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Pricing For Retro Games on the Wii 328

schnikies79 writes to mention an Ars Technica article revealing the pricing scheme for retro content on the Wii. From the article: "Iwata revealed that games for Nintendo's "virtual console" that will allow Wii owners to play old titles on their consoles will be priced at ¥500 and ¥1,000, roughly US$4.50 to US$8.99. For reference, classic retro games for the Nintendo GameBoy sold for upwards of US$35 for some titles, US$19.99 for others. Uptake was understandably low, as gamers were reticent to pay that much for old content." The piece goes on to say that they're ramping up DS production to meet command, and that connectivity with the DS will be a major selling point for the console when it releases.
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Pricing For Retro Games on the Wii

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  • by HoosierPeschke ( 887362 ) <> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:34PM (#15490794) Homepage
    ...Are we paying attention?? You can make millions and make your customers happy without gouging your customers.
    • by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:40PM (#15490833) Homepage
      ...Are we paying attention?? You can make millions and make your customers happy without gouging your customers.

      Microsoft tried, actually, but the number of available retro games is pitiful. Nintendo starts with a gigantic library that they already own.

      Microsoft couldn't have done it the way Nintendo plans to. Sony might be able to with PS1 games.
      • by JeffSh ( 71237 ) <> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:44PM (#15490863)
        one problem with that is that all of the sony PS1 games are entire CD images (500-600 mb) while nintendo's games are small roms, at maximum 16 mb and mostly 100kb to 1 mb... this makes the nintendo system much more efficient and far less costly while offering, in my opinion, better games.
        • by AnyoneEB ( 574727 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:11PM (#15490992) Homepage
          Actually, there are eight 64MB (512mbit) Nintendo 64 games that I know of, and there are several 32MB (256mbit) Nintendo 64 games, but your point remains. Even in comparision to the built-in 512MB of flash, most ROMs are tiny.
          • by Vo0k ( 760020 )
            Still about the hardest to download would be NES Doom port :)
            The cartridge contained a GPU that produced the 3D gfx the poor NES CPU was not capable of producing. Download THAT!
          • No kidding. I've got the entire NES and SNES library of games (or a huge chunk anyways, quite a few hundred) backed up on two CDs. And to think, that would be probably a U-Haul trailer full of cartridges.

            I think this has finally convinced me to buy a Wii, at least pending the price of the system itself. I knew it would be the one console I got, if any, of the new three, but being almost exclusively a PC gamer (and I don't even game too much anymore), I wasn't especially inclined to get any of the set.

        • one problem with that is that all of the sony PS1 games are entire CD images (500-600 mb)

          Even if true I'm sure sony could rework the images to the ones they have the source to and make them much smaller. I'm assuming the fill the entire cd thing is a DRM trick??
          • "I'm assuming the fill the entire cd thing is a DRM trick??"

            Not at all, there was no software DRM on the PS1. The concept was barely invented at the time, and no-one had cd burners. The reason the entire CD is filled is because as the space is there, developers might as well use it. Usually with videos and music.

            • That's not entirely true. The reason PS1s needed a mod chip to play burned games is because of a software hack.

              As I understand it, the PS1 disks were stamped with an invalid checksum for the first data block on the disk (0, if I recall correctly). CD burning software helpfully computed the correct checksum and wrote that instead if you burned an ISO to disk. The PS1 looked for that zero checksum, and if it did not find it, assumed that the disk was pirated, and refused to load the disk.

              I believe this is
        • one problem with that is that all of the sony PS1 games are entire CD images (500-600 mb)

          Not always. A lot of PS1 games are a 60 MiB data track with a whole bunch of Compact Disc Digital Audio (aka "Red Book") tracks. The PS1 emulator could emulate the CD player by re-encoding the audio to ATRAC (MiniDisc format), causing the whole download to shrink to 120 MiB, which also happens to be the size of the largest Nintendo DS games at the moment.

      • I guess a partnership between sega and one of the current console makers could work if both were willing.

        sony could possiblly try but as another poster has pointed out the fact thier history only goes back as far as the playstation would be a major hinderance (playstation games actually often used a full CD so downloading them would be a PITA).

        nintendos only real competitor in this arena is pirate games running on emulators (mostly on PCs but also to a lesser extent on consoles).
    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:11PM (#15490991) Journal
      They actually tell you that they have been gouging the market by selling retro games for the handhelds at highly inflated prices that turned people off.

      So basically what you are saying that Nintendo after years of charging full price of decade old games finally lowered the price to a mera 5 dollars for games that are a few megabytes and cost next to nothing to distribute and for wich they don't have to pay any license fees?

      Oh yeah. They ain't gouging. They just decided to reduce themselves to raking it in.

      It is a smart business move but don't make them out to be some kind of gaming heroes. A game 10 years old that cost only a few megabyte of bandwidth to distrubute does not deserve a 4.50 price tag. They might be able to charge it but lets face it, the markup on that must make Apple blush. Hell, it would make Sony blush.

      I notice this problem with people talking about digital downloads. 1 dollar/euro for an iTune song? I am sorry, you just skipped all the costs of distrubuting and stocking CD's and I don't see any reduction in the cost of an album? And it is only because Jobs knows exactly how much you can get away with that the RIAA doesn't get its way and raises the price even higher. Where are the cost savings going? As if I need to ask.

      At least with the retro games for the various gameboys you got the excuse of the cost of the catridge, and distrubtion/stocking costs.

      Love the fact that you can play all the old games without needing a ton of old consoles etc etc but Nintendo is going to laugh all the way to the bank. More power to them but that don't make them into some kind of heroes for me.

      • Exactly. $4.50 for an NES rom, which are extremely small, 256kB for the fancier NES games, is too much. I've tried hooking up the old NES for some nostalgia over the years, and inevitably get bored with the simplistic play in short time. Very few games are playable for a length of time, Super Mario Bros 3 being one. On the other hand, a monthly subscription with unlimited play would have sold me in a heartbeat.

        Also if the machine dies (rare, given that my NES is still working 18 years later) do you lose
        • The Wii has an SD slot to augment the 512mb internal storage. Presumably you can download to that.

          (Psst, most non-geeks don't have PCs with TV-out configured, or even joysticks or gamepads on their computer. And your own wife is proof people are willing to spend $5 on old games that are only a few hundred kilobytes.)
      • isn't the nintendo online service free? fair trade off, I think. for the price of an xbox live gold sub. I can get five or ten classic gaming guilt free. While with microsoft I pay fifty dollars and have to pay for the classic games anyway. Well my friend, when the world gives you lemonade, you must complain it's not champagne . . .
      • Oh hang it up. Let the silly kids have their fun.

      • Honestly, I can think of a huge number of games which I'd willing spend that much on. They were worth $50 to me way back when, and playing them again is worth $4 - $10 in my mind.
      • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @10:21PM (#15491871)
        A game 10 years old that cost only a few megabyte of bandwidth to distrubute does not deserve a 4.50 price tag.

        Demand drives pricing, not ROM file sizes. Legend of Zelda 1 is still valuable to a lot of people, and therefore to Nintendo.
      • If you have to spend $50 to purchase Super Mario RPG on ebay, then apparently those few MB from 10 years ago are worth more than the miniscule amount of bandwidth it takes to move them.

        The size of the data and age are completely irrelevant. If its worth money, theyre going to sell it for what it is worth, perhaps more, perhaps even a lot less.
      • So basically, you think that size of the file (song, game etc.) should be the thing that determines it's price? A three-minute song should cost 0.5 dollars (more or less), and therefore "Tubular Bells" (20 minutes long) should cost 3.5 dollars? In short: "When there's more of the stuff, it's worth more!". So is Daikatana [] worth more to the end user than Bubble Bobble [], since Daikatana is "bigger"?

        This has got to be the most moronic thing I have heard in quite some time. Here's a clue: goods and services are n
  • by theGreater ( 596196 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:34PM (#15490797) Homepage
    Unless you live in Soviet Russia. I hear there they really -did- have command-side economics.

  • by Tiberius_Fel ( 770739 ) <> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:34PM (#15490799)
    If they're going to include some of the old titles from SNES for sale, I would gladly pay $5 or $9 for it. Some games - Super Mario World, Super Mario RPG, Link to the Past, et cetera - were and are hours and hours of great gameplay. And at that price point, I'm sure they'll sell like mad.
    • by XanC ( 644172 )
      The original SNES Mario Kart is probably the greatest console game ever written. My dad and I still spend hours in Battle Mode.
    • by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:43PM (#15490857) Homepage
      And nobody pays development or duplication costs.

      Nintendo has some up-front costs for setting up the service, and some minimal costs to keep it running. Basically, they're sending you free bits (for them) for your money. And you're glad to pay it.

      I will be, too. Everybody wins, but especially Nintendo.
      • by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:15PM (#15491010) Homepage
        I will be, too. Everybody wins, but especially Nintendo."
        Except for the ROM pirates. They are likely to see a crackdown on ROM distrobution.
        • by EggyToast ( 858951 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:30PM (#15491085) Homepage
          Eh, I don't think so. How are you going to track and stop something that, as has been said earlier in the comments, deals with files that are in many cases less than 1mb? You can dump the entire NES catalog to someone via FTP in a few minutes, it seems, and if you focus on just the good games for each console, it's trivial to move those files around.

          Nintendo has been trying to crack down on ROM distributors for a while now, and failed. People keep playing them and Nintendo never really gains anything from stopping one. To me, this is their response to the ROM dilemma -- distribute the games yourself, from a centralized location, and charge an arguably fair price.

          I personally see it as a bit expensive for a digital copy of an old game that, in many cases, is higher than the used market for these titles. I may be surprised, and the purchase be "lifetime" purchases that work on not only the Wii, but future Wiis and future consoles. What would be even nicer is if the Wii could transfer the games to the DS or the "GBA 2." But I'm firmly convinced that Nintendo figured "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," and worked out a way to digitally offer these games. They know people aren't going to track down the original cartridges and old hardware just to play them; they want to play them from the comfort of their computer or current system.

      • by david.given ( 6740 ) <> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:50PM (#15491186) Homepage Journal

        Nintendo has some up-front costs for setting up the service, and some minimal costs to keep it running. Basically, they're sending you free bits (for them) for your money. And you're glad to pay it.

        Hell, yeah. I think the Wii's probably going to be the only game console that I'll actually buy new.

        But what I'd really love to see is the ability to have the Wii run homebrew games under emulation. Consoles these days are so powerful that even the previous generation of console is powerful enough for most purposes. Remember the N64? Pretty sucky processing power by today's standards, but you got some damn good games for it.

        By allowing people to upload and run their own game images on the Wii, for, say the SNES or the N64, they'll make the device an absolute dream come true to the (legitimate) emulation crowd. This would gain them huge mindshare with very little effort, while at the same time allowing them to keep control over the Wii running in native mode. It would be very easy to do; you'd need a system for loading in image from a USB device, and that's pretty much it. There would be a minor technical problem in making it so that people can't run copied commercial ROM images --- or they'll undermine their own retro game market --- but that's probably not hard (just rearrange th emulated hardware so the homebrew emulated machine wasn't compatible with the genuine original, for example).

        (If they were willing to spend a bit more effort, they could come up with a sandboxed environment that allowed you to use a few more of the Wii's features; this would allow homebrew games similar to, say, the XBox Live range. But of course, that would involve significantly more work.)

      • Nintendo has some up-front costs for setting up the service, and some minimal costs to keep it running. Basically, they're sending you free bits (for them) for your money.

        I wouldn't go so far as to bet the cost of a PS3 that the bits are necessarily free to Nintendo. I'd imagine that at least some of the credited staff get residuals.

    • Same here. I grew up with a NES and SNES in the house, and bought the N64 with money from my first job. There are plenty of titles I missed because of a lack of disposable income. I was fairly active in renting games, and had plenty I started but never got to finish, and would love to have a chance to go back and play some of them again. While I realize that some games are far better through the rose colored glasses of nostolgia, there are still a number of gems that stand the test of time. Just recent
    • $5 for a few hundred K for a 10 - 15 year old game? You can buy the original cartriges these days cheaper than that. For that matter, you can download the whole NES and SNES libraries in just a few minutes with a reasonable connection; they're that small.

      Note, however, that it looks like there will be plenty of free 1st party games, which really changes the overall picture, IMO.

  • UK pricing (Score:3, Funny)

    by Orange Goblin ( 945041 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:35PM (#15490802)
    So thats what, £3-6 after factoring in the "we get screwed" tax? Not too shabby, I have to say...
  • Better and Better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DorkusMasterus ( 931246 ) <dorkmaster1@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:35PM (#15490804) Homepage
    I really was not expecting to purchase a Wii when I first heard about it. However, after the excellent showing at E3, plus the news that the console will likely be $200-$250 at launch, as well as this news that games will be exceedingly moderate in terms of the retro downloadables... it's definitely going to be on my wish list for Christmas (and if I don't get it, I'll of course buy it.) Nintendo is seemingly making all the right moves right now... Congrats to them. Good marketing, good development, and most importantly right now, good pricing scheme so far. It's really a rock-solid console right now.
  • by oberondarksoul ( 723118 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:35PM (#15490805) Homepage

    "The piece goes on to say that they're ramping up DS production to meet command" (from the summary)

    Unless the definition of 'command' has drastically changed recently, shouldn't that be demand?

  • Sounds Fair (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kubevubin ( 906716 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:35PM (#15490806) Homepage
    Considering some of the outlandish pricing for cell phone games (which are choppy and short in comparison to console games), this really doesn't sound all that bad.
    • Bear in mind that games for mobile phones are probably first run and need to have their development costs covered. Retro games, on the other hand, have already had those covered and need only cover the incrimental cost for each unit in order to make a profit. Rest assured that if Nintendo were to develop a game with Super Nintendo technology now and release it on the Wii it would cost much more than the retro releases and probably something inline with what mobile games cost.
    • That's like saying that having your left hand cut off doesn't sound all that bad compared to having the whole arm removed. No matter how you look at it, you're probably paying a lot more than you should.

      Personally, I'd only be willing to pay about $5 for NES and SNES games and might consider paying upwards of $10 for N64 games. Asking for anything more than that is highway robery in my opinion. I'd prefer to see $2 for NES games, $3 for SNES games, and $5 for N64 games. Considering the cost to transmit t
    • That was my first instinct as well, which is rare nowadays when entertainment companies announce pricing information. I wish other video game companies (and record companies for that matter) would take pricing cues from Nintendo. $9-10 for some of the gold sitting in Nintendo's vaults is downright cheap considering how much better some of their old games are than what's coming up for either the PS3 or the Xbox 360.
  • Mario Kart 64 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mastergoon ( 648848 )
    Anyone else addicted to this game? In my opinion its one of the most well made games of all time. For something so simple, theres so much to it. Any word if it will be available? It would be awesome if we could play Mario Kart is possible with emulators but it is really laggy and not a whole lot of fun.
    • mario Kart 64 DS can play online, it's not all the same maps but the feel is VERY similar to the original
    • Re:Mario Kart 64 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Headcase88 ( 828620 )

      It would be awesome if we could play Mario Kart online

      you might be in luck. Nintendo has said that they plan to make some of their old titles online (citing Mario Party as an example). Beyond that, hopefully the GC emulator will trick LAN-enabled games into running online (thinking it's running on a LAN), so that would cover Double Dash(!!) as well as Kirby Air Ride. Plus I guess Phantasy Star Online will run online on the Wii.

      But what I really want online is Super Mario All Stars --> Super Mario Bros

      • But what I really want online is Super Mario All Stars --> Super Mario Bros 3 --> Battle Game, with at least the option to turn off coins. (This Battle Game is my favourite version of Classic Mario Bros, you might know it better from the Mario GBA games, but I don't like that version quite as much).

        Have you ever checked out the homebrew game Super Mario War for modded Xbox? It's a 4-player Mario battle mode like you describe, with a bunch of game varieties and complete with Quake voices. (Boing, boi

  • Collections (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:36PM (#15490811) Journal
    It seems that they tend to price the games higher than their age reflects in value. Wouldn't it be a better idea to sell games as collections and then sell them for a midline amount? I might not pay $20-30 for an old Zelda game, but I might pay $30-50 for a bunch of them in a collection.
    • I agree. I think it would be cool to get the Super Mario Universe all on one disk or all of Zelda on one disk (or disk collection). I might even buy a Wii just for that!
  • Color me impressed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:36PM (#15490812) Homepage
    I have to say, nintendo is serious about taking a chunk out of both MS and Sony in this round. They are getting my money, that much I can tell you. Just for the zelda titles alone.
  • DS connectivity is all well and good, but there's a new Crystal Chronicles coming out for the Wii. If they require multiple DSes for multiplayer mode, God and Nintendo will not be enough to save Square/Enix from my wrath...
  • Mistranslated? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The article should say new games developed just for the virtual console will be between 500 and 1000 yen? Not the classic games that the virtual console will also offer?
  • Just how much of their literally thousands upon thousands of titles are they going to make available for download? I wonder how they worked out licensing with all the private companies that originally release these games? You know what's funny is that even though I already have an emulator and pretty much every rom ever, I migh actually buy a couple of these just to have em on the console- but only because they are priced fairly. Nintendo has done well to sway into the publics favor.

    I was just about to sel
    • I doubt that it was too hard to sway the thrid parties.
      Nintendo Rep: "We want to sell your old games for you again, can we?"
      Third party guy: "How much is this going to cost me?"
      Nintendo Rep: "Nothing, just give us a copy of the ROM code, and a license to sell it. You'll get 3 bucks a download."
      Third Party Rep: "Here you go, you can even keep the floppy."

      While there is some argument about self competition, and having your library availabe for one of those "Classics" discs which performed like a lead b
    • Didn't Nintendo publish a good majority of the NES games? (making them the copyright holder)

      Note that IANAL and IHNIWITA (I have no idea what I'm talking about), but this is just my first speculation
  • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:44PM (#15490864) Journal
    Working stiffs like me, mid to late 20s, and a nice Gaussian distribution around me, we eat this stuff up. 40 years from now Nintendo is going to still be rereleasing 8 bit Mario Brothers onto whatever the game platform of the day is, and I'm still going to be paying for it every time it comes out, plus a nice contour with inflation. When I'm 60 years old, hopefully a bit vested, and starting to slow down a bit, think I'll toss down 200 bucks in 2040 dollars to regain 3 hours of my youth? Those damned MIDI tracks so far etched into my brain that it's literally part of my Id? That erotic twinge I get when I rescue the Princhess Toadstool (Peach?) TMI? PERHAPS! But the truth has been spoken. I might very well have a Triforce on my gravestone, and I bet more of you are with me! Don't deny your digital heritage!
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silent sound ( 960334 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:45PM (#15490870)
    What is interesting to me about this is that they do not seem to be charging significantly differently for an NES game than for an N64 game. I was originally expecting an N64 game on Virtual Console would cost several times as much as an NES game. Apparently that's not how it works.

    I'm pretty happy with these prices, $5-$9 is about how much you would normally expect to be paying anyway for almost any SNES or Genesis game, or almost any NES game worth playing, at this point if you were to buy the cartridges used. For some of the titles that have gotten harder to find, like Kid Icarus or the original Final Fantasy, $5-$9 is an absolute steal...

    Now let's just hope they offer an appropriately large selection of titles.
  • ...we'd be better off with those retro-5-in-one joysticks that already come with classic arcade games that you now can pick up for 5 dollars - Hardware and games included + approval from the original companies.

    Ya got to do better than that Nintendo.
    • Exactly. The whole "retro" thing is just a bone thrown to the fanboys. Nobody gives a shit whether you can play the original "Legend of Zelda" on a 2006 gaming console.

      This is just further proof that Nintendo is no longer a console gaming company. They are a hand-held gaming company who also sells a console. They would like for you to buy a Wii to sync with your DS, but what matters most to them is that you buy the DS. That's where all the future growth of the gaming market is anyway. Instead of burni
      • Nobody gives a shit whether you can play the original "Legend of Zelda" on a 2006 gaming console.

        Did you read all the positive posts about this? I think a lot of people give a shit and are excited over a console that can play new and retro games, I know I am. I didn't think people were going to be too thrilled about the prices, but it seems to me that people are eating it up already. I was hoping for $1.50 to $2.50 for some of the older classics, but I think this is going to be highly successful for Nint
  • by schnikies79 ( 788746 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:47PM (#15490885)
    The line with the 'command' problem wasn't in my original submission.
  • by TheChef321 ( 979436 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:52PM (#15490909) Homepage
    Now EVERYONE will be able to bask in the glory that is Shaq Fu for $9!
  • Retro pricing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:58PM (#15490930)
    They make a big deal about the Gameboy retro games being more expensive than Wii's retro games will be. That makes sense, though, as the actual COST of a Wii retro game is a lot less.

    No cartridge/cd
    No box
    No shipping
    No marketting

    Hmm... that's a lot of savings right there.
    • They make a big deal about the Gameboy retro games being more expensive than Wii's retro games will be. That makes sense, though, as the actual COST of a Wii retro game is a lot less.

      No cartridge/cd
      No box
      No shipping
      No marketting

      One more: no porting. The Wii retro games run on unified emulators, while I've heard there was a good amoutn of work done to make the retro Gameboy games actually work on a Gameboy.
  • I think DS/Wii connectivity is great. However, with all that the Wii offers, I don't see as big of a benefit as the Gamecube/GBA link may have been.

    Plus, look at the Gamecube/GBA connection. We have... what, six games that use it? And most, if not all, are made by Nintendo? Some other games offer bonus stuff if you connect two games via the cable, but that's it.

    Not that you can't do great stuff with a Wii/DS connection. Think of having a tactics RPG game with three of your friends. The upper screen shows st
    • We adapted to two, but can one player really deal with THREE screens?
      • Well, the idea is that you'd have more of the user interface on the bottom of the screen, and an overvall visual would be shown on the top of the screen.

        For instance, with the tactical RPG, you wouldn't have to wait for someone else's turn to finish before making your commands. You'd do it all on the DS and the game would execute the instructions in either order of entry or user order, depending on how the game works. This would allow each player a greater advantage by not allowing the other players to see
  • I was *so* right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JoshWurzel ( 320371 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:07PM (#15490974) Homepage
    My brother and I were having a discussion about this the other. He was convinced that Nintendo wouldn't be able to sell their old games at more than a couple bucks a piece. I thought 5-10 seemed reasonable. My brother, 18, didn't understand that there are millions of mid-20's people who grew up on these games and have plenty of disposable income. As I have already purchased Zelda III and original Metroid for my game boy advance, I knew better.

    This is going to be a gold mine for them.
  • by rhfb ( 980702 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:11PM (#15490990)
    According to a few posts on the arsforums there and a few webtranslations the article should say new games developed just for the virtual console will be between 500 and 1000 yen, not the classic nes/snes/n64 games that will be available on the virtual console as well. There was another article a few days back, explaining that 3 people should be able to put a game together in a few weeks and sell it on the console for around 5$, can't find it right now though.
  • EBGames and GameStop (Score:4, Informative)

    by strider2k ( 945409 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @07:23PM (#15491043) Homepage
    As of June 1st, EBGames and GameStop in the USA stopped accepting PS1 and N64 games. The pricing explains the need to discontinue collecting antiques from the customers. There's no way the B&M stores can compete with the relatively lower price of the Wii Virtual Console.
    • The Wii has absolutely nothing to do with B&M stores reducing or ceasing their intake of older games. Many chains had already done this with 8- and 16-bit stuff long before we even knew of the name "Revolution", never mind the whole Virtual Console thing. There comes a time, after a system is commercially dead, that it becomes no longer profitable to put manpower into sorting and pricing the old items.

      Even if Nintendo had never decided to do a Virtual Console, I would guarantee you that some shops would
  • I figured $1 to $5, not $5 to $10. At those prices, it's not much more to pick up the actual cartridge (except for stuff like Chrono Trigger). I mean, seriously, it's emulation on a fast platform and a smidge of bandwidth. These prices are nuts. I guess the price might come down once the service is launched in the states, but I doubt it. My guess is they're trying to establish a high price point from the get go so people are used to paying it down the line. Worked for iTunes I guess.
  • tl;dr (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov ( 793804 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @08:00PM (#15491228) Homepage
    but did anyone listen to the press confrence? the 500-1000yen was for NEW vc games, not the emulated stuff.
  • new games released via the virtual console. If the guy who submitted it had read the commentary on the Ars story, he would known that this is not correct. They have not yet come out with the price, japanese or otherwise, for the older games.
  • I know depending on conversion rates is not a good idea, but $5 retro games seem a little expensive to me. I was hoping for the iTunes $0.99 model, personally - at least, if they decide to do sales. Some sort of monthly "all-you-can-eat" would be a good deal, too. But the problem with $5 is that it begins to be real money - sure, I'd pay $5 for Mario 3, but I wouldn't try an obscure NES game I had never heard of. For $0.99, or $5-10 a month, I'd play anything.
  • by Runefox ( 905204 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @08:14PM (#15491293) Homepage
    I was convinced about the Wii when I saw their E3 presentation, but now I see that there are more and more online services and things that really extend the value of the console just for having it plugged into the internet. Mind you, these games are fairly expensive for what they are (I'll admit to grabbing a torrent full of NES ROM's at one point), but I'd still pump some money into them. The service is there, I'm sure it'll be extremely easy to use, and really, some of these games are so rare these days that you'd be hard-pressed to find them on eBay for less than $100 (NES Zelda series, for example, especially the Famicom versions; SNES Mario RPG and LoZ:LttP can garner over $400+). I'd gladly pay the amount of inflation on a copy of Super Mario Bros 3 when I can get some of these games - Legitimately - for such a low price, especially with the possibility of playing online (PLEASE say we can play them online) without the hassles involved with PC emulation online.

    Scarcity and being poor are no longer excuses to download ROM's! The world has been doomed!
  • For reference, classic retro games for the Nintendo GameBoy sold for upwards of US$35 for some titles, US$19.99 for others.

    If you all would have bought the fucking E-Reader, we would have had more NES games for $4.
  • According to IGN [] this only applies to newly created virtual console games, not necessarily classic NES, SNES, and N64 games. That's a pretty crucial detail.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"