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Merrill Lynch Predicts $200 Wii 341

Burlap writes "In a story at Forbes, Merrill Lynch predicts that Nintendo will severely undercut the competition with a $200 price point on the Wii." From the article: "An executive from SEGA, one of Nintendo's largest publishers, told Forbes.com on Tuesday that he expects the Wii to sell for less than $200. Post said the Nintendo machine, which features a wireless controller that responds to players' body movements, 'will appeal to a broad demographic of both hard-core and casual gamers.'"
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Merrill Lynch Predicts $200 Wii

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  • by PSXer ( 854386 ) * <psxer@msfirefox.com> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:42PM (#15345725) Homepage
    If i had a nickel for every time an analyst made a prediction that turned out to be incorrect, I'd have the $200 necessary to buy the Wii!
  • price point... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moochfish ( 822730 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:43PM (#15345729)
    Every dollar they price this below $250 increases the likelihood of me buying it by roughly 1%. =)
    • So say they sold it for $50... Would you then buy an extra for me? :)
    • So if it was $149...you'd be 101% sure to buy it? Is that even possible?

      And how's that insightful? Pure opinion. Interesting I can see but really insightful is stretching the limits.

    • So, what are you going to do with the second unit?
  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:44PM (#15345740) Homepage Journal
    That's a Wii price. A small hit to the pot-o-gold.
  • Maybe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HunterZ ( 20035 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:44PM (#15345744) Journal
    Microsoft and Sony have given Nintendo some wiggle room on price here, so I think $199 will be the minimum price for the console through the end of the launch year. I wouldn't be surprised to see it go for as much as $299 at launch, or even $350 if it comes with a strong bundle.
    • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interiot ( 50685 )
      Well, the XBox 360 core launched at $299. MS will probably drop the price at some point before PS3 launches, possibly to $250. Nintendo has stated that the Wii will be priced below the 360 and PS3... does that mean it will cost $250 or less?
  • http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185919&c id=15344390 [slashdot.org]

    I already extrapolated exactly this prediction from the data given in a previous article. The evidence I drew this conclusion from was the posted statistics in TFA of the previous note (the article is available here [curmudgeongamer.com] if you don't want to follow too many links).
  • Another Wii (Score:5, Insightful)

    by foundme ( 897346 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:47PM (#15345766) Homepage
    Is there a constructive reason for such prediction? Will Merrill Lynch get a prize or something if the prediction is correct?

    We already have Google popping up in every 3rd article, now we have Wii.
    • Re:Another Wii (Score:2, Informative)

      Merrill Lynch is an investment company. My brother works for A.G. Edwards, also an investment company. The reason companies like this come out with predictions is to advise their clients what stocks to buy and which to sell.

      I have been in the options market for a little over a year now, and when the company believes a stock will go up, they set a target price and a time frame and advise me to buy... It's just the way they work.
    • Well Slashdot has always been full of rabid Nintendo fanboys.
      • Well Slashdot has always been full of rabid Nintendo fanboys.

        Just don't let one bite you, or some night after a full moon, you'll wake up naked in a dumpster clutching a Wavebird.
    • Is there a constructive reason for such prediction? Will Merrill Lynch get a prize or something if the prediction is correct?

      Yep. They offered me 10:1 that it'd sell at $210, so I took the bet.

      We already have Google popping up in every 3rd article, now we have Wii.

      I thought we'd gotten over these puerile "Wii" jokes by now. For shame.
    • We already have Google popping up in every 3rd article, now we have Wii.

      HA-HA-HA! This is what you Americans get! You laugh at Wii name, but now Wii will Wii on all bad articles!
      This one elaborate marketing campaign from Japan, now you learn how Japan people do business: like tiger, not like you, like a pig, afraid of little Wii.
  • by adminsr ( 919472 ) <adminsr@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:53PM (#15345819)
    Anyone remember Merril Lynch's $900 ps3?

    linky [slashdot.org]
    • I'm guessing that someone paid them to make both of those statements. Maybe with cash, maybe with considerations.

      Anyone could have paid ML to claim that the PS3 would be $900, including sony, who could have decided that they wanted a high estimate so they could tell consumers that it would be less expensive than predicted.

      Nintendo has a vested interest in making people believe that their system will be inexpensive, especially if they can do it without actually making any statements themselves, so tha

      • The article doesn't say that Merril Lynch itself made that prediction, though it certainly implies it. From the fine article: "Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post predicted Thursday that the new machine, which will be released this fall, will sell for $200."

        The previous report on a supposed $900 price tag for the PS3 was authored by a number of analysts at Merrill Lynch, including Justin Post. This article makes no mention of a report or any other analysts, it just quotes Justin. Suspicious, no?
    • Wasn't the $900 PS3 estimate based on Sony's actual cost, not the price it would be sold to consumers at?
    • Merril Lynch's firm estimate was that it would cost >$900 to manufacture. Their extrapolation to release price did not take into account Sony's penchant for taking a sizeable loss on consoles sold so that they can make it back. AFAIK, analyst do not predict buisiness models, even with precedent.
    • Anyone remember Merril Lynch's $900 ps3?

      (a) That was the estimated cost of the system. Merril Lynch doesn't seem to understand fully that Sony sells their consoles at massive losses at first. (b) That estimate was based on the cost of those components at "launch," but was written back when Sony still insisted that March 2006 would be the launch month. Were it actually made in March 2006, it would have cost $900 to build. (c) The component list was based off Sony's 2005 E3 specs for the PS3, which diff

  • Wow, flash news here (Score:5, Informative)

    by masklinn ( 823351 ) <slashdot...org@@@masklinn...net> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:55PM (#15345841)

    The NES had a launch price of $200, the SNES had a launch price of $200, the N64 had a launch price of $200, the GameCube had a launch price of $200.

    Nintendo has had launch prices of $200 for 20 years now, you have to be pretty fucking impressive to even have the nerve to utter that they could launch a console for an unheard-of-before price of $200

    Well, at least that time Merrill Lynch may be spot on.

    • Nintendo has had launch prices of $200 for 20 years now, you have to be pretty fucking impressive to even have the nerve to utter that they could launch a console for an unheard-of-before price of $200

      Except that due to inflation and the depreciation of the US dollar, a $200 Wii would be a lot cheaper than a $200 NES in terms of real value, during their respective launch periods.
      • And we're supposed to care why? The $200 GameCube was cheaper than the $200 N64 which was cheaper than the $200 SNES which was cheaper than the $200 NES in inflation-adjusted price (a graphic on the previous article on the subject had figures of $225 for the GC, $254 for the N64, $293 for the SNES and $364 for the NES). The point is that the absolute price at release of every single Nintendo console has always been $200.

        We're not talking "real value" here, we're talking absolute price points over 20 years.

        • As fiat money is a poor store of value, consider this scenario: hyperinflation occurs tomorrow. In that case, $200 tomorrow might represent $0.01 in today's USD. If that is the case, Nintendo would be no more able to sell a $200 Wii tomorrow than they would be able to sell a $0.01 Wii today. Of course, this is a hypothetical and extreme scenario; however, the point stands: while Nintendo might like to sell the Wii for $200 (nominal), the decrease in the value of money caused by inflation and depreciation
          • Dude, Nintendo isn't the only company affected by inflation. If they're forced to raise the price, so will others. Besides, inflation isn't usually what I think of with electronics. More the opposite, that they get really cheap, really quick.
        • We're not talking "real value" here, we're talking absolute price points over 20 years.
          Pedantic, I know, but: "Nominal" (contrast with "real") is the usual adjective, rather than "absolute", to distinguish current rather than constant dollar amounts.
      • And the technology used to build them has been getting cheaper as well, even in adjusted value. It costs less than $100 to manufacture a Gamecube today, and as we've seen, the Wii isn't that much more powerful. $200 is reasonable. Moore's Law and stuff.
    • It's even more impressive considering how much less buying power $200 has during every iteration.
      • by mbessey ( 304651 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @07:21PM (#15346569) Homepage Journal
        As long as Moore's Law significantly outpaces inflation, you should see the cost of most consumer electronics continue to decrease, while their capability increases.

        If $200 buys you X transistors this year, and 1.5X transistors in 2008, then as long as inflation doesn't exceed 22% a year, you'll be getting more capability for less money each time.

        Or at least that's true as long as the cost of the chips needed for an acceptable game machine make up a significant portion of the cost of the machine. When the chips are (much) less expensive than the rest of the components, the relative cost curve will flatten out.

  • Potential Wii (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:57PM (#15345857)
    I am planning on buying at least two of these. One for the family and another for the local children's hospital. I think this controller will really help in physical therapy dept. with the rehabilitation of children. If they offer games that appeal to older adults it could also be a Xmas gift for the grandparents/nursing home too! The boomer generation is the largest growing market and as of yet has been untapped. I think the people at Nintendo deserve a raise for this revolutionary product (pun intended)!
    • I think the people at Nintendo deserve a raise for this revolutionary product (pun intended)!

      Yes but is the pun in "raise" because their console is called Wii, or is the pun in "revolutionary" because their console was called "Revolution" :D
    • childs play would be a great idea this holiday!

      • Re:Potential Wii (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MaverickUW ( 177871 )
        This is a great idea. We should all actually write to Nintendo (including using actual paper, stamps, and envelopes) and make a suggestion that they donate some consoles and games to childsplay directly.

        If nothing else it's not only good publicity, but it's almost viral marketing. When kids are in hospitals sick, and they have this great system with great games that's cheap, parents might consider it afterward.

        And with the price discrepency, I really don't see Childsplay buying that many PS3's this year,
    • put resident evil, quake, and DDR in a nursing home and no doubt you'll be cashing in on grandma's will in no time
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeffSh ( 71237 ) <jeffslashdot@noSpam.m0m0.org> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:58PM (#15345869)
    Console itself will be $200 isnt too far stretched, just still don't expect to get out the door without spending upwards of $200 MORE on games and accessories.

    The raw console will be $200 with your standard one controller, but you'll not have everything you want for far more.
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ameoba ( 173803 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @06:19PM (#15346037)
      ...and this is any different from what anyone else is selling?
    • 1 game- $40 to $60. THats all you really need. Perhaps a memory card, an extra $30. A total extra $100.

      ANd of course, a 360 or PS3 would have the same extra cost, and the games are slated to raise to $60.
      • ...unless that game requires the controller shell, which may or may not be included with the Wii.
        • Ok. Your 1 game for the PS3 now requires the Guitar hero controller, add that to its price. Oh, and the EyeToy.

          Now back to real data- a game and a memory stick to save on. Depending on the game, the memory stick may be optional, but we'll count it anyway. Still nowhere near the 360, let alone the ps3, and they need games bought seprately as well.

  • by r_glen ( 679664 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:58PM (#15345871)
    This article was written last week. I still believe that Nintendo was all but ready to throw out the $200 figure until Sony announced their price at E3 (Nintendo was quoted as being quite surprised that Sony chose to announce their price so early, and everyone else was shocked at the number). Now Nintendo is going back to discuss the possibility of a $250-$300 price point. After all, their whole model is the appearance of affordability for casual gamers, and $250 is still LESS THAN HALF of a PS3 and considerable cheaper than a 360.

    If it turns out to be above $250, I sure hope they include an extra controller and perhaps some sample games to show off functionality (Wii Sports, for example, seems fun but doesn't strike me as a game I would pay $50 for)
    • by masklinn ( 823351 ) <slashdot...org@@@masklinn...net> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @06:20PM (#15346041)

      Now Nintendo is going back to discuss the possibility of a $250-$300 price point. After all, their whole model is the appearance of affordability for casual gamers, and $250 is still LESS THAN HALF of a PS3 and considerable cheaper than a 360.

      Duh? there'd be no fucking point in doing that. Consider the followings:

      • Microsoft will drop the price of the 360 as soon as the Wii and/or PS3 is released. This means that the Xbox360 Core will probably be around $200-$250 and Premium around $300.
      • Nintendo has always made a profit out of the consoles alone. And yet they never went for maximizing unit price. If they set the price at $200, they have no damn reason to change it
      • The lower the price of the console, the more games you can buy. Nintendo makes a profit on games too...
      • This is the 5th console generation Nintendo has taken part in. The release price points of their previous systems generation per generation were: $200, $200, $200 and $200. Why the hell would they try to raise the price if that one works so well?
      • Finally, Nintendo wants to open non-gamers market. Non-gamers do NOT drop money on games or consoles, releasing the Wii at $300, or even $250, would more than likely be very uncomfortable for their current target audience, and would hurt the sales.
    • Yes $250 is less than half the price of the PS3, but the 'casual gamer' you talk about likely wont know what a PS3 is or if they do they wont be interested in it. Nintendo doesn't want people to say "Wow that's a great price compared to the XBox 360 and PS3". They want people to say "Wow that's a great price for a whole lot of fun". And in that case, it really doesn't matter what Sony or Microsoft does. I don't think Nintendo even wants to be placed in the same catagory as those other two.

      I guess what I a
  • Look at what nintendo did with the name wii itself: a new, original (and many would say bad) name for a console.. so they released it well before E3 and let gamers blow off steam about it in advance so it didn't blot out their showing at the event itself with controversy. Hell, I think that's why Sony released its price figures early, so gamers would have time to get used to the idea of having to blow 700 bucks on a console. With good news on the other hand, its to their advantage to release the price info
  • Did anyone else notice Forbes' E3 sidebar on the article? It has a squinting, obese red-headed stepchild playing a GameCube. Talk about combining negative gamer stereotypes... I get the feeling that Forbes really has no clue about the current game market. Or perhaps they feel their audience has no clue.
  • What capabilities does the Wii command that are unachievable on the GameCube today? I think nintendo is just releasing the obligatory new platform as a method to increase saturation of it's 'wiimote' controller. They should have just bundled the controller with whatever handful of games they plan to have it work with and called it a day. Consider:

    Wii is hardly more powerful than gamecube. GC 1.5 indeed. Partial Wii Specs [xbitlabs.com] vs. GC Specs> [psreporter.com]

    They are releasing AAA GC titles [ign.com] simultaneously with Wii anyw
    • Actually, I think the Wii clocks out as slightly better than the Microsoft xBox (not the xBox360).
      • Just because on paper the specs are only slightly above the Xbox, doesn't mean they are actually comparable in practicality. For example, I have an AMD 3500+ in my computer, which has a clock speed of only 2.3 GHz. Yet despite having a vastly lower clock speed, it delivers the same performance of an Intel processor with a 50% higher clock speed. Numbers are not all that matters.
        • Indeed, and in this case, we are comparing a 729MHz PowerPC 970FX (i.e. what Apple were calling the G5 and which, by some accounts, is a pretty killer chip) with a 700MHz Intel Celeron. No contest really. :P

          Still, it's certainly a valid observation that the jump between the GameCube's 485MHz chip and the Wii's 729MHz one is not particularly big - we shall have to wait and see whether that will matter. Personally, and given the pricing of Nintendo's previous offerings, I think it makes a $200 Wii a certain
    • Wii is hardly more powerful than gamecube.

      If by "hardly" you mean "two to three times" then yes.

      They should have just bundled the controller with whatever handful of games they plan to have it work with and called it a day.

      Yeah, like the CD-I. That worked really well, right? No console add-on with fundamentally different capabilities from the base console has ever gained wide acceptance. Nintendo would be shooting itself in the foot if it did that, even if the Wii's capabilities were the same as the
    • by edwdig ( 47888 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @08:20PM (#15347005)
      What capabilities does the Wii command that are unachievable on the GameCube today? I think nintendo is just releasing the obligatory new platform as a method to increase saturation of it's 'wiimote' controller. They should have just bundled the controller with whatever handful of games they plan to have it work with and called it a day.

      I think that was originally Nintendo's plan. A few years ago Nintendo was talking about coming out with a new accessory for the GameCube that would extend it's life for several years. They didn't really say much more about it after the initial mention.

      It looks like Nintendo realized that the GameCube just didn't sell well enough to make that strategy work. They realized that having a purple system as the focus of their advertising wasn't a good idea and helped contribute to the negative image of the GameCube. They decided they'd stand a better chance of success if they released a new system focused on the new controller rather than trying to sell it as a GameCube addon.
    • by JackAxe ( 689361 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @09:41PM (#15347496)
      Why are you fretting so much about the Wii?

      Its CPU is basically a G5 from what I've read. And from personal experience, a 970 FX can easilly destroys the P3/Celeorn-hybrid found in the XBox and the Custom G3 found in the GC. Your "hardly comment" only goes to show how ignorant you are about these things. The Wii's GPU is at least 4 or 5 generations ahead of its predecessor, so that's going to make a big difference in performance. It's also pretty much guaranteed that the Wii will have a PPU. If this is the case, it will make a substantial difference in performance for 3D games, and free up the CPU to do other tasks. A dedicated PPU would be much faster than the software route the X360 and PS3 have taken.

      I found most of what you sated to be more inflammatory than instightful. But it's good that you pointed out the backwards compatibily. I know you were trying to use that to state your case, but it's one of the Wii's strengths and it's just another reason for me to buy one.

      The Wiimote isn't an afterthought like Sony's hack-job as an example, so all Wii games that can benefit from it, will support it. This is why the Wii is going to be great and you honestly can't deny you would love this sort of thing on your favorite console. You're only "trying" to spread "misinformation" by stating things like a "handfull of games." Like that's going to change anything, since Nintendo has a huge line up of Wii games, which are wiimote-friendly, which will be ready for launch. A bundled "main" controller won't have problems getting support from developers; Get real!

      Anway, most of your points can easilly be applied to the other consoles, since they're basically upgrades. They haven't changed gaming, they've only moved consoles up to the level of mid-ranged PCs when it comes to visual eye-candy. Nintendo's Wii is the only console that has brought something new to the plate and it has all the potentional to evovle gaming beyond the current state of same, which MS and Sony are moving forward with. An upgrade is better graphics and more power, not a whole new way to game, which only the Wii can offer.

  • by Ruediger ( 777619 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @07:22PM (#15346579)
    I would love to get a Wii (all my consoles were from Nintendo, with the exception the Atari 2600), but I belive the price will be prohibitive when it gets here (Brazil). The consoles are quite expensive, but the games are WAY expensive. I was looking forward to get a newer Nintendo system (my last one was the N64), but after seeing the price of the games for the Game Boy Micro, DS and GC I gave up. Just to give you an idea:

    The cheapest Game Boy Micro I found goes for R$399.00 ~ $181.00 (expensive, but affordable considering you only need one console). GBA games: R$ 69.00 (older games) to R$249.00 (WTF!?) ~ $31.00 to $113.00

    I don't know anyone who has any of these consoles, but I know quite a few people who have PS2. The PS2 costs about $295,00 (with mod chip installed), but the games are virtually free due to piracy.

    Is the situation similar in other countries? That would explain why Sony sells so many PS2.
  • by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @07:33PM (#15346665) Homepage Journal
    An executive from SEGA, one of Nintendo's largest publishers...

    If you had uttered this phrase to me 8 years ago, I would have told you that you need better jokes.
  • by IgLou ( 732042 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @07:49PM (#15346781)
    I must admit I'd be getting a Wii and then I can play Pokemon! *sputter cough* I mean Resident Evil...

    On the serious side though, I'm in that group of "buy another console? Over my dead body!" I pinch pennies all the time now and I don't get to buy/play what I want anymore. Part of me actually wants all these consoles to undersell their expectations and then maybe just maybe these consoles will stop being pushed out so frequently.

    Oh well, I can always play on my computer.
  • I think that just like Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo will release 2 different bundles, but the cheaper one wont have any crippled functionality. I'm thinking $200, for just the console and 1 wiimote with the nunchuck attachment, and $250 for lthe same with 1 classic controller, and maybe a game an/or gift certificate for virtual console too. I'm looking forward to virtual console and whatever sort of promotions they'll have with it. Remember the pepsi/itunes thing last summer? 1 in 20 caps wins $5 on virtual
  • Assume the Wii only comes with one controller and no games (pretty realistic). When you walk into buy one you have to also get a game or two, and probally another controller.

    We can also assume that the Wii costs about the same to make as the Cube, suggesting a similar price point.

    I can easily see a starting bundle that's the Wii with it's one controller, another controller, and two first party games, plus some other random accessory for $299.99 + tax.

    360 Can't beat that, and for that for the PS3 would proba
  • Less than $200? How many controllers does that come with? None? One? How much are the controllers exactly? If the system is $200 but each controller is $50, then I'd have to spend $400 on the system because the system seems to be made for four-player games. I think the question of how many controllers come with the base system needs to be asked? And how much will each controller cost?
  • Assuming that the rumored unit pricing is true...

    At least Nintendo remembers why people buy videogame consoles instead of (or in addition to) general purpose computers. People bought all of the most successful game systems because they were a cheap and easy to entertain your kids, NOT because they were higher powered - consoles are all low powered compared to loaded gamer PC's. Of course, for every generation of game systems there is competition about who has the best spec's and, more importantly, the best games, but every time a company forgets that the most important thing is to be cheap and easy, they end up making an absurdly over-spec'd, over-priced, overly complex system that fails in the marketplace because they chased after the high-end niche market instead of the mainstream.

    Winning Systems: NES, GameBoy, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 (pushing the high-end of pricing at launch, but came down).

    Losing Systems: Intellivision, Atari Lynx, NEC Turbo Graphix, 3DO, DreamCast, Xbox. All tried to sell more functionality for more money than people were willing to pay.

    When I look at the next generation systems, the Wii looks like the NES and GameBoy - a cheap and easy way to entertain your kids. And Sony and MS's next boxes look a lot like 3DO - great spec's, but wiped out by more pragmatic competition.

    Sony's only hope is that they can somehow convince people to buy PS3's as their HD DVD player, which might get home theater enthusiasts to buy PS3's. The Xbox 360 seems doomed to me, once its real competition arrives.

    My prediction is that the Wii will outsell the PS3 and Xbox 360 by massive amounts, because Nintendo is (1) targeting the mainstream market, and (2) focusing on gameplay, innovating in areas like the controllers, and their downloadable game service, that don't price them out of their market. The risk I see to the Wii is that if game publishers don't think it'll do well, they won't sell games for it, hurting it in the general marketplace. But if Nintendo is committed to the Wii's success, I think it'll do decently well just on the strength that you can buy it (if rumors are true). As a parent, I think I'm more likely to buy a Wii for $200 just to play whatever the next cool Mario game is, rather than to spend $4-500 (or more?!) for the competition. Heck, the Wii controller is the only interesting thing I've read about any of these units, and it's on the cheapest one...
  • by sherriw ( 794536 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:04AM (#15349722)
    Don't forget... I read somewhere that the GameCube controllers will work on the Wii. Talk about savings. That way I don't need to rush out and buy a bunch of controllers. Oh, and the Cube games will work on it too. Bonus. Sounds like Nintendo is ramping up for a winner. I have to say I hope to see stores start stocking more than 2 shelves of Nintendo games compared to a whole aisle of the other systems. As a Cube owner it's depressing to have poor selection, or see a commercial for a sweet game only to see the tag line: Only for PC, PS2 & Xbox. Game selection and price will be the KEY factors, not specs.

As Will Rogers would have said, "There is no such things as a free variable."