a copy of Nintendo Land and some extra accessories, will set customers back $349.99. Nintendo has justified the price, saying that its console matches the value.

Historically, consoles with poor sales can be jump-started by a price reduction. The Nintendo 3DS, for example, didn't really get off the ground until Nintendo cut its price. It's possible the same could happen with the Wii U.

In an interview with reporters in Tokyo in late January, Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata scoffed at any mention of a Wii U price cut, saying that his company is "already offering it at a good price." He also apologized to shareholders, saying that he felt "a deep sense of responsibility for not being able to produce results for our year-end business."

Things might get tougher for Nintendo: both Sony and Microsoft are expected to release their own new consoles later this year.

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