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British supermarket chain Asda has introduced a Wii U price cut of £50.
The drop applies to both the basic and premium versions of the console, which can now be purchased online for £199 and £249 respectively. Other UK supermarket chains and specialist games retailers have yet to follow suit, but it may only be a matter of time.
In January, Nintendo cut its Wii U sales forecast for the business year ending March 31, 2013 from 5.5 million units to four million, but president Satoru Iwata expressly ruled out the possibility of the company itself introducing a Wii U price cut to boost momentum, noting: "With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown. I would like to make this point absolutely clear.”
Wii U sales in the U.S. in January are believed to have come in at "well under" 100,000 units, and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot is the latest publishing executive to express concern over the system’s performance, telling MCV this month: "We think Wii U is a great machine. But it just has to sell more.” In February, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said the company was "somewhat disappointed with the launch of the Wii U”.
With the release of PS4 on the horizon, and Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox also expected to launch this year, killer exclusive software will prove crucial to Nintendo’s hopes of boosting Wii U sales. Among other games in development, the platform holder is working on two new Mario releases for Wii U - a 3D action title developed by the team behind the Super Mario Galaxy series and a fresh Mario Kart. Playable versions of both games will be present at this year’s E3 in June.