Ubisoft boss criticises Wii U price: "I can't say I'm happy"

But how does it compare to other hardware launches?

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The boss of Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell publisher Ubisoft has criticised the Wii U's launch price, suggesting it is too expensive.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told GamesIndustry International that he wasn't happy with the machine's current price tag.

"I always prefer lower pricing, so I can't say I'm happy," Guillemot said. "I'm never happy when the machines are expensive.

"What we have to do there is remember that compared to an iPad, it's cheap. With what it brings [to the gaming table] it's cheap. But I hope they'll be able to drop their price in time."

Wii U will cost $299 for the Basic model or $349 for the Premium in the US. Nintendo does not set hardware prices in Europe, although retailers have largely settled around the 249 and 299 marks.

But how expensive is the Wii U in comparison to other hardware launches? At $299/$349 it is roughly the same or cheaper than the Xbox 360 ($299/$400) and considerably less expensive than the PlayStation 3 ($500/$600).

"What we have to do there is remember that compared to an iPad, it's cheap. With what it brings [to the gaming table] it's cheap. But I hope they'll be able to drop their price in time."

Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot

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Zombi U and Assassin's Creed 3 are among Ubisoft's seven launch titles.

The Wii U's $299 price point was also the starting price of the original Xbox, PlayStation and PlayStation 2.

In numbers adjusted for inflation by Gamasutra, it is the cheapest by far of any of these. A table of hardware prices researched by the site suggests that Wii U is the sixth cheapest hardware launch out of 27 home consoles released over the last 35 years.

But most of the consoles which have launched cheaper than the Wii U to date were Nintendo machines. Guillemot's concerns may lie with the fact that Wii U is the most expensive Nintendo-made hardware at launch since the SNES.

Nintendo's last three home consoles cost less at launch (again, using adjusted figures). The Wii launched at $285, the GameCube cost $258 and the N64 cost $292. If Guillemot had been expecting the Wii U to launch as cheap as these - or cheaper - his viewpoint is understandable.

Ubisoft is hugely invested in the Wii U - the publisher has the largest software line-up of any third-party, spearheaded by survival horror ZombiU, available in one of Nintendo's own hardware bundles.

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