The first real, payable pre-order price for Wii U has surfaced online at ShopTo (opens in new tab) - and it's £279.85. The RRP is £279.99, of course, but you've got to get your discount for buying online, right? The price (which we must stress has not been confirmed by Nintendo in any way) applies to both the black and white versions of the new Nintendo hardware. It may not be a massive price tag in the grand scheme of things, but it's £100 more than last time around. And £100 (about $154) is a lot of money right now...
Above: WiiU on ShopTo, It'sTrue. WillYou? MightDo
This listing is for UK customers, hence the UK price point, but we expect international versions to emerge soon now that the gun has been jumped. Interestingly, the release date is still TBA, but all signs appear to be pointing to November this year (opens in new tab).
But how does this price stack up against previous Nintendo launch prices? Let's see...
Wii launched at £179.99 (higher than expected).
Gamecube launched at £129.99 (what a bargain).
N64 launched for £249.97 (but had a £100 price cut just two months later).
SNES launched at £149.99 (with Super Mario World).
NES launched in the UK for... some money. Not all money and not no money. Some money.
3DS was £229.99 at launch, although that did NOT sell well, forcing a £80-£100 drop (opens in new tab) shortly afterwards.
In terms of current rivals, Xbox 360 launched for £209.99 (but £279.99 for the 20GB model with wireless controller).
And of course, PS3 launched at £425 in the UK. My wallet will never, EVER forget that one.
So - £279 for Wii U. A full £100 more than Wii's launch price. Is that extra £100 going to turn off the casual market that so gladly reached straight for their wallets when Wii came out? Considering 3DS was overpriced by a similar margin (in the eyes of the public who demonstrably voted with their feet), could we see yet another price cut for a Nintendo machine shortly after launch? Nintendo will always have its fanbase buying anything that comes out at the midnight launch and these early adopters will pay anything Nintendo asks for. But is a £279.99 console likely to be sold out nationwide for a year after release like its £179.99 daddy? We're not so sure...
Of course, this is just one price on a website, which might just be a stab in the dark on the part of a business wanting to get in first with sales of a big new thing. The only official comment on the price we've had is Reggie Fils-Aime saying "I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised (opens in new tab)". Let's hope so.
Are you tempted? Let us know in the comments.