Why The Wii U Will Probably Cost ¥25,000

We won't know the exact details of the Japanese Wii U launch until 4pm Tokyo time. That's soon, but to pass the time until then, let's speculate a little about the console's price.

While we could just guess wildly, plucking numbers out of thin air, let's instead look at that mightiest of historical tools: precedence.

Nintendo released the Super Famicom in its home territory in 1990. It cost ¥25,000.

When the Nintendo 64 was released in 1996, it retailed for ¥25,000.

In 2001, the GameCube launched for ¥25,000.

Nintendo's Wii was released in December 2006 for ¥25,000.

Two is a repeat. Three might be coincidence. Four home consoles in a row? That's a pattern, one which defies inflation and hardware to stick doggedly to that ¥25,000 sweet spot (a price even the 3DS shared at launch).

How much is that in US Dollars? $321 by today's conversion rate, but don't invest too much in that figure. If the Wii U is indeed revealed to be ¥25,000, a more likely US price point would follow recent Yen-to-Dollar trends and see it sell for $250 in the US.

But of course, this is all just speculation! Stick with us through the night as we bring you live news from Nintendo's briefing, followed by the morning announcement of Western launch information.

UPDATE - Nope! Nintendo has broken with tradition, pricing its two Wii U bundles either slightly higher or a lot higher than ¥25,000.