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Wii U gets UK price slash, after Nintendo ruled it out

Nintendo said it wouldn't drop the Wii U's price. Now UK retailers have done so anyway, with the console available for under £200.

Wii U sales may not have set the world alight, but Nintendo claimed just recently it wouldn't cut the console's price. Now UK retailers have gone behind the gaming giant's back, and done so anyway.

Asda and Amazon have knocked £50 off the RRP of the Wii U basic and premium packs, selling each for £199 and £249 respectively. ShopTo is also in on the slashing, dropping its Wii U basic pack by £60 to £190.

But it's believed the trade price of the console hasn't changed -- it's still £205, according to CVG. Which would mean retailers are selling the device at a loss. Can things really be that bad?

It seems so. In January, Nintendo lowered its Wii U sales forecast for the year from 5.5 million units to 4 million. But company president Satoru Iwata was adamant it would not lower the price. "With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown," he said in a statement.

He admitted Nintendo "had not yet fully communicated the value of the product", and that it would "work to enrich the software lineup which could make consumers understand the appeal of Wii U." He'd better get a move on.

The Wii U has been criticised for being too complicated for casual gamers won over by the original Wii. It's also under threat from the rise of cheaper (or even free) games for mobiles and tablets. Why buy a console with a tablet control, and be tied to its roster of games, when you can pick up a standalone tablet and have thousands to choose from? That seems to be what a lot of punters are thinking, anyway.

Did you buy a Wii U? Or will the lower prices convince you? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.