Today we find out the hardware price was right -- Nintendo is launching the Wii at $250 -- and the software price was a little low -- at $5 to $10. [Update: NES = $5, SNES = $8, N64 = $10, according to this.] The catch on the system price is that you get a free tech demo ... *ahem* ... game, Wii Sports, for the $250. Full game prices will be $50.
Could it be that Nintendo adjusted the virtual console game prices upward since May based on the recent success of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade? I would not be surprised one bit. They've always been exceptionally profitable, even with the N64 of all things, and they have got to smell money in this downloadable games market. With current XBLA prices and Sony planning PSOne downloads for $15 or more, Nintendo is still undercutting the competition on pricing and getting rich doing it. Best of all, unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo gets to keep the majority of the profit from the Wii Virtual Console since they actually own many of the games people are going to buy.
Ruffin is fond of saying that Microsoft runs every good idea it has through a profit maximizer. That's true, but I really do think they're being outdone here by Nintendo with the Wii. Nintendo will have the most accessible console (larger potential audience), using the cheapest hardware (upgraded GameCube with a gimmick wand), and the largest library of popular games (Mario, Zelda, et al plus the third parties).
Ruffin is fond of saying that Microsoft runs every good idea it has through a profit maximizer.
But also recall I almost always follow that up with, "They're just trying to make a buck, bless their hearts."
Also, I'm pretty interested if not excited to see what the "tech demo" is like. USA Today says it's got "tennis, golf, basketball and bowling," which all sound like something I'd play. Vive la pack-in.
Also sounds pretty similar to a launch title for the 2600 back when, which also shipped with a very enjoyable tech demo called Combat.
Where's the Nintendo love? I know you guys are skeptical and all, which is natural, so here are some videos of the conference today so you can see exactly what they're talking about.
[the gamespot link just look for the videos to the middle-right]
I'm not a fanboy or anything :]
I doubt Nintendo raised its prices based on XBox Live. Nintendo has always been willing to milk as much profit as possible from an offering.
Remember they priced the GBA NES "classics" at something like $20 a piece, which (at least the earlier more popular games) sold insanely well.
Or look at the Wii itself for an example. $250 is about as high as they could honestly go without damaging their image even worse. At $300, people might start seriously looking at an Xbox360.
Or the bevy of potential peripheral sales. Remote, nunchuck, and classic controller already... With who knows what to come, and openly encouraging developers to come up with new controllers. And all priced so that Nintendo makes a profit on every single sale...
Because yes, Nintendo has said that yet again everything is priced from day 1 to make them a profit.
Baines: At least one of your examples kind of makes my point, doesn't it? As you say, Nintendo is aware of what Microsoft is charging for an Xbox 360 and priced the Wii as high as they could and still be seen as distinctly lower. Doesn't it stand to reason that if they were thinking about NES games for $1 back in May that they'd've reconsidered now that Microsoft is charging $10-$15 for their downloadable games?
According to EBGames, I will not be able to get the Gamecube version of Zelda: Twilight Princess until almost a month after the Wii version is released. While I am not surprised, I am frustrated to find out that the game has been continually pushed back for purposes of bundling and not what would appear to be technical issues. If there is not a difference between the two versions aside from the fact that I cannot play the Wii version on the Gamecube, I will feel a little more than slighted.
Then again it could just be technical issues.
Good call, Crayt. That certainly makes sense that they'd hold back on Zelda for the Cube to maximize interest in the Wii and its version. Ugly, but understandable from a business pov.
I wasn't too surprised with Nintendo placing the system price at $250. It's a stable price with a lot of gimmicks that will make people go "ooh" and "ahh". And while it's probably going to be fun, they really couldn't have gone higher in price
Baines, you made a good point there. I haven't upgraded to the Xbox360 yet, but at the $300 range, you might as well try to decide which you really want more. Cool controller or better graphics?
As for the game prices being $50, and the system only coming with a "tech demo", one really can't complain too much. The demo sounds cool, and the only I hadn't heard of before the official release was bowling, which makes me curious. But the full game price point of $50 doesn't surprise me. It seems to be the industry minimum standard price. All in all, I'm just glad Microsoft wasn't able to set there games at $100+.
We all might be in trouble then if that happened.