updated 03:58 pm EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
Amazon UK briefly lists £200 price, July 14 launch
Amazon may have let slip two of Nintendo's most closely guarded secrets about its forthcoming Wii U console: its release date and price. A pre-order listing at Amazon.co.uk is said to have briefly listed the console for £200, with an expected shipping date of July 14, according to MCV.
The Wii U has been displayed in one form or another at the last two Electronic Entertainment Expos, but Nintendo has yet to come forward with any solid information regarding pricing or release schedule. Company executives have affirmed that the new console will be launching this year, and they claim customers will be "pleasantly surprised" by the final price; but they have declined any greater specificity.
The Amazon pricing, should it prove accurate, would seem to indicate that Nintendo has learned a lesson from its 3DS handheld, which debuted to strong sales that tapered off shortly thereafter and were only revived when the device got a significant price drop. Sales of the 3D handheld have been strong since, and Nintendo expects to earn a profit on the device over the course of this year.
The July 14 release date for the Wii U, though, seems less likely. Were Nintendo to release the console at that point in the summer, it is more likely that the company would have placed a greater emphasis on that launch date at this year's E3. Even if the company were to keep pricing under wraps until shortly before release, it stands to reason Nintendo would give itself more than five weeks after E3 to build a marketing campaign for the Wii U.
Amazon has reportedly removed the pre-order listing from its website. The company is said to be in the process of canceling any pre-orders made by customers.
Nintendo can ill afford a replay of the 3DS' saga with the Wii U. Lackluster sales of its Wii console caused the company to see its first annual loss in April, and the company cut summer bonuses for its employees by 20 percent this week.