IGN has confirmed with Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime that the Wii U's Deluxe edition will receive a permanent price cut and will also come with a free game starting September 20th. The bundle will be available for the super sexy price of $299.99. Let the holiday console wars begin.
Speaking with IGN, Reggie stated that...
“The price decline is pretty straightforward,” ... “Really, the focus on heightening the value for Wii U is now that we are in a position where we’ve got a regular pace of great software. Pikmin 3, New Super Luigi U that just launched physically, Wonderful 101 in September, and then Wind Waker.
Drop those names, Reggie... drop those names!
The prez was pretty enthusiastic about the new bundle pack for the Wii U as well as the price cut, but I'm sure fans will be the ones pumped up with excitement as they wager to buy a Wii U for $100 less than a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (and get a free game) or if they take the plunge on the more expensive but untested hardware.
The console war was, at first, looking a little more like a one-on-one between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but with Nintendo ramping things up and literally becoming a competitive force to be reckoned with (despite their many claimings that they would not be competing directly with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) we now have ourselves a console war unlike any previous generation before it. I suppose this would probably be comparable (if comparisons could be made) to the 16-bit console war between the SNES, Sega Genesis and Turbo Grafix 16, where it at first looked like it could have been anyone's game.
Big Daddy Reggie wasn't done pimping the potential prestige of the Wii U; he had some more words of adulation to float over the console like a dandy fawning over a high-school crush under the bleachers during a Friday night game....
“Digitally, it’s phenomenal. You could look at it through the GamePad. You can look at it on your big screen, turn the pages, search for specific items. It’s essentially a digital version of the book that you’ll be able to access through the GamePad, that you’ll download onto the system. It’ll be resident on the system. It’s really cool.”
Nintendo is in it to win it, and they're the only console maker from the 8-bit era still pumping out reliable software and hardware. It's a hard game to play and real life doesn't afford for many opportunities we call a “second chance”.
Nintendo has a shot at increasing their install base lead of 3.3 million SKUs by dropping that price like a bad habit and bundling up the Wii U with a near-guaranteed system seller in a franchise that has moved enough copies to populate its own country.
We'll see whether or not this bit of news and Nintendo's price cut will be the supercharger that they need to maintain some distance from their competitors. However, given Sony's near 1.5 million pre-orders on the PlayStation 4, it's easy to see that this next-gen console war won't be easily won by any single one competitor.