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Nintendo's Iwata on the Wii Price Point 141

kukyfrope writes "Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President, recently talked with GameDaily about the rumors surrounding the $249 Wii price point, his take of the PS3 price point and controller, and to reassure us that the GameBoy is far from dead! 'You may want to check our past records of price points when launching past hardware... I think you'll agree that we always come up with an affordable price point.'"
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Nintendo's Iwata on the Wii Price Point

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  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @04:45PM (#15383894)
    You may want to check our past records of price points when launching past hardware.

    Okay. 200 bucks it is then. I'm in.
    • For those of you that don't know, EVERY Nintendo (non-portable) console system has been priced the same on initial release, $200.

      I priced out all the systems from NES to Wii, Master System to Dreamcast, PSX to PS3, and Xbox to Xbox 360, including inflation and release dates in another slashdot post [slashdot.org].

      • Forget "inflation". If you really want to compare values, line up the cost of the consoles against the cost of computing hardware.

        I used the Mac, because it's conventient to look up past prices on "lowendmac.com", admitedly, Apple pricing has historically been downright goofy compared to commodity PC's, but this is just let's check it out.

        In 1985, when the NES was released for $200, the Macintosh 512K (no hard drive) came out for $3,300.

        In 1990, when the $200 SNES arrived, the Mac IIfx was introduced at $
        • Apple pricing has historically been downright goofy compared to commodity PC's, but this is just let's check it out.

          Gyah. Preview, preview, preview.

          That was supposed to read:

          Apple pricing has historically been downright goofy compared to commodity PC's, but this is just meant to be a quick-and-dirty snapshot of a couple eras... let's check it out.

          Why, oh why, does the slashcode still not allow edits, after all these years!?
        • Forget "inflation". If you really want to compare values, line up the cost of the consoles against the cost of computing hardware.

          I used the Mac, because it's conventient to look up past prices on "lowendmac.com", admitedly, Apple pricing has historically been downright goofy compared to commodity PC's, but this is just let's check it out.

          You've made a comparison that may have some merit. I don't see it, but maybe you can help me there. 8-bit $200 NES vs 32-bit $3300 Mac 512k, 16-bit $200 SNES vs 32

  • Ok so basically (Score:4, Insightful)

    by masklinn ( 823351 ) <slashdot,org&masklinn,net> on Monday May 22, 2006 @04:46PM (#15383901)

    Iwata laughed at the very idea that the Wii could be released for $250 and tells the journalist to do his homework and realize that Nintendo's release price point has been fixed at $200 for the past 20 years for every single non-portable console.

    Seriously, who even cares about that, the Wii will be $200 or less period, and no one gives a fuck about the price unless we have the actual ability to buy it.

    Oh, and I'd be much more interrested by the potential price point of the games, because what I'll save by having a Wii over an XBox or a PS3 i'll more than likely blow in games.

    • Iwata laughed at the very idea that the Wii could be released for $250 and tells the journalist to do his homework and realize that Nintendo's release price point has been fixed at $200 for the past 20 years for every single non-portable console.

      For a company that's over a hundred years old, they certainly have an interesting take on inflation...
      • Re:Ok so basically (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:13PM (#15384065) Homepage
        For a company that's over a hundred years old, they certainly have an interesting take on inflation...

        I'd say they have an absolutely correct take on commoditization.
        • Re:Ok so basically (Score:2, Informative)

          by Oopsz ( 127422 )
          Exactly. Inflation be damned; the manufacturing of components that go into the game systems has gotten cheaper!
          • Exactly. Inflation be damned; the manufacturing of components that go into the game systems has gotten cheaper!

            That works too - and it's probably more correct - but I was actually commenting on the commoditization of console gaming systems.
        • Though, doing some research here, it doesn't seem to be their global philosophy. The price of the Super Famicom in Japan was 10,000 yen more than the original Fami...
        • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @08:03PM (#15384789)
          The funny thing is, Nintendos *aren't* commoditized. They've got one monopoly supplier which makes a 20% profit margin per unit, which is unheard of in commodity electronics (stereos, hard drives, MP3 players whose names don't rhyme with tripod, etc). The real commodity is the years-old tech they stuff into every box, which keeps their costs down and lets them continue spinning straw into gold by taking the comparitively low-power, low-cost chips and letting them play *insert Nintendo franchise here*. Meanwhile, the other console manufacturers are beating themselves silly trying to cram bleeding edge stuff into their boxes and paying through the nose, then trying to make up the per-unit loss on volume (ok, to be less snide, on per-game licensing fees).

          Nintendo probably has one of the best business models in the entire electronics industry. They make money on the box. They make money on the first-party games. They make a little less money on all the other games. They make money on the IP surrounding the games, to the extent that just *one* of their franchises has a worldwide value approaching that of a small country. With the advent of downloadable games on the Wii (whhhhhhhhhhhhhhy), they'll even make money on the retail/distribution of games (no more paying BestBuy/WalMart/Yamada Denki a 60% cut).

    • They've said in the past that it'll be $50 or less. It was big in the news a couple of months back.
    • Honestly. $60 for games is rediculous. It's nice to be able to find a year old GC release selling for $25 or so, and only the really hyped GC games are $50 (Twilight Princess, I'm looking at you).
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Greeniculous! Blueiculous! Yellowiculous!

      • Not in Europe, if you find a one year old game in stores it's usually still 60 Euros just like the day it was released (unless it's gone Player's Choice but those are few). Meanwhile the PS2 version has dropped to 5-15 Euros (if you can still find it).
    • Re:Ok so basically (Score:5, Informative)

      by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:09PM (#15384042)
      "Oh, and I'd be much more interrested by the potential price point of the games,"

      $50, same as now.

      The excuse for $60 games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is the higher resolution they display at. Since the Wii "only" does 480p, like the GameCube and the Xbox, the prices will be the same.
      • Huh? Do I pay per pixel or what's cooking here?

        By that standard I should probably be GLAD that I pay "only" 60 bucks for PC games...
        • The extra cost of the PS3/360 games are in the development work that's needed for them. Wii is an evolutionary advancement over the GameCube, and is quite easy to develop for, or port existing engines to. This saves on development time and money. Essentially giving developers a huge kick-start.

          PS3 and 360 on the other hand, have massively parallel architecture, and to get any sort of performance at all out of the machines, you need to be running at least 6 threads simultaneously. This involves a mass
        • I can't find a quote right this minute, but I've heard multiple times that the gaming industry definitely considers it more expensive to create artwork for textures in HD games versus SD game textures. I don't know what percentage of a game's cost goes to texture artwork, but since it's not 100% of a game's cost, an HD game's price isn't double or anything like that.
          • Don't forget the modeling as well, it's not all texturing and shaders. Not to mention that they're building multiple models for a lot of stuff to get normal mapping data, with high res models in the MILLIONS of polygons. Every time I see one of these demos of PS3 and 360 (at least the good looking ones, not like the launch stuff) gmaes the only thing I can think is, "that must have cost a fortune."

            The saddest part for me is that they're spending all that money and the games don't look any different than t
          • Re:Ok so basically (Score:3, Informative)

            by SetupWeasel ( 54062 )
            THQ went on record stating that the development costs for a Wii game was 25-50% that of the other next gen consoles. [cubed3.com]
          • The "textures are expensive" argument is essentially nonsense, though. It's all about what the market can bear. Here in the UK, the PC release of Oblivion is £35, the XBox 360 one is £50. If there is any difference, I can't see it.

            Although, if that were the case, I wouldn't have had to pay the same price at the cinema, and more on DVD for the rather excellent "Primer" (shooting budget: $7000) than the rather less excellent "King Kong" (shooting budget: $207000000).
        • Do I pay per pixel or what's cooking here?

          To put it even simpler: Texture artists and shader developers charge per texel, modelers charge per polygon, and coders who are new to threaded programming charge per concurrent core.

      • $50, same as now.

        The excuse for $60 games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is the higher resolution they display at.


        Launch game prices seem to be generally higher than in the middle of the console's life, though $50 is quite a lot for a single game, I'd think, I don't remember ever paying that much, the most was $40 and I thought that was a lot.
        • $50 is the going price of a new release game. Has been since the days of the NES.
          • Whats amazing tho' is how much more content and game play you get your your $50 compared to NES days. NES titles were about 32-128k apiece, and most had maybe a few hours of gameplay. I finished over 80 titles for the original nintendo.

            Titles now range several hundred megs to a gig or more. There are still titles you can finish in a few hours, and sports games don't really fit the example too well, but many adventure and rpg games now are built around having 100's of hours of gameplay. Its intense!
      • "The excuse for $60 games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is the higher resolution they display at. Since the Wii "only" does 480p, like the GameCube and the Xbox, the prices will be the same."

        Well.. your heart's in the right place, that's a little misleading. It takes a bigger budget to fill the higher resolution of the games. More textures, higher detailed models, etc. I imagine there'll be even more programming time (i.e. optimizations) to make the games work at that res. That's one of Nintendo's attr
      • Re:Ok so basically (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cgenman ( 325138 )
        $50, same as now.

        The excuse for $60 games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is the higher resolution they display at. Since the Wii "only" does 480p, like the GameCube and the Xbox, the prices will be the same.


        Any basic business student will tell you that the price you sell something is proportional to the price the market will bear, not the cost of production. If games are being sold at $60 on the X360, it's because the publisher believes they can sell $60 games on the X360, not because the game cost $10 mor
        • Any basic business student will tell you that the price you sell something is proportional to the price the market will bear, not the cost of production.

          That's the case if competition is somehow excluded from the pot. Each console manufacturer competes with its own proprietary system, instead of generalized hardware, so each has, in effect, a little monopoly, with only some of the games available on all the platforms. The greater the effect competition has, the lower the prices the manufacturer must set t
      • Psst... the Xbox supports 1080i. Which brings up an interesting question; did the Xbox games that supported 1080i (Enter the Matrix, Dragon's Lair, and Syberia) cost more initially than other Xbox games? No; in fact, I recall Syberia selling at $30 even in the first week it was out.
    • but what would these "journalists" and fake analysts do all day? wont someone please think of the clueless dolts.
    • Nintendo has already annouced Wii first party games will be only $50 and not the $60-70 PS3/Xbox 360 games will be.
  • by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @04:47PM (#15383904) Journal

    Most of the interview is not about the price point. When he does talk about it, he only says that he can't talk about it.

    • And there's this in there too:
      (regarding the DS' success) So I think that we have many great lessons from this that we can [apply] to launching the Wii.
      Here's what you can apply: make a Brain Age game for the Wii that can download new content periodically. Do this, and you'll end up with almost instant success in Japan right off the bat.
  • Nintendo Pricing (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chrismith ( 911614 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @04:49PM (#15383911)
    "You may want to check our past records of price points when launching past hardware... I think you'll agree that we always come up with an affordable price point."

    In case anyone is out of the loop here, all of Nintendo's main consoles have retailed or US$199. You can draw your own conclusions from there.

  • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @04:56PM (#15383964)
    $250? Yea that sounds like the good ol days when Super Nintendo cost 200 at launch. And if you want to adjust for inflation I bet its about even. If thats the price, Nintendo will definatly appeal to those with less money. A smaller investment in the hardware leaves you with more money to purchase software which IMHO is way more important then the console. I know a kid who spent 800 on his 360 at launch and didnt have any money left for a single game. He just played his old xbox games for a month before he had enough saved up to buy a 360 game.
    • Yea that sounds like the good ol days when Super Nintendo cost 200 at launch.

      Duh, every single Nintendo console was released at a $200 price point from the NES to the GameCube...

      • by masklinn ( 823351 ) <slashdot,org&masklinn,net> on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:06PM (#15384025)
        Oh, and the current inflation-adjusted price is estimated at $294 for the SNES, $254 for the N64 and $225 for the GC (all from nominal release price points of $200)
        • But.... since the Wii is so close in hardware to the GC, they can get further price reductions by using as many of the same hardware components as possible (and for the same reason, hopefully Wii will be able to do a much more rapid worldwide rollout than the 360 or anyone else has been able to do).
          • since the Wii is so close in hardware to the GC, they can get further price reductions by using as many of the same hardware components as possible

            Not really. Broadway, while still PPC/Gecko based, is a brand new custom designed chip from IBM. Hollywood, while still based off the GCN archetecture, is also a brand new custom designed chip from ATi. They're still using MoSYS ram, but a whole new generation of it. And they've got a brand-new custom Matsushita CD/DVD drive.

            The power and AV conversion s

    • Being named Wii I can bet that Nintendo is bundling two controllers with the console.
    • I know a kid who spent 800 on his 360 at launch and didnt have any money left for a single game. He just played his old xbox games for a month before he had enough saved up to buy a 360 game.

      Just so long as we all agree that the list price of the 360 is $400, and street price $800 at launch is not really a fair comparison to the list price of the Wii. For all we know, the Wii will end up costing $800 due to high demand as well.

      Also, that kid's an idiot. Marble Blast on Live only costs, what, $5 and it's m
  • Just wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:02PM (#15384006)
    BIZ: Speaking of Sony, I wanted to know what your reaction was to their media briefing, especially their expensive price and the fact that they now announced motion sensing for the PS3 controller.

    SI: As for the latter part of the question, actually we were anticipating that Sony would make that kind of announcement, so I had to make a kind of wry smile at the time. Having said that, however, putting the motion sensing technology into the classic [PS3] controller, which is going to be held with two hands, is pretty much different from the motion sensor being incorporated into the Wii remote or the combination of the Wii remote and the nunchuk controller... There's a huge gap between the two, I can tell you, with that whole experience, so I really don't think that the inclusion of motion sensing into Sony's classic type of controller can affect in one way or the other the advantage that we have with the Wii controller.

    As for the comment on the price point that Sony announced, the only thing that I may be able to tell is that probably there's a huge gap between how the platform supplier wants to price it and how the customers want the supplier to price it. And other than that it's very hard for me to comment on that as the corporate president running a rival corporation. I think the ultimate decision has to be made by the actual customer and as one of the potential customers of PS3, of course I think it's going to be kind of a [tough] price point for anybody to purchase; that sentiment has been shared by a number of people working in this industry that I've been able to talk to so far.
    After these weeks of Sony trashing on Nintendo in their press conference, and Microsoft trashing on Sony every time they opened their mouth after their press conference, and Sony trashing Microsoft right back, the amount of tact Mr. Iwata is showing here is rather shocking.
    • I guess it's because Iwata-san knows the numbers will speak for themselves
    • I was about to note the same thing. Talk about restraint and respect for your competitor - even if it's feigned respect. (If more people at least feigned respect in their daily lives, think about what a nicer place the world would be.)
      • I don't think he's feigning it. If you read his past comments on the competition he is always remarkably respectful of the the competition and choices they have made. Maybe it's because Nintendo is a fish amongst whales but I'd rather believe he is just a remarkably honourable man. I should be more like that in future :)
        • Iwata seems to be exactly what was needed after Yamauchi stepped down. After first being incredibly successful because of this business methods, Yamauchi started being trouble for the company. He was stuck in his old ways.

          However, he did think Iwata was a good successor, and he actually refused his retirement pension.

      • (If more people at least feigned respect in their daily lives, think about what a nicer place the world would be.)

        My custom-made bumper sticker, which I've not yet had the gumption to stick on the actual car, reads "Try driving like a decent person. Maybe you'll become one." I'm actually afraid to apply the thing; it seems like it might draw some sort of road rage attack.

        There's some balancing point between faked respect -- insincerity -- and the sort of "disrespectful" tone we're talking about in the M

    • Mr. Iwata? Yes. Reggie...? Not so much. ;-)
    • Re:Just wow (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Robotron23 ( 832528 )
      The candid Japanese. Honour takes precedant above all else over there my good man; and taking an opportunity to add to the gargantuan amount of criticism against Sony is not an honourable practice. Iwata knows gamer's are dismayed by Sony; he knows BIZ want him to bash Sony with fervour; but he will not.

      Such as it is: Iwata, and all of Nintendo Japan will hold their national traditions and quirks. The only persons from Nintendo you'll hear actively bashing Sony will be execs from Euroland/the U.S.

      I personal
  • Most people who buy the Wii will do so because of the controller, not the price. In the case of the PS3, most people will buy it because it will have the widest selection of games out of the new consoles. A lot of people bought the 360 because it was the first next-gen console to be released.

    This isn't to say that plenty of people will buy one or more of the consoles because they like the brand or own the previous generations of it or that some people will make their decisions based on price. IMO, pric
    • In the case of the PS3, most people will buy it because it will have the widest selection of games out of the new consoles.

      Why does every Sony nerd and his developmentally disabled cousin say this as if it's a foregone conclusion? The thing is going to cost US$500 minimum . Whether or not it's going to have a dominating marketshare (the determining factor for whether it has "the widest selection of games") is very much in question.
      • Absolutly... part of the reason the PS2 had such a "wide selection of games" is because it was on the market over a year before it's main competitors... The 360 got first launch advantage this time. Reguardless of how spectacular a launch Sony pulls out (which it doesn't look like it will be as most of their AAA titles are 07 releases) the 360 will have a much more established next-gen catalog to choose from.

        If anything the only factor that will bring people to the PS3 is BRAND LOYALTY.
    • I think you fail to account for the increased price of creation/production when you insist that the PS3 will have the widest variety of games. The one thing that traditionally lured developers to the PS console were the low costs of production and licensing. With huge budgets and expense to make a game I don't really think developers are going to take multi-million dollar risks, they will play it safe. PS3 will see a deeper entrenchment and reliance on established franchises/IP, and genres. With the 27
    • Price matters a lot to me. Maybe if there's a game or game system that I REALLY want I will get it...but I may end up waiting until the price goes down. What matters is how much I want it, how much it costs, and how much money I have. So if I really want it and the price is right but I just don't have the money yet, I may not get it just yet. If the price is wrong, I may put it off until it's right even if I have the money. There's a window when games are easily available, too. So if I can only find games
    • If I buy just 20 games for a system at $50 a game, that comes out to be $1000.

      I would say that if you buy 20 games at $50 each, you're insane. I have around 20 PS2 games, and about 6 of those were bought for $50. The rest were either used or on sale. I think it's accurate to say that most gamers fall more in line with my buying pattern. Perhaps you should re-do your math to reflect those of us who are sane.

    • You tell that to the creators of the 3DO console and you get back to me!
    • by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @07:24PM (#15384655) Homepage Journal
      Just a few points.

      1) There's a difference between a wide selection and a wide variety. I may have 200 different kinds of peanut butter I can buy at the grocery store, but they're still all peanut butter. I'm not saying the PS3 won't have a large selection, or variety, I'm just saying we don't know if it will.

      2) You make a great point about how over the life of a console, the actual cost of the console itself pales in comparison to the additive cost of the games (if you buy a great many). Here's the thing, we know for a fact that games for the PS3 and Xbox 360 will cost $60 new. The price for Wii games will be lower, though I'm not overly optimistic and personally only see them staying at $50 (although some would say they'll be priced similarly to DS games around $35). Over the course of 20-50 purchases that price difference adds up. With my estimation, that's $200-$500 more you'd pay for an equivalent number of PS3 or Xbox 360 games than for a Wii. If we go for the optimistic view, the figure changes to $500-$1250 more. The benefit Nintendo offers isn't just a cheaper console, but cheaper games too.

      3) Most people don't have $500-$600 just sitting around. Regardless of the relative unimportance of the console's cost in the long run, it's not easy to spend half a grand. Your everyday Joe, even college students, can compulsively pay $50-$60 for a game. They can even compulsively buy $200 consoles. However, as a price gets higher the "ease" with which one can just go ahead and buy something decreases drastically. $300 gives some pause, $400 requires some careful thought, but $500 and $600 are extremely difficult to say, "Oh what the heck, I'll buy it!" to.

      That's not to say there are people whose compulsivity knows no bounds. Those people exist. I'm also not implying that the only way consoles are bought are through compulsion, that's certainly not true. $500 or $600 will cause people to stop and think before buying when they might not have otherwise. They may well decide to buy anyway, with logic very much like yours, but they may well look at the other options and decide they like them better.

      Console price may not be the "driving" factor, but it is a major one.
      • compulsively

        You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
      • not in the long run, anyway. In the current gen, new ps2 game gamecube games are priced about the same, but the shear number of ps2 games means there are more cheap used games to by, more $20 dollar games, and a better selection (quantity, not quality).

        Right now if I go on ebay, chances are good I can find a ps2 game I'd like to play for under $10. Heck, chances are I can find 20 such games. I know, I've been sniping cheap ps2 games off ebay for between $4 and $10 bucks, building a collection of 40+ gam
    • Don'y forget to take in account the fact that PS3 games are going to mostly cost $60 not $50 dollars redue your math and then come talk to me then.
    • ... because its "the new Nintendo". Would you care to take a stab at the number of Nintendos which are actually bought by their primary users? I'm guessing than half overall and less than a third at launch, which will be driven by Christmas/gift sales. Mom doesn't care what the controller looks like and probably doesn't know. She'll never know how many polygons it pushes or what the rendering pipeline looks like (she doesn't even know what "pipeline" means in the context of video games). She just knows
    • Nice math there, however I thing your conclusion is fundamentally wrong. People don't by a console in the hope that it cost will have amortized in a few years, they buy them to have fun right now and here. So to turn things around, say one spends $1500 in the 5 years of the lifetime a console might have, that means aproximatly $300 per year. For the Wii that means the console itself and two games in the first year and then every two month a new game in the coming years, for the PS3 on the other side that me
    • Since I know the initial price of a console isn't a major factor in the long run, I don't think that it will affect people that much in the beginning either.

      And because people pay for cable, the cost of flat panel TVs hasn't kept them from spending more than a grand on those... except it has, and does, still.

      You might want to read some of the other comments. Or try my shoes on:

      I've got two 12-year-olds. One of their friends has an original X-Box. That friend hasn't seriously considered the 360. It's t

    • OK, what you're saying sounds good on paper, but let me draw out 2 scenarios here between me and my video game hating wife:

      Scenario #1:
      Me: Honey, I'm going to go out and get that new Wii I've been telling you about.
      Wife: How much was it again?
      Me: $200
      Wife: (hesitates) Well, I guess. You'll have to pack your lunch for a couple weeks because you can't afford to spend extra money eating out.
      Me: Okay.
      END SCENE

      Scenario #2:
      Me: Honey, I'm going to go out and get that new PS3 I've been telling you about
    • If I buy just 20 games for a system at $50 a game, that comes out to be $1000.

      And don't forget to include the cost of the television to play the games on, your rent, the electrical bill, and the hookers to play with you! [penny-arcade.com] Once you account for all of that, why, the difference is microscopic!

      At 50 games for each console, the PS3 only costs 11% more.

      At 50 games for a console, all apparently paid for at full price (which you see fond of), you have an insane amount of disposable income, and money doesn't m

  • Why I think $200 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nightspirit ( 846159 )
    I'm sure nintendo knows what the competition plans on doing, and MS stated that they would drop the price of the 360 yearly, and they would be foolish not to do so in November with the ps3 arriving, even if it is only $20.

    If the $299 core drops down to $250, it would be smart for nintendo to release the Wii at $200. I'm sure they could compete at $250, but a decent amount of hype regarding the Wii is about how cheap it is, so I'm sure they will stay cheaper than the competition.

    On the other hand, if the co
    • Something else to remember--the proc and vidcard in the Wii are evolutions of current GameCube hardware. Five years is a fair amount of time for the price/performance ratio of those parts to come down a whole lot. Meanwhile, the 360 and PS3 are using entirely new processors and techniques, which helps explain their outrageous price points (IMHO--the core 360 ain't horrible, but it is crippled a bit).
    • On the other hand, if the core price doesn't drop (maybe only the premium will, $360 looks like a good number), then I think the Wii will sell just as many at $250 as they will at $200.

      You have those prices wrong -- that would be $249.99 and $199.99. And if marketing research has shown us anything, it's that $1XX products sell more than $2XX products regardless of your values for XX.

      • ...And if marketing research has shown us anything, it's that $1XX products sell more than $2XX products regardless of your values for XX.

        Wow, just wow!

        This should be modded +5 Profound

  • Talk about game price. I only have handhelds and I noticed that nintendo has a long history of releasing old games for full price on their handheld.

    Oh yeah gameplay is alright but really does a Advance Wars Dual Strike deserve the same price point as an Oblivion?

    I think that that is the real Nintendo success. That consumers so far are not objecting to paying full price for games for handheld games that have cost a fraction of the development costs.

    With DS sales so high I can't help but feal DS developers

    • Oh yeah gameplay is alright but really does a Advance Wars Dual Strike deserve the same price point as an Oblivion?

      At ebgames.com, Oblivion is selling for $49.99 PC and $59.99 Xbox 360. Advance Wars DS, on the other hand, is selling for $34.99 (which is where it started by the way). DS titles debut typically at either $29.99 or $34.99 while console titles debut typically at $49.99 (and $59.99, though that's 360 only until the PS3 comes along). In other words, all your DS talk is a bunch of hot air...
      • Sorry, but doesn't the GBA SP play GB/GBC games and the GBA Micro does not?
        • I think that's the case, but being able to play GB/GBC titles is a mixed bag. There's at least a few titles that don't play nicely in a GBA- things like the original Pokemon play WELL int the GBA, but there's some titles that just play too fast (Oddworld...) or they made bad assumptions about display, etc. However, that ability, mixed bag that it is, makes the SP, if you don't have a size issue need/want (lust after?) the smaller Micro unit, the all around bang for buck play.
          • When I first saw the price of the GB micro, and found out it did not play GB/GBC games, I balked a little. I've still got a massive collection of those older games (all the way back to the Tetris that came with the original GB), and I want the ability to play those games. When I thought about it, though, I really don't play them very often. So I bought the micro.

            It is, hands down, the system I play the most. The size (combined with the sleep/quicksave mode in most GBA games) really makes it the perfect
            • The size makes me balk a little bit. I've already small issues with the GBA's screen. I was diagnosed about a year ago with Diabetes, much to my chagrin. Shortly after I got diagnosed and got the sugar levels back under control, I went suddenly farsighted (some people go that way for some reason) for about two months time. My sight's mostly normal now, but while I can look at a small screen like the Micro for a while, my eyes start hurting so I'd rather not- the GBA's just fine for me. :-)
    • I'm not really following your price comparisons. Advance Wars DS does not cost the same as Oblivion, it's almost half the price, $35 vs $60.

      Your point about downloadable game I agree with though, they better be cheap, especially if they are straight ports.

      Finally, I'm getting sick of the argument that X costs more than Y because "X has better hardware/more features". I don't care one bit what it costs to make something, if the feature does not have value to me, I don't want to pay for it. That is something
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Everyone's talking about how the US price of Nintendo consoles have always been $199... but how about the Japanese price? Is it also a constant price point?

    Do you think that, suppose they break their US -> $199 rule with the Wii, the Japanese price will have any effect?
  • $200 is the best figure for a number of reasons:

    1) It is much lower than the competition.

    2) It is a figure consumers have been acclimated to in the past.

    3) Microsoft is probably unlikely to drop the core system's price more than $50 to try and compete IMO, as such, $250 is not a safe price point as it could probably end up competing with the 360 Core System (Note that I don't think the Wii would be a better buy at $250 than the crippled XBOX 360, but I'm not the one Nintendo needs to convince, as I'm

  • Reporter: So, what will the Wii cost?
    Iwata: Well, it will have a price.
    Reporter: ...And that price is...?
    Iwata: Definately a rational number. Who knows, it could be a whole number!
    Reporter: Do I need to break out the hangman board?

    I want to know the price, but wild speculation and tight lips is just getting annoying, especially since we're probably only five months or so from launch.

    • I want to know the price, but wild speculation and tight lips is just getting annoying, especially since we're probably only five months or so from launch.

      It is annoying, but the rampant speculation is just one of the many things that is keeping people talking about the Wii. Sony on the other hand probably revealed too much, but in doing so reassured the world why it is not gaining many friends.
  • by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @07:39PM (#15384708)
    A lot of people have dismissed the Wii price point announcement, saying that console price isn't important when you consider all the games that people purchase in the long run.

    This ignores the purchasing patterns that people have. Even if the overall price (with games) of the Wii was *more* expensive then the competition, the lower initial console price would still cause purchases in their favor.

    This happens for the same reason that people buy things on credit cards and then pay them off over time. If people don't need to pay for something immediately, then they don't think about it.

    Furthermore, there's the issue of Christmas, birthdays etc for children. A lot of parents raising children are on a pretty tight budget, and you can be sure they will balk at a console that costs 50 to 100 dollars more than the competition, let alone a console like the PS3 that's going to cost as much as 3 times the competition. Christmas is going to be huge for nintendo at their price point.

    I remember begging my parents for an original NES then on christmas opening up a game that consisted of a video cassette of a race, and a little toy car that attached to the front of the tv and moved horizontally from a little electric motor.

    Right now, a lot of parents are in those shoes. It may be true that the economy overall has picked up, but wages definitely have *not* and the wall mart shoppers of america are in even worse straights then they generally are.

    Most people in the tech sector are pretty well off, and even if they aren't tend to be hard core gamers and see their game expense as a non negotiable expenditure in their budget. In the past game companies pandered to them exclusively because they were willing to burn a lot of money, and not a lot of people outside that group played video games at all. What they need to realize is that increasingly they are not the only gamers in the market. Nintendo has picked up on this, and effectively has been making their prices cheaper and cheaper over the years by keeping them the same and let inflation make that same price less. Sony and microsoft on the other hand seem to be competing entirely for early adopters with cash to burn, which is a lucrative but small demographic.
    • Although if the children are demanding a Playstation, then often only a Playstation will do.

      Opting for a cheaper console is often a no-no for parents trying to sate their youngster's gaming fix. This is especially true for poorer families [at least here in the UK] for whom such consumer items are status symbols. Not owning the right console [or shoe, mobile phone..] is actually quite a stigma for certain people.

      That said, Nintendo really aren't aiming squarely at the gaming-savvy youth in the playground, th
  • I'm thinking that the console itself will be $199.99. No problem there, it's cheap hardware and consistent with Nintendo's previous price points. The games, I expect will vary from $19.99 for your average puzzle/sports game to $49.99 for something like Red Steel. I don't expect them to shoot up to $59.99 like PS3 or 360 due to Nintendo's stance on bringing in new gamers. They aren't targeting the hardcore gamer like PS3 or 360. The real kicker will be buying extra controllers/accessories. I'm thinking
    • I think if Nintendo is going to take a loss on anything with the Wii, it'd be the controllers. They're marketing the system very heavily as a multiplayer experience, and with the gamecube, that's been one area where they're well regarded by just about everyone who's given it a shot. And with this gaming for everyone kick they're on, it's in their best interest to put controllers in as many hands as is possible.

      All that being said, I don't think the controllers will cost them as much to make as you think. Gy
      • I'll have to disagree on that $30 price. The Nintendo Wavebird runs $34.99 new. It only features wireless and doesn't even have rumble in it. The WiiMote has wireless, rumble, gyros, either laser or IR and a speaker not to mention the nunchuk attachment (if that will be part of the controller and not an add-on). Nintendo would be hard pressed to put that into a price of $30.

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