Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton has told Eurogamer that the company will not cut the price of the Wii this year, and is unable to predict whether economic conditions will permit it to do so in 2010.
"No," he said simply when asked about cutting the GBP 179 price this year. Asked whether it might happen in 2010, he said: "We've no plans. Nintendo doesn't like selling products at a loss. We've been round for quite a long time and we're a very successful company. It depends on the currency exchange - we can't make any predictions there."
Referring to Nintendo's announcement in March that it was raising the Wii's UK trade price due to depreciation of the pound, a spokesperson added: "Due to problems with the exchange rate over the last year, we raised the cost price. Whether retailers choose to pass that cost on to customers is up to them. We have no control over what they charge for a Wii.
"Dell and Apple made similar moves recently so it's not unprecedented. The pound has fallen against the yen by 28 per cent in the last year, so every Japanese company is facing pressure at the moment."
At the time of writing, Nintendo Wii is available for between GBP 165 and GBP 180 from various UK online retailers, and, unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo has consistently declined to comment on a specific retail price for the reasons outlined above. However, the company is well known for refusing to loss-lead on hardware - the practice of selling consoles at a price lower than their production costs in order to boost the installed base and, consequently, encourage software development and sales.
Microsoft and Sony, on the other hand, frequently make announcements on price, with Microsoft in particular happy to remind anyone who will listen that it - by which it means retailers doing as suggested - sells the Xbox 360 Arcade SKU for GBP 129.99. A PlayStation 3 with a 80GB hard disk costs GBP 279.99.