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Wii U Costs $180 To Build, Will Retail At $300?

The latest Wii U rumour concerns the cost of building Nintendo's next-gen console, and the price at which it will go on sale.

Apparently the retail price tag will be $300, minimum. Inside sources who spoke to Forget The Box have claimed that the cost of the console sequel's parts is $180 (with the controller accounting for about $50 of that).

The unnamed sources said: "Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo's main concern with the Wii U. They are cutting costs in the Wii U's hardware to build back confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition."

The cries of greedy so-and-so's are already ringing down the halls of the internet, as are questions about the wisdom of this apparent cutting back on hardware to keep the profit fires stoked.

Nintendo came under similar fire when it was revealed that the 3DS cost $100 in bare materials, considering it was sold initially at the $250 mark. Of course, that price was quickly cut down during last summer after a relatively lacklustre sales performance.

Forget The Box is right to point out, however, that there's more to Nintendo's Wii U expense sheet than the cost of the components and manufacture.

For example, there's a lot of research budget which has gone into producing the console, and when it launches, there'll be a big spend on marketing, distribution, packaging and so forth.

That all has to be taken into account while the fist waving and accusations of being greedy are going on.

The sources add: "Nintendo chose an economical GPU and CPU that could keep up with the performance of today's current consoles, but keep hardware costs down to maximize profits. Nintendo got a bargain price on the custom GPU and CPU that the Wii U uses."

Let's hope the GPU and CPU aren't too economical, and that the bulk buying deals are driving a lot of that cost cutting, ensuring the Wii U still packs enough of a relative graphics punch to impress.

Otherwise, Nintendo's Wii sequel could struggle in the face of the oncoming next-gen efforts from Microsoft and Sony - and possibly some serious price cutting on the current-gen hardware when the Wii U emerges just before Christmas.

Source: Forget The Box (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.