Nintendo Punks Microsoft and Sony

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Surely you must have seen this coming.

A hungry and desperate Nintendo  (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) is cutting the price of its slow-selling Wii U console. 

The price of the deluxe Wii U system will be getting a $50 haircut to $299. This isn't a surprise. I expected this to happen earlier this summer, and it became a no-brainer after Nintendo revealed that it shipped just 160,000 units in its most recent quarter. 

With Sony  (NYSE: SNE  ) and Microsoft  (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) hitting the market with new systems in November, Nintendo was either going to have to cut prices or back out of the console market and focus on its more popular handheld offerings.

This is the second time that Microsoft sees a rival introduce a lower price, and we're still three months away from the Xbox One hitting the market. 

It was back in June when Microsoft introduced a $499 price point for its upcoming Xbox One system. Sony fired back a day later by pricing its rival PS4 console at just $399. Now we have Nintendo's Wii U at $299, making this an interesting dilemma for gamers that can only afford one system this holiday season.

Die-hard gamers will argue that the Wii U is no match for the powerful PS4 and Xbox One systems, but Nintendo does arm its platform with proprietary franchises. If you want to play Zelda, Pokemon, or Super Mario, you're going to have to go through Nintendo.

Arguing that the $499 Xbox One doesn't have to worry about Nintendo's Wii U going from $349 to $299 misses the point. The iPad at $499 didn't think it had a problem with cheaper tablets until it had no choice but to introduce the iPad mini at a competitive price. 

Besides, what makes anyone think that Nintendo will sell enough Wii U systems this year at the new price point that it won't have to slash prices again after the holidays?

Nintendo naturally doesn't want that. It has historically been the lone console maker that doesn't sell its systems at a loss. It may also believe that a lower price point and far more games on the market than it had during last November's debut will win over gamers that bypassed the Wii U in its rookie season.

The console wars were never going to be boring this year, but they just got a little more interesting.

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Read/Post Comments (14) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 8:34 PM, Y49673 wrote:

    Nintendo can dump the WII U and just focus on the WII. We just purchased a new WII (not WII U) to replace our existing WII when it dies. Wii is the way to go (not Wii U).

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 8:37 PM, Weeblo wrote:

    I just pre-ordered my Wii U from GameStop for $299 with Zelda Wind Waker HD. I am stoked!

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 8:42 PM, TheWas wrote:

    How is a desperation move "punking" MS and Sony? The real next gen systems aren't even out yet, and Nintendo is already in dead last. i doubt this price drop and Zelda bundle is going to do anything to change that.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 8:44 PM, crs0441 wrote:

    Nothing is guaranteed, but it's almost certain Nintendo still has a snowball's chance in hell of matching 50% of the revenue MS and Sony will see from their new consoles.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 8:45 PM, Sugoda wrote:

    Punking...haha! A system nobody wants with horrible support from 3rd party developers. EA, Ubisoft won't even develop for them. If it wasn't for the gimmick controller and party games on the Wii, Nintendo would have been out of the console race entirely. They'd just be relying on the portable market and that's it.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 8:51 PM, Weeblo wrote:

    @TheWas: How is Nintendo in dead last? If I am not mistaken they have nearly 4 million units sold over the last year which gives them a 4 million advantage over Sony & Microsoft who have yet to release their systems and that number will probably grow between now and then. If anything, it makes the battle more interesting. Last gen, I bought a Wii & a PS3 but I bought many more games for the Wii than my PS3. I haven't seen the PS4 nor XBox 1 yet so I can't comment on their systems yet. Their specs look nice but how will that actually improve the games? We will find out together. Until then, Nintendo did a smart move. I know it enticed me.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 9:24 PM, Weeblo wrote:

    @Sugoda:Ubisoft does make Wii U games. Lots of them actually. And they have done one of the best jobs in incorporating the Gamepad and using it to enhance their ports.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 9:37 PM, spongebillybob wrote:

    That piece of crap was $349 dollars? They need to bring it down to $150. That is about how much it maybe worth.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 9:46 PM, ChrisKevin36 wrote:

    Guys and Girls. Nintendo's Wii-U is a cool looking system but, when Sony's Playstation 4 and Microsoft's XBOX One comes out there may not be a comparison between Wii-U and PS4 and XBOX 1. Weeblo if you look at what Sony and Microsoft have to offer and that is more than just video games itself Nintendo's Wii-U doesn't stand a chance. No matter how much it makes in console handheld sells there is nothing else it can offer gaming fans. The previous Nintendo games had more to offer than games such as, the Nintendo 64's rumored DVD add on to its past late ninties system. Even, the Gamecube had more to offer if I'm not mistaken. The original Wii turned out to be a far better system that its predecessor upgrade. Weeblo when you see the PS4 and XBOX 1 man you'll probably be thinking to yourself the Wii WHOOO??? and not Wii-U. I'm being honest here man.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 9:48 PM, Harkins1721 wrote:

    @Y49673 Why the heck would you buy another Wii? The WiiU is Backwards compatible. And when the games do start coming to the WiiU you can buy them. Nintendo is done with the Wii and now focusing on the WiiU. That is probably the stupidest thing you could have done.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 11:13 PM, lordraptor1 wrote:

    @ harkins1721

    his descision to buy another wii may have been a bad move but at least he didn't say he pre-ordered an XBonerFail that would have been far worse than buying another Wii, just being honest. the way MS has been talking to its customer base and the way they lied and said there was no way to make the console work without the Kinect being attached only to recently announce Kinect no longer required says loads, then if you also factor in the 499 price tag because ms is still gonna include the Kinect even though consumers are still voicing not wanting it and saying to drop the Kinect and drop the price and ms is refusing says even more.

  • Report this Comment On August 28, 2013, at 11:43 PM, MikeJones77 wrote:

    PSBOX are just for FPS.. no thanks. psbox launch games are terrible, their exclusive are garbage

  • Report this Comment On August 29, 2013, at 12:08 PM, gamer4lyfe wrote:

    First, terrible written article. Second as a hardcore gamer myself, most of these comments couldnt be more inaccurate. A hardcore gamer plays all types of games. Most PS4 and Xbox1 games focus on fps. I love my fps games, but they get old fast, trade them in a month later for 10 bucks. Thats the future of most ps4 and One owners. Nintendo offers a wide variety of fun games, games you can play repeatedly and still maintain the same lvl of fun for years to come. Nintendo also jumped into the HD era making most of their 3rd party games look incrediable. In no way will Nintendo graphics stand up to the ps4 lvl. Nintendo knew this, price cut and more impressive games to come for the U. Thats exactly how the Wii shocked the world of gaming. Price and software. As a gamer I love my Wii U, I purchased it for multiple titles, I will most likely purchase a ps4, but the titles I would be interested in I can count one one hand, same goes for the X1..

  • Report this Comment On August 29, 2013, at 12:46 PM, stefanog1 wrote:

    I completely agree with the above. I have a PC and had a long relationship with Nintendo and when it comes to gaming... I prefer Nintendo games. Yeah those other games like Portal and Shadow of the Colossus is fun but its because they are innovative like Nintendo; they just were put on other consoles. So enough with the Wii U is dead BS, if the Wii U were too fail everyone would have to all suddenly drop Zelda and become obsessed FPS fans and buy an Xbone. Yes, I am using the term " Xbone" because Microsoft messed up, DRM was riculous then they switched it around. Nobody wants the Kinect yet they keep it in the bundle even though it adds an extra 100$ to the system which no one wants to pay! These are actually Xbox fans that demanded Microsoft to change the DRM and drop the Kinect! I don't hear any Sony or Nintendo fussing about the PS4 or Wii U. The Wii U is struggling because Iwata decided to release it with no games; it also has no advertisement and its name is misleading. That why I Think PS4 will win; I walked to a GameStop and all I saw in the windows were posters and display boxes that had the PS4 "Greatness Awaits" on them. It was all over! The WiiU had a demo booth as soon as you get in and Xbone had only one ad under the counter encouraging people to pre order on their way out. GameStop seems to be working with Sony and I don't like it. I know that was off topic but the point is nobody knows until November so shut up till then.

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