Sources close to Nintendo have come up with cost estimates that put the Wii U at a higher price than Nintendo is used to.
The folks at Nintendo are pretty comfortable with a certain price point for their systems and that tends to be the $150-$250 range. The GameCube launched at $199, the DS launched at $149 and the Wii came out at $249. That one worked for the Wii, but the 3DS had to be brought down from its original price to compete.
According to a recent report, the Wii U is going to take Nintendo right out of their comfort zone with a $300 price tag. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata already indicated that $250 might not be the launch price for the Wii U, but $50 on top of that is pretty significant.