Important news for Wii/DS owners and potential owners

Nintendo have announced that they are going to increase the price that they charge retailers for Wii consoles and Wii/DS software.

Speaking to MCV they had this to say:

“Due to the severe and continuing depreciation of the pound, we are, unfortunately, having to raise our trade price to UK retailers of Wii hardware,” a Nintendo UK spokesperson told MCV. The price that they then offer to consumers is, of course, up to the retailers. We are only – reluctantly – raising our trade price now to retailers due to unprecedented and sustained depreciation of the pound. This is a problem brought about by extreme currency fluctuations that are a symptom of the global economic situation.”

MCV say that the increase will be "£19 including VAT".

Nintendo also spoke to about increasing the price retailers are charged for new Software:

"The final price in the shops is always up to retailers but we will not be increasing the trade price of existing Wii or DS software. However, the trade prices for new titles yet to be released may rise as a result of the depreciation of the pound."

It's hard to know exactly how to feel about this. On the one hand, it certainly is true that the GBP has had a pretty rough time recently. But historically, any time that Nintendo has had the opportunity to charge us Brits more, it has done, regardless of what global currency markets have been doing.

I guess I'll be doing what I always do, try to keep track of the best deals. Since the RRP is not changing, I imagine it will be possible to buy the console for £180 still pretty regularly. Shopping around can get you one for £166.37 right now, but it's hard to imagine they will be readily available for much less than £180 in the future if Nintendo are raising the price by £19. It's pretty crazy to say this, but maybe if you plan to get a Wii any time in the next 6 months, you will probably not be able to do better than £166.37, so maybe think about buying one sooner, rather than later.

As for the DSi, I think it's pretty overpriced already, but at least they aren't increasing the price any further. Amazon are taking pre-orders for £144.97, in both black and white flavor, which is the best price so far. I imagine there will be some good deals on the DS lite when the DSi does come out next month.

And software - How do people feel about imported software. I occasionally link good deals on imported region free software on the DS or 360, but I might consider doing so for the Wii too if there was interest. The thing is, if Nintendo does charge more for software, it is unlikely that the RRP will go up, retailers will more likely just discount less frequently. Less discounts means less bargains.

If I were to post a guide for how to make Wii consoles region free, would people be interested in me widening the net to imported Wii software from reliable import retailers?

Nintendo Wii Console - £166.37 delivered
Nintendo DSi [Black] - £144.97 delivered
Nintendo DSi [White] - £144.97 delivered

Update: has spoke to two retailers about this news:

Igor Cipolletta (
"It's very bad. If it's true that they want to increase it by £18 then there is no margin for us at all. It's very disappointing because we believed that after two years the Wii machine would get cheaper rather than more expensive - I've heard that this is the first time in history that the price has gone up for a machine after two years.

If you look at the history, the pound was higher [against the Euro] and they've been making quite a percentage more of money, so now they can take the loss rather than increase the price. Plus it goes against the economy, in England we have job losses and all this, which makes it increasingly difficult to afford a machine - this doesn't help them. I'm concerned about the software, maybe the software could go up. I don't think it should."

Don McCabe (Chips)
"It's a first. I can't remember any other console that has been launched, been on the market for a couple of years and then gone up in price. It's an absolute first. I half expected it, I can see their reasons why and there are reasons which are perfectly valid in today's market place - the Pound has been dropping against the Euro for a while now and it shows no sign of bouncing back.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I think Nintendo could have sold all the machines that they have done at the GBP 199 price point, because we've effectively had shortages from day one, pretty much all the way through. There's never ever been quite enough stock in the market place, each Christmas we come to there's always stock shortages.

It will have a negative effect on the sales... I think we'll still end up with shortages come Christmas again, but through the summer it's going to have an effect. It wouldn't be unrealistic to expect similar price rises across the whole Nintendo range. I don't think any retailer has got the ability to soak up that sort of margin change, I think I saw one story that said the supermarkets wouldn't be passing the price point on but I think they will. I don't think any retailer can take that sort of squeeze."


Anonymous said...

For me it depends how easy making the Wii region free is. Does it use the homebrew channel or do you need to buy a freeloader or something?

LewieP said...

Good point.

You need to have the homebrew channel installed. Then run something on the Wii, and from then on the disc channel will load games from any region. Games will load the same whatever region they are from.

I'll happily throw together a comprehensive guide, and help out as much as I can if anyone needs support.

Anonymous said...

I'd love a region-free guide.

Anonymous said...

Can you still buy stuff (and access your already bought/downloaded before stuff) from the Virtual Console is you make your Wii region free? I have bought a ton of classic and WiiWare games the past year, and don't want to be locked out of them by tinkering too much with my Wii.

Joe said...

I've got Gecko Region Free, and so am totally up for hearing import deals.

Anonymous said...

I'd certainly be interested in a region-free guide too.

Anonymous said...

Definately interested in region free Wiiage

LewieP said...

Ok guys, obviously this is something that a lot of you are interested in.

I will start working on the guide today, and hopefully have it done by the weekend, as well as come up with a list of some good import bargains.

Matthew said...

Cheers Lewie, I wouldn't mind seeing that guide either.

A Leeds Cyclist said...

The other plus point about importing is less of a wait for good titles!

I imported Super Paper Mario because I was sick of the wait.

And No More Heroes because of the UK cuts.