Recently, I took a long, hard look at Nintendo's current situation regarding the Wii U's struggles and wondered, "What's Nintendo's next move?" Today, they've answered that question by announcing Wii U bundles, a partial price drop for the Wii U, and a low-cost, feature-reduced 3DS variant called the 2DS.
While the company's response proves some of my assumptions or conclusions to be completely off-base -- especially my hunch about the unlikeliness of Wii U price drops -- on the whole their general strategy revolves around their long-time core strength and strategic fulcrum: The portable market. With the 2DS, Nintendo is redoubling their efforts around a cheap handheld systems backed by appealing software, aimed directly at kids... which, as I noted, has historically been Nintendo's winning play.
But first, let's talk about the Wii U price cut. While I suggested a price cut on the console could be potentially fatal to the company given the fact that it was already being sold at a loss (something Nintendo, historically speaking, diligently avoids), I didn't take into account the bizarre half-measure they've implemented. Yes, the Wii U deluxe set and bundle are being slashed from $349 to $299, but the basic set remains fixed at $299. So all Wii U systems are $299 now, even the one without bells or whistles.