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Nintendo Announces Japanese Wii Price 477

Posted by Zonk
from the yay-for-cheap-fun dept.
Wowzer writes "Nintendo has revealed to Famitsu.com, at the company's recent press conference unveiling its financial results, that Wii would arrive in Japanese stores with a maximum price tag of 25,000 yen. After taking in account various factors, the conversion to other currencies comes down to a launch price of: 225 dollars, 225 euros, and 150 pounds." Update: 05/25 13:45 GMT by Z : GamesIndustry.biz points out they hope to ship 6 million units by next March, and an Opera exec has said you can browse the internets with the wiimote.
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Nintendo Announces Japanese Wii Price

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  • Re:Congrats Nintendo (Score:5, Informative)

    by onewing (754420) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @09:45AM (#15401042)
    At this low price, is it possible they've taken a turn on this one?

    I seriously doubt they will be selling these at a loss. The hardware itself is claimed to be "two or three" times more powerfull than the gamecube. Since the GC launch in 2001 you can assume the technology for the Wii (which is very similiar IIRC) is a fairly affordable price at this point. The controllers themselves dont seem to contain anything terribly expensive, just an innovative use of two existing technologies.

    The only things that may possibly affect this will be the addition of 512 MB built-in flash memory, the possiblity of an additional wiimote and the sensor bar itself. But I dont belive that any of these is a deal breaker on a possible 200$ USD launch price, especially with how weak the USD is currently.
  • correct price? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Mini-Geek (915324) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @09:48AM (#15401062) Homepage
    According to http://www.xe.com/ucc/ [xe.com], 25000 yen is: 223.435 USD (dollars), 174.841 EUR (euros), and 119.357 GBP (pounds), not 225, 225, and 150 respectively, as the article says. Just what "various factors" does it take into account, anyway?
  • Re:BS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @09:54AM (#15401117)
    I wouldn't be so sure of that. As many people have mentioned recnetly the Gamecube was priced at $200 when it launched in the US. The UK launch price was significantly lower then £200 pounds (link [bbc.co.uk]).
  • by sirwired (27582) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:01AM (#15401182)
    In the uproar over how much more consoles (or electronics in general) cost in the UK and Europe, folks always forget about the VAT. (Value Added Tax)

    IIRC, in the UK, Europe, and Canada, the VAT is included in the advertised (and paid) price. In the US, the rough equivalent (Sales Tax) is never included in the advertised price (except for Gasoline for some reason). Of course, not all localities in the US charge sales tax, the amount varies depending on where you live, and the amount is lower than VAT.

    A more fair comparison would be to take the VAT out of the price, and THEN compare how much the equipment costs in various countries. That determines how much the manufactuer and retailer actually receives for the console.

    SirWired
  • Headline Inaccurate (Score:5, Informative)

    by Miraba (846588) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:10AM (#15401254) Journal
    Nintendo announced the MAXIMUM price, not the actual price. 25,000 yen or less, US$250 or less, and "UK pricing will be in line with Japanese and US prices announced."

    Source: http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/news_250 506_wii.html [officialni...zine.co.uk]

  • Re:Congrats Nintendo (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:12AM (#15401267) Homepage Journal
    Kingston 512MB Flash Cards can be had off of Amazon for $11.39 [amazon.com]. The list price is claimed to be $39.99. Even if we assume that the $11.39 figure undercuts the actual cost for some reason, I think it's safe to assume that the bulk cost would easily be within the range of those figures.

    Similarly, complex universal remotes retail for about $19.95. You can usually find them much cheaper than MSRP. The sensor bar's cost will likely depend on what it's made of. Since we can probably assume plastic, it probably won't be too costly either. The Wii itself uses off-the-shelf components for its hardware, making the only questions the CPU and GPU. Both of these appear to be modified forms of existing processors. Which means that in bulk they should be very affordable for Nintendo. Therefore, it's likely that Nintendo will be able to sell the Wii at a $199 price point without taking any sort of loss. At $250, they'd probably be making a profit.

    In comparison, both Microsoft and Sony have built their consoles out of highly customized and/or cutting edge hardware that require significant expense to manufacture. (At least initially.) The result is that they have to sell at far higher price points. In Microsoft's case, it's expected that they're losing money on each unit. (Though I seriously doubt that they're losing as much as the $200 that has been claimed by the media.) Both Sony and Microsoft should have paid attention to history. The Jaguar, Saturn, Neo-Geo, and Turbografix were all consoles that were on the cutting edge of technology. They all lost out to consoles that were inexpensive, built with off-the-shelf components (plus/minus a custom part or two), and were easily manufactured using less-than-cutting-edge technology.
  • In other news, (Score:5, Informative)

    by mobby_6kl (668092) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:14AM (#15401281)
    Nintendo warns of weaker profits [bbc.co.uk]

    I'm not saying Nintendo is dying, it's normal to have lower profits while preparing mass production, just thought it'd be relevant.
  • by gormanly (134067) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:17AM (#15401310)

    ¥25,000 = $223.30 = €174.79 = £119.36

    ¥25,000 ~= $225 /= €225 /= £150 !!!

    I mean, wtf? Ok, so we all know they'll charge more in Europe than in the States or Japan, but at least do the currency conversion right.

    And btw, Slashdot doesn't work right with &cong; or &ne; ...

  • by nmaster64 (867033) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:19AM (#15401314)
    A) They didn't announce the price point, they announced a MAX price point, which is very different. That title is misleading.
    B) You should note the fact that consoles almost never sell for the same price in different countries, no matter the exchange rates.
    C) It would have been worth mentioning Iwata's recent hint: "you may want to check our past records of price points, launching price points for any past hardware." Nintendo's never NOT released a system in the US for anything other than $199.99. Take that + this guy saying it's going to be LESS than ~$225, and I don't see how you can't come to the conclusion that it's going to be $199.99.

    My report on this story is here:
    Wii: Almost surely $200, but still not confirmed [nwizard.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:24AM (#15401356)
    >IIRC, in the UK, Europe, and Canada, the VAT is included in the advertised (and paid) price.

    Prices are not advertised with taxes in Canada either because of the different taxes for each provinces.
  • by Merlynnus (209292) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:24AM (#15401364)
    Off topic, but in Canada, that's (mostly) not true. Advertized prices are almost always without the Provincial Sale Tax (PST) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The rate varies from province to province (and in the East, they've combined it into a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)) but it runs about 14%. Of course, there's no PST in Alberta and the GST is dropping a point sometime later this summer. Regardless, just like the US, everything except gas tends to be the "before-tax" price.

  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:36AM (#15401470) Homepage Journal
    Why do people say "price point" instead of "price"?

    Because we're discussing things in business terms. When you look at marketing a product like a game console, pricing becomes a major marketting factor. As a result, a random price like $231.45 would be a poor choice. (Even if you could sell it for less that way.) Instead, marketeers will develop a set of price "points".

    i.e. Should the Wii sell at $149.99, $199.99, $249.99, or $299.99?

    Each price "point" is carefully analysed for marketting potency as well as expected returns. The idea is to select one of those points that will meet your goals as well as maximize profits. (Or minimize losses in some forms of the razor-blade model.)

    As a result, everyone is trying to second guess Nintendo's choice in price points. Will they hold to tradition and sell for $199.99, or will they maximize profits on each unit and sell for $249.99. Or at the extremes, will they shock the world with a $149.99 price point? Or will they not be able to meet cost predictions and hit the $299.99 price point?

    Clear as mud? :-)
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:38AM (#15401493) Homepage Journal
    P.S. There's a Wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org] on the matter. Note in the graph how sales droop between price points.
  • Re:In other news, (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:39AM (#15401500)
    Nintendo warns of weaker profits. They aren't warning of a loss, or a break-even. The company is still taking it to the bank. Nothing to see here, moving along.
  • Re:In other news, (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zigg (64962) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:44AM (#15401553)

    Actually, operating profits forecasted to be up -- the reason their profit forecast is down is because of foreign-exchange losses.

    Nintendo holds a lot of investments in US dollars.

  • by ronanm (92344) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:52AM (#15401638)
    ¥25,000 = $223.30 = 174.79 = £119.36

    ¥25,000 ~= $225 /= 225 /= £150 !!!


    Well, you've gotta add vat onto the conversion price. Say 120% of 175... gives you 210 and 117.5% of £120 makes £140. The numbers now are starting to look a bit similar.

      It also depends on how many units they think they're going to sell in each of the territories. If they think they'll shift more in the US then they can afford to sell them cheaper.
  • Re:Zonk again (Score:1, Informative)

    by oldbenway (734305) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:53AM (#15401650)
    "Internets" is a reference to what george bush called it in one of his debates in 2004. Shame on you for not getting the joke.
  • by gizmo490 (572918) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:25AM (#15401933)
    VAT isn't included in the Canadian advertised price either we pay a 7% GST on top of the advertised price which is our equivalent of VAT. On top of that we pay any where from 0-10% PST (an additional sales tax) depending on where you live in the country. If you compare the Euopean price to the canadian price after all that tax it really doesnt seem like you guys are getting hosed as much. 225 US = about 250 CND + 15% total tax (for my province) = 287.50 CND = 200 Euros approximately.
  • by barawn (25691) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:26AM (#15401934) Homepage
    i dunno about the old xbox though, since that might just go away completely.

    New, at least. Part of the problem here is that the Xbox is decent COTS equipment: it is just a PC, after all, and hacking it at this point is really, really trivial. So unfortunately, Xboxes still command a hefty resale point on eBay: you'll never get a working one for much under $100, for instance. Heck, a broken one sells for $50 on eBay.

    It's fairly insane how well the Xbox is maintaining its value compared to a GameCube and a PS2.
  • Re:Congrats Nintendo (Score:4, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:36AM (#15402010) Homepage Journal
    With that $11 price tag, you are assuming they are using regular flash memory. Perhaps they want the 40x flash, which is faster and more expensive.

    I doubt it. The flash is only used to store games downloaded from the Virtual Console service. When you consider how small most of these games are (barely a megabyte or two for the largest), you realize that using fast flash would be a waste of money.

    I believe the Jaguar was based on Motorala 6800 CPU (16 bit, Mac).

    Not exactly. The Jaguar had a Motorola 68000, a 32 bit DSP, a 32 bit GPU, a 64 bit object processor, and a 64 bit blitter. Basically, it had a LOT of custom processors stuffed into its case. Not to mention the 2MB of RAM, which was exceedingly expensive back in 1993. (4MB was still pretty standard on PCs.)
  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @12:09PM (#15402365) Homepage
    Well, someone already mentioned the specifics of finding an optimal price point and non-linearity but skipped the basics. You as a consumer probably see price as a line:

    0 --- 100$ --- 200$ ---300$ --- 400$ --- $500 --- $600 --->

    Economists are looking at a graph - the price-quantity graph with points (p,q), and the price is just the y-value. They try to estimate this graph and while for every price there is one price point, many concepts don't make any sense otherwise. For example, there's great uncertainty about the $600 price point of the PS3, meaning what quantity it'll sell. There's no uncertainty about the $600 price - it means you need six 100$ bills.

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