Saturday, August 29, 2009

Analyzing the Wii Manufacturing Costs in 2009

Analysts like Michael Pachter and others are now more or less singing a chorus that the Wii needs or would benefit from a price drop. While they can analyze that all they want, I just find it interesting how much it may actually be costing Nintendo to manufacture the Wii console.

In December 2006, had an article* that discussed how much the Wii cost to manufacture back then. The article says at one point, “…it seems that Nintendo's brainchild is only costing $158.30 to manufacture, before you consider the Wiimotes…”.

On the chart they were looking at, there was also a “wholesale price” of $195.99 and their article stated, “ which could be a more realistic figure of how much Nintendo is shelling out when taking external costs (like Reggie flying all over the world) into the equation.”
Fast-forward to April 2009, analyst(oh how we love them), Koya Tabata, is basically quoted that, “manufacturing costs are down a full 45%”, according to a second Engadget article*.

Assuming the Wii console bundle was originally costing Nintendo, $195.99, for everything in the box(minus Wii Sports, as I don’t know if that was included in the wholesale price), and now the manufacturing cost has been reduced by 45%, here’s how much it may be costing to manufacture the Wii console with one Wii remote and nun chuck included:
$195.99 x 45% = $88.1955
$195.99 - $88.20 = $107.79

From the original manufacturing price estimate of $195.99, to the new estimate in manufacturing costs reduction being 45%, I would say Nintendo can manufacture and distribute the Wii, for less than $120. If correct, this would mean a Wii retailing at a MSRP of $149.99 or even $129.99 is possible, but not probable, in the very near future.
How much does it cost Nintendo to manufacture a Wii, including everything in the box, in 2009?

Based on the analyst's assumption manufacturing costs are down 45% for the Wii, the amount of $107.79 is what it should be costing Nintendo to manufacture a Wii, including everything in the box, currently in 2009.
How much does it cost Nintendo to manufacture JUST the Wii system itself?
$158.30 x 45% = 71.235
$158.30 - 71.24 = $87.06
$87.06 is the amount it should be costing Nintendo to manufacture just the Wii system itself, if the analyst Koya Tabata is correct that manufacturing costs are down 45%.

That may seem like a low cost to manufacture the Wii, but we must remember, the Wii is simply two GameCubes duct taped together*…

Do you think Nintendo is charging too much for the Wii based on these numbers? Or do you think when looking at numbers like these, that an analyst like Michael Pachter may be right in assuming that Nintendo will announce a Wii Plus HD next year and sell it alongside the current Wii?


  1. If the wii went down to $100, I'd get one. Seems like a theme with them. SNES was $200 when it came out, then dropped. Same with N64 and Gamecube.

  2. what if they sell a wii and add hd and add a hard drive and add dvd player

  3. @Anonymous:
    I would think a WiiHD with HDD and DVD player would be along the price point of $300 like the Xbox360 and PS3 are right now. Microsoft has been selling the Xbox360 Arcade version at $199.99, which is HD ready, just no HDD with the system.


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