Gamers looking for cheaper console games from the next-generation Wii can toss that idea out the window. Nintendo (NTDOY) revealed on Thursday that it will price most of its first-party Wii U games at $59.99 — a  $10 increase over its previous Wii console games. The more expensive pricing is most likely related to the higher development costs of producing games with high-definition graphics and GamePad controls. Nintendo’s markup isn’t out of line, either. Both Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3 have had games with HD graphics selling for $59.99 since 2005 and 2006, respectively. Nintendo is merely playing catch-up.

According to Nintendo president and CEO of America Reggie Fils-Aime, “The vast majority of Wii U software will be $59.99. From a first-party perspective. Third parties set their own pricing.” However, not all games will be priced at $59.99. “There will be exceptions. Wii Fit U is not going to be a $59.99 product with the Balance Board, as an example. But certainly we believe that these games are big enough, robust enough, with enough demand to satisfy a $59.99 MSRP.”

At what price third-party publishers will set their games is anybody’s guess, but it’s not likely to deviate far from Nintendo’s pricing — we fully expect blockbuster games such as Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Platinum Games’ Bayonetta 2 to command top-pricing.


Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. He first realized his love for technology when he burned through so many AA batteries on the original Game Boy that scraping battery acid off it became the norm.