The Wii U’s total manufacturing costs could be as low as $180, the final price is rumored to be around $300
I’ve said before the Wii was successful because of its low price point, and the Wii U seems to be following suit
When you think about why the Wii was successful, it’s not mind blowing. Developers got the most out of the sub-HD graphics, and Nintendo launched at a lower price point than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. If you’re a parent and you want to buy a console the whole family can use, why wouldn’t you buy a Wii? With that install base, Nintendo seems to be looking to do everything to maintain it.
The reason for this is a recent rumour for the Wii U’s bill of materials, Forget the Box reported that their sources are estimating the bill for Wii U as around $180. The site also says the tablet controller for the console is costing no more, leaving the console itself costing $120 to manufacture. That’s very cheap for a console that is producing HD graphics and, while Nintendo are still assessing the market according to Forget the Box, the company is looking to price the console at least $300. That’s almost half the price of the PlayStation 3’s launch price, so the Wii U should be very competitive on that front.
NFC costs around $5 to implement. The source speaking to the website says the cost of NFC is expected to drop to as little as a dollar for mobile devices, so Nintendo is willing to adopt the technology now ahead of the drop.
The console’s camera are estimated at costing $6, which are slightly better than those in the DSi and 3DS (though really, who uses them to take photos?). The touch screen is costing $14, though bare in mind it’s only capacitive and doesn’t support multi-touch. This is disappointing, but the tablet almost certainly comes with a stylus it’s not such an issue. The tablet is also used as a controller, so touch input wouldn’t be used anyway.
As a comparison, Kinect cost $56 to build according to a report in 2010 by UBM Tech Insights. The device retailed for $150 as a standalone product at that time.
The source says Nintendo is maximising profits while staying competitive.
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