Wii U likely to cost more than $250, controller reportedly not sold separately

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the Wii U will cost more than $250, while a company spokesperson has stated the controller won't be sold separately from the console.

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[Update] A Nintendo representative has told 1UP that the company has "not made any announcements about the SKU." That's not technically a denial that the Wii U will only support one tablet controller, but it means the news hasn't been officially confirmed either.

[Original Story] Nintendo is still deciding on its pricing structure for the newly-announced Wii U, but we know what it won't cost. In an interview with Japan's Nikkei newspaper (via Bloomberg), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the console will likely cost more than 20,000 yen -- or about $250 according to current conversion rates.

On the other hand, you won't have to shell out extra for more of the Wii U controller. In fact, you won't even be able to. A spokesperson told CVG that the console and controller are sold as one unit. "You won't be able to buy the controller alone," he said. The system is only designed to support one of the tablets, while multiplayer games will have others playing asynchronously with Wii remotes. It seems like Nintendo will have to plan for people breaking the controller, but no plans have been discussed yet.

Bloomberg also reports that Nintendo's stocks fell to their lowest point in five years following the press briefing, as investors were expecting the company to make a bigger splash with surprises. "There were high expectations from the new version of the Wii and this fell far short," said Tokai Tokyo Securities analyst Yusuke Tsunoda. "People had expected to see something more at a big event like the E3, but there wasn't really anything more than what's already reported."

If you're itching for more details on the Wii U, be sure to check out Garnett's hands-on impressions of the various tech demos on display at the show.

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  • reply
    June 8, 2011 10:48 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Wii U likely to cost over $250, controller not sold separately.

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the Wii U will cost more than $250, while a company spokesperson has stated the controller won't be sold separately from the console.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 10:55 AM

      Where does it say that it will support only 1 Wiiu controller?

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 10:59 AM

        If you read the article

        A spokesperson told CVG that the console and controller are sold as one unit. "You won't be able to buy the controller alone," he said. The system is only designed to support one of the tablets, while multiplayer games will have others playing asynchronously with Wii remotes.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:01 AM

          Man, that really blows. -1 for Nintendo

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:04 AM

          Well my interest for the Wii U just hit pretty close to rock bottom. The whole point of it, in my mind, was to be able to get the experience of things like Zelda Four Swords for the Gamecube with four GBAs hooked up.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 11:06 AM

            It's weird to see them miss the point of multiplayer yet again.

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            June 8, 2011 11:52 AM

            that's what i immediately thought of too. this kind of sucks

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 11:56 AM

            Yeah, I was psyched, now I'm out. Boo-urns.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:14 AM

          I did read it, they still don't have any official word from Nintendo yet though.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 11:15 AM

            I'm not trying to troll or anything, I'm just amazed that Nintendo could do something so dumb

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:15 AM

          is the tech capable of rendering two or more tablets worth of 3d stuff?

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 11:18 AM

            My guess is no, along with the bandwidth needed to transmit that much data with whatever wireless protocol they are using.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:16 AM

          I guess they didn't take a page from all those other platform enthusiasts complaining about not enough local co-op games, when that's all the Wii did well. :/

          All sarcasm aside, they're still coming up with some interesting asynchronous gameplay ideas with this set-up, so the jury is out for me.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 12:53 PM

            what are the interesting asynchronous gameplay ideas?

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:20 AM

          So much for my dreams of a proper crystal chronicles sequel.

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          June 8, 2011 11:43 AM

          God dammit Nintendo.

        • reply
          June 9, 2011 12:05 AM

          I have no fucking idea what they are trying to do with this thing.

        • reply
          June 9, 2011 12:43 AM

          Man, living in the future sucks :c.

        • reply
          June 12, 2011 5:18 PM

          they are backing up their shitty network play with non-existent local play! how can they lose!

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:00 AM

        It's implied by the statements. They are telling you right there that you cannot go out and buy a second controller. They even stated they will have to come up with a replacement plan for the tablet controller which implies that you can't just go out and pick up a replacement off the shelves.

      • Zek
        reply
        June 8, 2011 11:01 AM

        It doesn't say that in the story, but if you can't buy a standalone controller then that's the obvious conclusion. It makes no sense though that you can't replace a broken controller, so I'm not quite sure where they're going with that. Maybe you can order them from Nintendo but not buy them in stores?

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:06 AM

          I'd imagine they'd want to be careful about that, since you really don't want people to go out and buy the system and a second controller then get home to find that they wasted $50 on it. Well, from a PR side at least.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 11:08 AM

            That controller would be much more than $50 if sold separately.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 2:36 PM

            A regular wireless xbox controller retails for $50. This thing would have to be at least $100.

            • reply
              June 8, 2011 2:40 PM

              I am not so sure. The DSi sells for $99 now and contains more on the hardware end than this controller would. Of course the diagonal of the screen on this controller is twice that of one DSi screen. I would not be shocked if the controller could sell in the 70s if they wanted to.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:07 AM

      Over $250 - durh. I wouldn't be surprised if it was over $500.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:44 AM

        No way it'll launch over $500, everyone knows what a mistake that was for PS3 and I don't think anyone is going to repeat that.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:46 AM

          Yup, I'm going to say $299 tops.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 12:12 PM

            I am thinking more in the $350-399 range given the wii launched at $250 + say a $100-150 controller bundled with that

            • reply
              June 8, 2011 12:18 PM

              I just don't think the controller is going to be that expensive and I also don't think anyone will buy this at more than $300.

              • reply
                June 8, 2011 12:37 PM

                Controller is gonna be $100+ addition. Hell a 360 controller is $50 without a 6.5" LCD screen and camera, accelerator, gyros, speakers

                • reply
                  June 8, 2011 1:04 PM

                  The wiimote basically has all of that save a couple buttons and the screen and the screen is not going to be as expensive as everyone thinks it's going to be.

                  • reply
                    June 8, 2011 1:09 PM

                    And a wiimote plus & nunchuck combo is $65 bucks.

                    • reply
                      June 8, 2011 1:28 PM

                      Yeah, they've been selling at a profit for years now though, and the nunchuk is way overpriced. I don't think the pad is going to be worth more than about $70 by the time this comes out.

                      • reply
                        June 8, 2011 3:12 PM

                        My guess is that it will be at least $99. Profit or not, they will have to take a huge loss if it's less than that. I'm speculating of course, but that seems like a good guess to me. ;)

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:50 AM

          I'd guess $349.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 3:02 PM

        I think if Nintendo wants to be competitive with this generation, they're going to have to go loss leader on the Wii U.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:09 AM

      Are they attempting to try and lower controller hacking / homebrew tinkering? I remember people buying up Wiimotes when they came out to start tinkering with on the their PCs.

      Now they would have to buy a whole console to be able to get the new fancy controller for PC tinkering.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:15 AM

        a tablet would be a far better target for tinkering than this thing

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:21 AM

          How many tablets have buttons + control sticks + accelerometers + gyro + front facing camera + whatever else these controllers have for what I am assuming will cost less than $300 for the system + controller?

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:11 AM

      That $250 comes from the current price of the Wii in Yen and the current conversion rate. What he said was it will be more than the current price of the Wii.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:00 PM

        It clearly states more that 20,000 yen which is roughly $250 US. The current price of the Wii in the US is $149 so that comes out to roughly 12,000 yen. I believe he was talking about the Wii's launch price, which was $249 in the US.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 2:12 PM

          "I don't think we can charge the same price as we currently do for the Wii," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Japan's Nikkei Newspaper. The Wii is currently priced at under ¥20,000 (US$250) in Japan.

          You can't take the price here and just adjust it to determine the price in a foreign market. Looks like the average current price is ~ 18,000 Yen, which translates to $225.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 3:08 PM

            Well, either way you look at it, he dodged the question pretty good. Add to that the way Reggie danced around the issue as well with his "value" argument. My guess is that it will be well more than 20,000 yen at launch.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:32 AM

      Wait... why the hell would you NOT support multiple controllers? What's stopping them? Argh, Nintendo.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:35 AM

        Plenty of potential technical limitations stopping them.

        cpu/gpu power needed to render signal to the tv plus 2-4 pads, wireless bandwidth needed to transmit video to all the screens + other functions needed for the controller to communicate input back to the console.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:37 AM

          That makes sense. Still, I hope they can figure out some sort of optimized workaround. The Wii U has so many awesome multiplayer possibilities.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 11:47 AM

            60fps for one tablet, 30 fps for 2, 30 fps and interlacing for 3 and 4?

            • reply
              June 8, 2011 11:51 AM

              I could picture scenarios where you could render out to multiple controllers on less intensive operations. Like a football game where you don't need to see high quality graphics, just your potential plays. Or a card game where you only see your cards.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:37 AM

      This isn't a deal-breaker for me, but it's disappointing news. Given that the system's more than a year from launch, maybe the one-controller-only can change.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:45 AM

      So much for a new Crystal Chronicles, or 4 Swords, or Pacman Vs...

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:51 AM

        Actually fine for Pacman Vs, since only the one playing Pacman needs a GBA. YAY.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:48 AM

      Why bother revealing it if you're not going to tell me specs? The longer they wait the more likely I am to wait for sony or microsoft.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:51 AM

        uh oh!

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:52 AM

        What they promoted yesterday was their vision for the console. More specifics will come as we get closer to launch. This isn't that out of the ordinary at all.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 11:58 AM

        That makes no logical sense why would announcing specs this early make you more likely to buy the console. They are likely waiting so they have full freedom to change shit at any moment. I'm sure they've nailed down the gpu and cpu stuff but outside of that most everything else is probably in a state of flux.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 1:19 PM

          If I knew it to be a capable piece of hardware, like many gamers, my fondness for it might grow while I wait for the release. As it is I'm going to be extremely skeptical about how Nintendo handles online.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:04 PM

        This man is hitting Nintendo where it hurts.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:12 PM

        I'm still angry they didn't release a circuit diagram for the Wii.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 12:31 PM

          Damnit, made me lol in my cubicle.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 11:55 AM

      Finally!!!! It's confirmed that only 1 Wii U controller can be used.... FAIL! That is absolutely the dumbest thing Nintendo can do! I can see all those "Family fun events" turn into calling COPS! because billy won't allow her sister sally to use the controller! Nintendo! WTF are you thinking????

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 12:02 PM

      Explain how co-op will work now in future games? One gets to have fun? While the other has to use the wiimote? lol...

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:04 PM

        That's why it's called the wii u. U get to use the cool new controller while everyone else doesn't!

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:05 PM

        I guess they expect you to do all "non-party games" online? If their service isn't robust enough it has fail written all over it. I am a sad panda.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 12:12 PM

          Right... I guess it's online or nothing. I guess you'll have to buy a system if you want to play it then go over to your friends house and play co-op there! Love the alienation of a "family" , "kids" system with only one controller... "Mommy! Mommy! Timmy won't let me play..." This is going to make the RROD look like a drop in the bucket if busted screens because of kids fighting over it! Hehe

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:11 PM

        Asymetrical gameplay mechanics - they showed a tech demo of a game where 2 people use wiimotes to try and take down a spaceship controlled by the tablet person.

        Or just play online co-op like most people are required to do with a big percentage of current co-op games.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 12:32 PM

          This. It seems like games with one person being the 'DM' could be really fun.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 12:36 PM

            Agreed, this allows for Asymmetrical gaming, though I would also have liked the enhancements brought by the controller to be used in local symmetrical gaming.

      • Zek
        reply
        June 8, 2011 1:20 PM

        I wonder how important local co-op really is these days. It certainly doesn't get much attention on the 360/PS3. I think not being able to use the screen for player 2 would be a drag but not really the end of the world.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:15 PM

        That was before news got out about only one tablet/controller being supported.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 12:29 PM

          how's it look now?

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 12:37 PM

            Remember Foxconn? That what Nintendo shareholders are doing now.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 12:37 PM

            The market is closed in Japan now, so we'll know later tonight!

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 12:38 PM

          I thought that was already known yesterday?

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 12:48 PM

      The story has been updated with a new statement from another Nintendo representative. It doesn't exactly put your fears to rest, but it lets you hold out hope. That's something, right?

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 1:07 PM

        They way they are handling this is pretty annoying.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 12:50 PM

      This is just very disapointing; no wonder they didn't spell it out clearly during their presentation.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 12:59 PM

        Yes, but what people need to realize is the U is still a year away at best. This could change.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 1:00 PM

          It kind of has to else it's a major loss for the big N.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 1:26 PM

          I think you are being very optimistic/unrealistic at this point to think that the GPU and CPU could drive the TV screen and 4 tablets. Even 4 tablets.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 1:33 PM

            4 tablets at 853x480 (about the equivalent of 680x480) is only 1.637 MP, but running a 1080p screen by itself is 2.073MP, it'd be slightly more than running a 2560x1440 monitor.

            • reply
              June 8, 2011 1:35 PM

              I screwed that up, suffice it to say it's still around the same as 2560x1440.

              • reply
                June 8, 2011 2:01 PM

                And the GPU is about the speed of an overclocked 4850 apparently.

                • reply
                  June 8, 2011 2:46 PM

                  Yeah, if it's that slow it's definitely not going to be able to run multiple Nintablets.

            • reply
              June 8, 2011 2:43 PM

              I think the biggest issue is more so wireless bandwidth to send the video signal to 4 tablets

              • reply
                June 8, 2011 2:47 PM

                Agreed, unless they've got a separate WiDi controller for each tablet, and that would be rather expensive.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 2:25 PM

            Surely it depends on what the console has to output to the controllers. If they were things like Crystal Chronicles inventory screens then it's not too difficult to render (thus less impact on the available processing power for the shinies on-screen), and the biggest problem becomes the bandwidth thing.

            It's not necessarily a given that they can/will fix that, but I do hope so. I won't be playing any more Four Swords games or the like at home, but it would be nice for those so inclined. Online play would be an okay substitute, but it's just not the same.

            • reply
              June 8, 2011 2:36 PM

              Sure it depends, but I still have my doubts and since N hasn't confirmed or denied they are probably still working on what they will allow.

              • reply
                June 8, 2011 2:49 PM

                Yeah, it's definitely worrying. They're so close to a really good implementation, I hope they don't fail in the last stretch.

          • reply
            June 8, 2011 6:04 PM

            That's not the point. The point is that it is retarded. "Hey guys we built this awesome new controller; it's totally the best thing ever; except you can only use one."... Cue crickets.
            Also, it may not run a AAA HD game on 5 screens, but it can certainly render a low-detail 3D scene, 2D scenes, and GUIs. It's just a matter of forcing developpers to use it a right way and maintain a certain framerate.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 12:57 PM

      Now the dust has settled, 24 hrs later.... I'm pretty much over Wii U already.....

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 1:07 PM

      I will still buy one, solely for the ability to play games while someone else is watching TV.

      This feature has the potential to be the deciding factor of on which system I buy multi-platform, single-player games.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 1:44 PM

      I'd gladly pay more for beefier graphics. It's going to look old in a few years and Nintendo will behind the ball again. Graphics are important.

      • Zek
        reply
        June 8, 2011 2:45 PM

        Do they? They mattered for the Wii because it was on the wrong side of the HD gap, but I think we're fast approaching the point at which it becomes a nonfactor to the vast majority of consumers. Just look at the PS2, it was considerably behind its gen graphically and nobody cared. Given the diminishing returns we're starting to see, I think you can expect something like the PS2 -> XBox gap in terms of actual perceivable difference in graphics next gen.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 2:45 PM

      Any word if it will play gamecube games? I'm seriously interested. I played more gamecube games on my Wii than I ever played Wii games.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 2:49 PM

      Damn, and I was really considering one

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 2:52 PM

      haha wow, what a joke. The whole allure is if 4 people could use 4 controllers with screen. for multiplayer... Only 1 controller w/ screen? what's the point. gg nintendo. Marketing deception WIN

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 2:58 PM

        Deception seems pretty harsh, they went out of their way to show multiplayer stuff with only one of the new controllers.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 2:59 PM

      When 1080P Mario is shown everyone will buy it. Then 3 months later nobody will play it anymore and we'll rinse/repeat.

      • reply
        June 9, 2011 12:15 AM

        I'm not going to buy at release, instead I'll wait for the inevitable shacker post about how the Wii U ruined his life and shattered his dreams and buy it off him cheap.

      • reply
        June 9, 2011 9:28 AM

        The hell are you smoking and where can I get it? Not a single Mario game is the type of game people just "get over" after after a few months like the flavor-of-the-day shooter. Every single one of them is without question a timeless classic that can be returned to indefinitely.

        ....with the exception of the CD-i games Nintendo let someone else make.

    • reply
      June 8, 2011 3:14 PM

      Wii U, New Controller (tablet), DS/3DS. Problem solved. If they could do it with a Gamecube and 4 Gameboy Advance I don't see why this wouldn't be possible. There are examples of the Wii and DS doing things like this as well.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 3:24 PM

        yeah but the whole point is that didn't succeed. four swords did not do well and it should have. Had nintendo solved that with this new console it would have been incredible for local multiplayer. But alas the wii U may go the way of the wii... Behind the xbox/ps3 nextgen.

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 3:29 PM

          Well technically the Wii is ahead of the other two and by a quite a large margin. You're right they should have just allowed multiple tablet controllers but the DS/3DS is still a nice option.

      • reply
        June 8, 2011 3:29 PM

        The difference is the GBAs had their own CPUs for driving graphics, etc. This controller is supposedly just a tiny tv whose signal is being beamed to it wirelessly from the WiiU that is doing all the processing.

        Also, what idiot came up with the name Wii U?

        • reply
          June 8, 2011 11:58 PM

          Then why not just stick some rudimentary CPU/GPU in the Wii U controllers? It's not like it has to be a tegra or anything. It's not like those things are going to be cheap anyways.

      • reply
        June 12, 2011 5:25 PM

        that's absolutely true, they should have released it with either a 3ds or a new handheld with all the extra hardware they need for the wii U built in and just packed one in the box.

    • reply
      June 9, 2011 12:05 AM

      Nintendo is like the hot chick suffering from tourettes and epilepsy simultaneously. Just when things seem to be awesome they start screaming stupid things and twitching like there's no tomorrow. In the end, you're better just walking away as they flail around in their own spittle looking confused as to why no one will date them :(

    • reply
      June 9, 2011 12:08 AM

      They have over a year to work it out. I think its a technical limitation of the video streaming. It would take a pretty beefy console to stream 4 separate HD video feeds simultaneously.