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Friday, August 28, 2009

Every Time I Think I'm Out...(Console Wars)

Okay, I keep not wanting to comment on console wars and talk instead about game design, but dang if this stuff doesn't get me worked up.  Here's a quote info from Kotaku's Brian Crecente:

But with Wii sales flattening and consumers looking for more bang for their buck this holiday, it would be a smart decision.  

Both Microsoft and Sony told Kotaku that they plan to heavily market their new prices during the holidays pointing out to consumers all the things they get for their $300.  

"This holiday," Greenberg said, "is all about value."

Oof.

Okay, so Wii sales are "flattening" according to last month's NPD results.  That's one month out of how many months?  All right, okay, so maybe they sold a little bit less than in previous months.  Still, it's pretty darn good considering the there were no new releases in July until the end of the month in Wii Sports Resort.  We might see a different tale this month.  We might not.  We'll wait until September to see what comes out, but I would posit that with two million copies of Wii Sports Resort sold already there were some Wiis sold.

Moving on.

So the holiday is all about value, Mr. Greenberg?  So, your consumer pays $300 and gets...what?  They get a console with a controller.  No games.  Those are extra at $60 apiece.  You can get a bundle that may cost $349 that includes one game, or if Sony and Microsoft really feel like taking it in the shorts they'll sell bundles for $299 and take a huge loss on the hardware that they just finally got the price down on.  Or, the consumer can pay $249 and get a Wii with Wii Sports.  For $50 more you get a controller and a couple more games.  I mean, which one is the value?

The things that these companies are pushing are things that don't get used!  It's like they're saying "Bigger Hard Drive Space!  Blu-Ray!  HD Capability!"  Most people are answering, "What?  Whatsamahoosits?  I don't have an HDTV.  Why do I need a hard drive in a console?  My kids like Wii Sports, and we all have fun with it.  Why don't I get that?"

This is killing me.  My head hurts.  I have to go lie down.  I hope Nintendo spanks all these companies this holiday season and teaches them a lesson.