The Wii U has received a pre-order price for the first time, and all we can say is we hope this isn't the real price. Australian retailer EB Games has just popped up a Wii U price of $598 AUD ($592 USD) on its website which is, of course, the retailer's estimate of what the console will cost and not based on anything official from Nintendo.
Nintendo seems to be stepping away from its Wii strategy of a cheaper but more interesting console, and is instead dedicated to making the Wii U more powerful than the PS3 or Xbox 360.
As a result, we certainly wouldn't be surprised to see the new console priced higher than any previous Nintendo system, but $600 is probably a bit excessive.
Obviously, EB wants to protect itself and would rather customers commit to a higher price and then charge them less, than price the system below what the MSRP is and take a big loss on pre-order fulfillment.
It reminds us of when Gamestop began taking Playstation Vita pre-orders in the US and listed a price of $999, clearly for the only reason that its database needed to have a price of some sort.
So all we can take from this is that a large retailer is willing to bet that the Wii U will be no more than $600 when it launches next year.
There are many concerns with the Wii U, not just what the price will be but also how it will compete with the PS3 and Xbox 360, which have become much more than game consoles and are instead more like complete entertainment systems. So far Nintendo has been very dodgy on what the Wii U will offer in that department.