So the Wii U in the Middle East is pretty expensive…


So the Wii U in the Middle East is pretty expensive…

Nintendo’s hottest new game console, the Wii U, has been out for a couple of weeks now. While online reactions have been mixed, many in our region have yet to actually get one. No, limited supply is not the problem. It’s the price. It’s too damn high!

For the sake of making things short I’ll mostly be comparing the price of the Wii U Premium bundle which is the high end 32 GB/ black model. I’ll also be displaying currency in our local Bahraini Dinars and convert them to the US Dollars as well.  I’ll also post the official prices for the Wii U Basic/Premium bundle in all 3 major territories below. This should held a better picture of the whole thing.

Wii U Basic $299 (BD 112.5) €299.99 (BD 147) ¥26,250 (BD 119.6)
Wii U Premium $349.99 (BD 131.7) €349.99 (BD 172) ¥31,500 (BD 143.6)

**These don’t include tax.

Prior to the Wii U’s the official launch in the region (which was Nov. 27) major game retail shops in the region such as Geekay charged upward to BD 300 ($ 797) for a premium bundle. Woah! You might be thinking no one would actually pay that much, right? But you’d be surprised to know many did. I passed by my local Geekay during that period and they told me their Wii U Premium bundles were sold out. I believe at the time they had around 10. Dang. Now let’s keep in mind that this was during the Wii U’s drought which means finding one was pretty hard. Online sites such as ebay were charging for a lot at the time so it’s understandable to find one at such a high price. Now after the official launch, the Wii U’s Premium price was dropped down to around BD 250 ($ 664) .

While it is a significant drop it still doesn’t seem to sit well with gamers in the region. I asked around some local gamers to see why they haven’t gotten a Wii U yet, despite the fact they really want one.

The pricing in the Middle East is ATROCIOUS, the pricing is extremely unfair as it adds like a 140 BD, which would make it the price of two Wii U

one question may I add’, didn’t the videogame market in Bahrain recently get widened with releases having earlier release dates and reasonable pricing?

We are at a phase where videogames shouldn’t be drastically overpriced

250 BD No way! –Retro fan, Mohammed Zubari

Some also complained there wasn’t a REAL justifiable cause other than striking big money.

Sure , the price here and the gulf is very high and we don’t have a consumer protection so they are high the price so customers can buy the console and [they] win some cash and that’s not good ,Unfair,No of course because in america much cheaper than here in the Gulf – Nintendo fan, Mohammed Ali (He eventually got a Wii U online)

And then there are some who weren’t gonna bother waiting.

The price seems to be “understandable” since it is a new console and all. Is it fair? No. Especially since you can get both the PS3 and 360 for less than a console that hasn’t really proven to be a lot more powerful…yet

Will I pay BD 250? Nope. Already paid 200 for one on eBay and it comes with NSMBU. Still on its way.

200 is pretty much the maximum I would pay for the console though –Hardcore gamer, Ahmed Zainal

That sentence pretty much sums up my worry. Before we really had no choice. Retail game shops can charge any price they want and we’d forever be at their mercy. Today, with the internet, many gamers are constantly checking online prices and comparing them with local ones. To them it’s clear as night & day. Looking up on ebay, you can purchase a Wii U Premium (or Deluxe as it’s known in the US) for BD 188 ($500). In fact ebay has even dedicated an entire channel just for the Wii U. Services such as Aramex, which create a local US & UK address also help ship items that are limited to local shipping. All these things combined don’t really help keep game shops healthy or in good standing from the consumer’s point of view.

However it’s not all loom and gloom. Local retail shops have improved with their game prices being very competitive internationally. Geekay games are also aware of the Wii U Premium price and have already dropped it down really quickly to BD 225 ($ 598) for NTSC and BD 218 ($ 579) for PAL.


While retail shops still have ways to go, we’re at least sort of getting there. I mean who knows maybe the next PS3/Xbox will have gamers driving to get their console as opposed to waiting for a box to arrive. And be glad.  At least we’re not having it as bad as others.

Author: The Arab Gamer View all posts by
Gaming from the Arab world, ya aziz!