The True Cost of the Wii U

Random thought as I was listening to Videogame Outsiders podcast episode 303 today…

The 32GB Deluxe Wii U model is a really good deal.

Hold on FF. How the heck is a current gen console (graphics power) a good deal at $350?

Let’s break down why.

Gamepad: $150 (this is a handheld touch screen driven device that will play Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video. A Kindle Fire in comparison is $200 for the smaller HD version).

Game: $50. Nintendo Land! Sure it’s not a “wow” title but it’s a bunch of fun minigames that will let you play simply and easily as a family. Isn’t that what a home game console is about when it comes to a large family? I’m pricing it how much I’d be willing to pay for it. That thing is not a $60 game. It’s barely a $50 one… but I’m being nice.

So that’s $200 of the $350 right there. Over half of the cost of the “console” is the touch screen and a game.

How much does an original Wii sell for right now? Gamestop has a refurbished original Wii for $80. No Wii Sports for you! (That’s $20).

So we’re up to $280 since the Wii U is backwards compatible to the Wii and personally I will still be playing my Wii games… might even inspire me to go back and unlock things I lost when our Wii died and our memory was wiped when it was repaired.

That leaves the Wii U features at a value of $70.

I’m now going to add on a $40 cost to the fact that we’d be bringing the Gamecube down from storage because the Wii U doesn’t go all the way back to the GC era. Have to have our Ultimate Spiderman and Midway Arcade Classics fix somehow.

We’re back up to $110.

That’s the cost of a couple “new” games. $110 for a new (minus the gamepad) console?

Now in economic terms you still have to pay the $350 all up front so the cost is still rather huge in one lump sum. So now the question always turns to “What are you not buying by shelling that much out for a Wii U?”

Thinking long-term the Wii U is looking like a better investment than it did initially at least. Especially as I look at our PS3 and Xbox 360 that are almost full.

Now here’s another question though: Do I invest $350 into the “next thing” or do I invest $100 to upgrade my PS3 to a 1TB hard drive and be able to enjoy all the new content that will come via Playstation Plus? The Wii U will eventually fill up too after all and right now the PS3 is the king in our house (the PC is the queen). I’ll put the 3DS as a prince for me and the iPad is a prince for the kids.

I won’t be buying it at launch, but the Wii U appears to be a solid investment in gaming future from here.

Just some random thinking from your friendly neighborhood FlameFlash.

What do you think? How valuable is the Wii U to you? Have I been drinking from a stream of crazy?

-FF

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5 thoughts on “The True Cost of the Wii U

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