Ask Joystiq Nintendo: Exchange Rate Edition

Just one question this week on Ask Joystiq Nintendo, and we, uh, don't really definitively answer it. But it's a weird enough topic that we felt it was worthwhile to talk about it and tell you what we know. If you'd like us to feebly attempt to answer a question, send an email to asknintendo AT joystiq DOT com!

Frank asks:

Here in the UK, 1000 Wii points cost £7 from the Wii Shop Channel, whilst 1000 DSi points straight from their respective shop cost £9. I was just wondering if this pricing discrepancy is consistent worldwide, and if there's any word from Nintendo on why the difference is there in the first place, considering that I thought they were supposed to be unified as Nintendo points (which, may I add, cost between £9 and £10, depending on which card you buy).

This pricing discrepancy is not consistent worldwide. As Frank says, points bought through the Wii Shop Channel cost £7 per 1,000 in the UK, or £9 through the DSi. The same points purchased through retail (in this case, Amazon) cost £9.99, discounted from a £14.99 RRP. In North America, Wii Points and DSi Points cost roughly $10 per 1,000 points in stores and in-console for both Wii and DSi, give or take a few cents for tax and retailer discounts.

We've asked Nintendo UK for clarification, but until we hear back, all we can provide is our theory. Retailer prices for Wii hardware recently went up due to depreciation of the pound. We suspect that the same depreciation is the reason for the price rise for DSi Points. For the new DSi hardware launch, Nintendo took the opportunity to adjust the price, but it has yet to update the price in the Wii Shop. That sounds plausible, right?

Every week, we'll answer reader questions about the Wii, the DS, or any other Nintendo-related topic in Ask Joystiq Nintendo. If you have a question, e-mail it to asknintendo AT joystiq DOT com! You need your questions answered, and we need content for this column. It's a symbiotic relationship!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.