Nintendo CEO comments on Wii U price; could coexist alongside Wii

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Nintendo may not have priced the Wii U at its E3 2011 launch yesterday, but we should probably ready our wallets for something more expensive than the first-gen Wii if Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's recently comments are anything to go on. He told the Nikkei that he did not think Nintendo could charge the same as it currently does for the Wii, and hinted that the two consoles could well co-exist for some time.

"I do not think the Wii is going anywhere any time soon" he suggested, perhaps indicating that Nintendo would maintain the original version as a budget option for gamers unable to afford – or uninterested in – the new Wii U. The two are intercompatible, with Wiimote controllers working alongside the touchscreen Wii U controller.

The current Wii retails for around 18,300 yen in Japan ($229) and under $150 in the US, though the higher-power IBM multi-core processor and AMD HD-capable GPU – along with the complex touchscreen motion-sensing controller – are likely to make it a more expensive proposition, likely even higher than the $250 the Wii first launched at. Amazon is already showing a product page, despite the console not being expected until midway through 2012, which confirms six-channel surround sound through the HDMI port.

More on the Wii U in our hands-on report.

[Thanks Paul!]