An Updated Cost of the Wii U

A while back I wrote a piece about the Wii U’s true economic cost. Thought with some of the recent announcements it was time to take a look at that number again.

We know more than we did last September.

Our conclusion at the time was that the Wii U, all things said and done, economically costs a family approximately $110.

Some things have come to light since then.

For one, the game bundled into the black Wii U set requires Wii Motion Plus for some of its minigames. This means you don’t get the full value of the 32GB bundle if you don’t already have a set of four Motion Plus controllers.

Going to raise the price to $135 (half the cost we valued the game at) and $230 (the price to replace all four Wii Remotes with Wii Motion Plus.)

Because I don’t like buying something I can’t use to its fullest extent we’re pushing the receipt price of the Wii U to $470 and the economic cost to that $230 tag.


A Playstation Vita, 4GB memory card, and Playstation Plus in comparison has a true cost of approximately $320 (for one year).

“NES games will range from $4.99-$5.99, while SNES games will run $7.99-$8.99. If you already own the game on Wii, you’ll be able to purchase the Wii U version at a discounted price ($1 for NES games and $1.50 for SNES), provided you’re willing to transfer your Wii VC titles to your Wii U. Wii U eShop games will offer features including save states (similar to 3DS), the option to play entirely on the GamePad and the ability to post to Miiverse.”


Wait… what?

Assuming you have 10 Virtual Console NES games for simplicity sake this is a Wii previous owner tax. So it’s time to push up the cost of the Wii U by $10. (The cost is higher for me, but we’ll leave it at 10 just to be kind).

An economic cost of $240 and real cost of $480.

I’m going to give them a tax of customer un-appreciation of another $10 to join in the arbitrary price hikes Nintendo seems okay to grant: $250/$490.

Now, I do understand the argument that there’s a need to recoup the feature and porting costs associated GamePad play. We could already suspend once so the save states feature isn’t overly impressive to me… but if you want to spread customer goodwill (which is hard to put a price tag on)  you ought to be granting a cross-buy function… not punishing the faithful.

Time to wait for a sale or a “must have” game… or just upgrade that PS3 with a new hard drive.


2 thoughts on “An Updated Cost of the Wii U

  1. Pingback: Wii U Cost Clarifications |

  2. Pingback: Episode 89 Notes |

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