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Analyst Predicts Further Console Price Cuts

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the waiting-for-manufacturers-to-pay-us dept.

Games 50

Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing to a Reuters/Yahoo story discussing software sales growth and possible console hardware price cuts for the US. Tony Gikas, a gaming sector financial analyst, saw strong short-term sales prospects for companies such as EA, Activision, and Take Two, and "said he expected software sales growth for the industry of 12 percent each in 2003 and 2004." Interestingly, Gikas is also quoted as saying "(The recent) hardware price cut to $179 is working and (there will be) more to follow before year-end." How low can prices go before a new generation of console hardware kicks in?

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50 comments

If GameCubes drop to $100.. (0, Redundant)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220521)

I just might buy another one. My apartment's already networked and my GF loves Mario Kart.

Re:If GameCubes drop to $100.. (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220651)

Overrated? Yeesh. I wouldn't be bothered by it if I wasn't pointing out why current GameCube owners have a reason to be excited.

Camp out at a Gamestop/EB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6221945)

I just bought a platinum gamecube for $60 off of some teen that was done with the system. He told me he played it for Metroid and Zelda and that was it, it was perfect. So I offered him the cash that Gamestop was offering him for the system after a couple workers took it in the back and tested it. Took the cash from my pocket and paid him for it

Granted I had the advantage that I was working at the Gamestop at the time. Shhhhhhhhh... don't tell corporate.

Inside Information (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6220533)

Working at Microsoft Games Research, I can tell you a few things (anonymously ofcourse). The codename for it is Xenon. We are considering using wireless controllers (no specifics). We are also considering using two TV-outs (our focus group voiced that 4 people crunched together on one TV wasn't too enjoyable). The DVD will be front tray loading rather than on the top. Remote control on/off a possibility (from controller probably). It will be backwards compatible. The controller will be smaller. There will be an expansion slot. Most of the focus group said they weren't interested in web browsing or email with the console, so we will be more media centered.

Other numbers to consider: In the US, Xbox is #2 with over a million units over GameCube. However, worldwide, Xbox is #3. GameCube has sold just a little over 300,000 units over Xbox.

Re:Inside Information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6220553)

The DVD will be front tray loading rather than on the top.

Uhhh, what? The Xbox DVD already is "front tray loading". Have I just been trolled by somebody who has never used an Xbox?

Re:Inside Information (1)

Smartcowboy (679871) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220589)

Look like the other possibility (loading from the top) had been considered but was not retained.

Re:Inside Information (1)

easychord (671421) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220668)

Will it be smaller and quieter? Just a personal bugbear, I find all of the current generation of consoles too loud.

Interesting figures on console sales. How many games do each of the platforms sell per console?

We can assume that the sequel to XBox will have new anti piracy and region locking. It will be interesting to see if microsoft try to sell it as a feature.

Re:Inside Information (0)

laserlights2000 (661582) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221053)

I wish I could work at Microsoft game Research. Chances are people won't have two tvs next to each other, and after reading opening the xbox, I'm wondering if they are still going to turn it into a multimedia box

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221149)

We are considering using wireless controllers (no specifics). We are also considering using two TV-outs (our focus group voiced that 4 people crunched together on one TV wasn't too enjoyable). The DVD will be front tray loading rather than on the top. Remote control on/off a possibility (from controller probably). It will be backwards compatible. The controller will be smaller. There will be an expansion slot.

Assuming any of this is true:
wireless controllers suck. They could be useful for games that don't require quick input, but fighting games, fps games, and even most platformers and 3rd person games take a hit. Until latency on wireless is the same as with wires, this will continue to be a problem for at least some people.

2 TV outs seems like a good idea, but I doubt many people would actually use it. As someone else said, how many people are going to have 2 TVs in the same room in the first place. Although, now that I think about it, that could probably be pretty common in college dorms.

Tray-loading DVD is best, imo, but it's also important to make sure the tray comes out far enough so that you don't have to tilt the disc to put it in the tray. Over time, if you're not extremely careful with games/DVDs when the tray doesn't come out all the way, the DVD will get some wear either on the top where the case hits it, or the bottom where the edge of the tray hits it.

I'm not sure what you mean by remote control on/off, maybe because I don't own the remote control for my XBox ($30? bite me).

Backwards compatible is good, obviously. Smaller controller is only good if the design is good. Otherwise, I'd like to be able to continue using the original large XBox controller I had to buy seperately in the first place (because it came with that damned S controller). I can think of one sidewinder gamepad that had a good feel to it, it came in silver, and it's no longer listed on the MS Sidewinder website. Unfortunately I don't remember the exact name it was marketed under.

Re:Inside Information (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6221288)

I think it's worth noting that the general consensus of Nintendo's Wavebird (their 1st party wireless controller) is that it is a very good controller. Perhaps you are thinking of old-school wireless controllers that used IR? If that's the case you should try a Wavebird out - only when the batteries get low have I experienced any sort of transmission problems, and when it works right (probably 95%+ of the time) the fact that it's wireless makes it very appealing to me. Still prefer the controller-s layout, though.

Also, if MS goes with wireless controllers, how will the Xbox live headsets hook up? Seems like connecting them through the controller as now would push too much data wirelessly, though I'll grant I have no real sense of the limits to how much data a wireless controller can transmit simultaneously.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221386)

I think it's worth noting that the general consensus of Nintendo's Wavebird (their 1st party wireless controller) is that it is a very good controller. Perhaps you are thinking of old-school wireless controllers that used IR? If that's the case you should try a Wavebird out - only when the batteries get low have I experienced any sort of transmission problems, and when it works right (probably 95%+ of the time) the fact that it's wireless makes it very appealing to me. Still prefer the controller-s layout, though.

Wireless has always had some appeal to me, as well, but the problems with them in terms of gaming don't even seem to be something that most people have been looking at. I know 2 people that have wireless controllers for their gamecubes that noticed the same latency issues I'm talking about (note: not dropouts, latency, the time between pressing the button and the action being performed on-screen), but I don't know if they have the controller you're talking about or not. I definitely have had problems with wireless controllers on the PS2 (my step-brother bought one), and wireless keyboards/mice on the PC (my dad and my roommate both have wireless keyboard/mouse combos that are less than a year old).

At least the XBox controllers have longer cables than the Sony controllers. I had to buy extension cables for my PS2 controllers, whereas the XBox controllers get from beside the TV to the couch with no problems. I've considered putting my consoles next to the couch to alleviate all of the problems associated with the cables streamed across the room when playing, but then I'll have to route the video & audio cables under the carpet or through the walls & attic, either of which seems a bit much at the moment.

Also, if MS goes with wireless controllers, how will the Xbox live headsets hook up? Seems like connecting them through the controller as now would push too much data wirelessly, though I'll grant I have no real sense of the limits to how much data a wireless controller can transmit simultaneously.

It depends a lot on how it's handled by the transmitter. Many wireless standards such as bluetooth will shift frequencies to avoid interference, which I'd imagine the Live headset would do as well (I'm not sure what wireless standards it uses, or the specs if it's a proprietary protocol). The amount of data is generally not an issue, as long as they chose their specifications properly in the first place.

Re:Inside Information (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221450)

I have a Wavebird and a Logic3 wireless controller for my ps2. I have never ever EVER noticed any lag. No interference either with absolutely any appliance, including my wireless pc keyboard / mouse. I suggest you give it a try, having wireless controller has cleared all the clutter from my living room. You are actually the first person I have ever heard making complaints about latency. Have you even tried out a modern 2.4GHz wireless controller?

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221563)

I suggest you give it a try, having wireless controller has cleared all the clutter from my living room. You are actually the first person I have ever heard making complaints about latency. Have you even tried out a modern 2.4GHz wireless controller?

Well, I can always pick up a Wavebird when I pick up my GC, and if it works out I'll look around at the controllers for the other systems (unfortunately I somehow doubt there's a recent wireless Dreamcast controller out there). I'm a little worried by the fact that you've never heard any complaints about latency, though, since that would generally imply that either you (and the people you know) don't notice the latency, or just don't play games where it matters (or compensate, which can be done in some games). As for a 2.4 GHz controller, I'm pretty sure both the PS2 controller I tried and the GC controllers my friends have are 2.4GHz, but that doesn't really mean anything, since that's simply the frequency they transmit at, and has little to do with transmission latency. I do know that my parents' 2.4GHz phones sound like crap, but that's really not the same issue, either (has a lot to do with them having transmission towers nearby, which I don't think is an issue where I live, but could be).

Re:Inside Information (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221701)

I'm using the "2.4GHz" label to distinguish them from older technology, IR based wireless. Please read reviews of said wireless controllers, you will see they were tested quite thoroughly by people who were expecting them to be quite crap (like you seem to do, for example). I do accept that YMMV but I think that at least the Wavebird, a controller that was engineered to be functioning up to 50 ft away from the console will fill your needs. Also, please don't compare phones with controllers, it is very painful.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221772)

Also, please don't compare phones with controllers, it is very painful

It's fundamentally the same technology, whether it's painful or not. The only real difference is that the phones usually need more throughput and less interference to be tolerable.

The way I see it, though, is that if people seem to think that a particular controller is much more functional than others have been, then it's not a big deal to go out and grab one when I'm already throwing down some cash for a console, memory card, and other assorted things (gba link cable, maybe another game besides what comes with the console), and would be buying a second controller anyway. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't work well for me, and it gets relegated to the 2nd controller port, much like the XBox S Controller that came with that system.

Re:Inside Information (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6223055)

The Wavebird is either 800 or 900mhz, not sure. Definately not 2.4ghz.

Amongst my friends, the Wavebird is the controller of choice in Smash Bros games. No one has noticed any latency issues. I watched carefully for latency when I first got the controller, but has far as I could tell, it was just as responsive as the wired controllers.

The controller does suck though when the batteries are low.

Re:Inside Information (2, Insightful)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221507)

Wireless has always had some appeal to me, as well, but the problems with them in terms of gaming don't even seem to be something that most people have been looking at. I know 2 people that have wireless controllers for their gamecubes that noticed the same latency issues I'm talking about (note: not dropouts, latency, the time between pressing the button and the action being performed on-screen), but I don't know if they have the controller you're talking about or not. I definitely have had problems with wireless controllers on the PS2 (my step-brother bought one), and wireless keyboards/mice on the PC (my dad and my roommate both have wireless keyboard/mouse combos that are less than a year old).

My guess is that you're not using good wireless equipment. I have a WaveBird for my GameCube, and it's fantastic. I never used a wired controller with it, and don't see any need to. I've played it on the same batteries for 8-12 hours at a time for over 6 months and never had any problems at all, including latency (yes, I know what latency is). For the PC, I'm currently using a Logitech MX700, both at work and at home. I have noticed one relatively minor problem... after a little while of not moving the mouse, it takes about 1/4 of a second to re-initialize the wireless connection before any movement is seen on the screen. It never seems to happen during games, but only when I'm browsing the internet or doing other non-time-critical things. I would highly recommend both items, although cost might be an issue. If memory serves, the WaveBird was about $35 new, and the Logitech MX700 is around $75 - 80.

At least the XBox controllers have longer cables than the Sony controllers. I had to buy extension cables for my PS2 controllers, whereas the XBox controllers get from beside the TV to the couch with no problems. I've considered putting my consoles next to the couch to alleviate all of the problems associated with the cables streamed across the room when playing, but then I'll have to route the video & audio cables under the carpet or through the walls & attic, either of which seems a bit much at the moment.

I bought my XBox a week after it came out, and I have to agree. I absolutely LOVE the 10' cables, as compared to the standard 6' ones on the GameCube and PS2. I don't know who the hell ever thought that 6' was enough to go from somewhere near the TV to wherever the kids would be sitting, but they need beaten in the head with something heavy. That's the main reason I tried the WaveBird (see above ;-) ).

It depends a lot on how it's handled by the transmitter. Many wireless standards such as bluetooth will shift frequencies to avoid interference, which I'd imagine the Live headset would do as well (I'm not sure what wireless standards it uses, or the specs if it's a proprietary protocol). The amount of data is generally not an issue, as long as they chose their specifications properly in the first place.

I personally wouldn't recommend bluetooth, or anything else in the 2.4ghz range. At this point, almost everything is operating at 2.4ghz... microwaves, cordless phones, wireless mice / keyboards, etc. Even if bluetooth can shift frequencies, there's only 3 non-overlapping ranges in the 802.11b standard... I'd recommend 5ghz. It's got additional bandwidth, and not nearly as many things operating in the same range. Latency shouldn't be an issue, as long as it's tested properly...

My personal opinion would be to sell the wireless controller in 2.4ghz, and the XBox Live headset in 5ghz. In the XBox Live box there would be a replacement transmitter that would include BOTH 2.4ghz AND 5ghz, and there wouldn't be any overlapping between them at all. The headset could easily have a 5ghz transmitter built-in, and the controller already would have the 2.4ghz built in. It may not be cost effective yet, but it seems like a good solution to me.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221728)

I would highly recommend both items, although cost might be an issue. If memory serves, the WaveBird was about $35 new, and the Logitech MX700 is around $75 - 80.

I'll probably pick up a WaveBird with my GC in a couple weeks. If it gives me any problems it can always be controller 2 ;p As for the Logitech mouse, I won't touch anything they make until they make a trackball I can use comfortably. I'm setting up a computer for my gf, though, and she might prefer a mouse, so we shall see. I was considering wireless on that one, anyway, because it was originally going to be used as a media server in my apartment (connected to the TV & stereo, store all of my MP3 files and video files on it), and she only uses the computer for Word/IE for the most part anyway.

I don't know who the hell ever thought that 6' was enough to go from somewhere near the TV to wherever the kids would be sitting, but they need beaten in the head with something heavy.

It was perfectly fine when I was a kid playing NES and had absolutely no problem sitting on the floor 2 feet from the TV for hours on end. Now I start to get back and circulation problems if I'm not in a comfortable chair, though, and I like to have a place to set a drink, and maybe a strategy guide or some notes depending on the game. Not to mention taking breaks every hour or so to make sure I don't strain my eyes and hands, and to feed my tobacco addiction.

I'd recommend 5ghz. It's got additional bandwidth, and not nearly as many things operating in the same range. Latency shouldn't be an issue, as long as it's tested properly..

5 GHz products are required to meet, at least in the US, 'listen before transmit' specifications. In other words, before transmitting anything (and every time they transmit), they must make sure the frequency over which they're transmitting is clear. The reason is because the frequency range is used by the DoD and military. Since I live in an area surrounded by military bases (Hampton Roads area of Virginia), it's likely that in times of heightened alert a 5GHz device could be either non-functional or high-latency.

Re:Inside Information (1)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 11 years ago | (#6225987)

I have the wavebird, the one made directly by Nintendo, and the only problems I've ever had as an issue with it and latency is if I'm at somebody's house and they have a very cheaply made wireless phone. There are knockoffs of the wavebird that from what I understand, have not gone anywhere near the ease of use and juse quality that the wavebirds have.

It's actually very likely that with Nintendo's next console, the system will use something that would be equivilant to a 4th generation wavebird. (First being the originals, second being 900Mhz range, 3rd being 2.4Ghz range, 4th being 3 maybe). But prolly still have a port to plug in wired controllers or additional 3rd party devices. Considering all the accolades Nintendo has received for the wavebird, it would be very likely for them to do this. Plus they could end up coming out cheaper for the controllers (with rumble that doesn't suck as much battery life) since they'd have the reciever bit built right into the console.

They could also feasably go like the GBA SP and have the controllers for it come with a high powered rechargable battery, and have it where the controllers could just dock with the next system (I'm thinking like how electric toothbrushes can charge without ever having any metal on metal pieces), or directly plug a cable into the controllers when they weren't in use.

Re:Inside Information (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6222104)

>wireless controllers suck.

you're a moron. have you ever used the wavebird? I bet you any amount of money you won't see any kind of latency in a double blind test.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6222679)

you're a moron.

I guess I am, since I'm bothering to reply.

have you ever used the wavebird?

I've been told it's pretty good by the other posters in this thread, so I may try it out when I actually get a Gamecube, again as I said in other parts of this thread.

I bet you any amount of money you won't see any kind of latency in a double blind test.

Except, of course, that actually doing a double-blind test is impossible without mocking up a wire on the wireless controller... Or, I could do it blindfolded, in which case I wouldn't know if there was any latency anyway. Then again, considering the games I intend to get for the GC, it may not matter either way.

Re:Inside Information (1)

ubikkibu (544498) | more than 11 years ago | (#6226533)

> wireless controllers suck. They could be useful
> for games that don't require quick input, but
> fighting games, fps games, and even most
> platformers and 3rd person games take a hit.
> Until latency on wireless is the same as with
> wires, this will continue to be a problem for
> at least some people.

You've never used the WaveBird. All problems gone. I'll never buy a system with corded controllers again. Thanks, Nintendo.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6227140)

You've never used the WaveBird. All problems gone.

OK, I've accepted that the WaveBird may be a good controller. Here's my problem with hearing this repeated over and over again:

WTF good does that do the rest of us that don't currently have a GameCube?

I will most likely pick up a WaveBird with my GC, fine, but as even a few of the people raving about the WaveBird have admitted, that doesn't mean that all wireless controllers are good, or even all current wireless controllers.

Re:Inside Information (1)

Zed2K (313037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6222483)

I wouldn't buy it if it had wireless controllers. That is an extra purchase, don't make people pay for it to get the console. Just have the controllers have extra long cables. I'd also say ditch the 2 tv-outputs. If you want, build it into the hardware and make a different cable that people have to buy that takes advantage of it. Again, don't make people pay for something that very few people ever do. I don't like tray loading players for game systems. Too easy to knock into it or break it. Top loading is the best and probably is the best use of space since the top door doesn't need to be very thick or take up much plastic. But with a drawer you have that entire drawer mechanism that you have to build around. Make it look like the rest of my home theater stuff. Right now I have a separate shelf for the game systems because they don't go with anything else that I have and don't fit nicely on the shelves because of their odd sizes and shapes. If you are going to support dvd playing, make it a progressive dvd player and make it work out of the box. No more nickle and dimeing the customer to buy a remote in order to play dvd's.

I don't care about online console play, as much as the game companies think it will, it'll never take off.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6222814)

Top loading is the best and probably is the best use of space since the top door doesn't need to be very thick or take up much plastic. But with a drawer you have that entire drawer mechanism that you have to build around. Make it look like the rest of my home theater stuff. Right now I have a separate shelf for the game systems because they don't go with anything else that I have and don't fit nicely on the shelves because of their odd sizes and shapes.

Wouldn't a top-loading system continue to cause problems with this for you? At best your console would have to be on top of the stack or on it's own shelf with easy access to the top of the unit. Overall, the current XBox and PS2 don't stand out too much from the rest of the equipment I have, but then the only stuff I have that seems to be a consistent size is rackmount equipment. My Dreamcast, on the other hand, stays out of site when I'm not actively playing it.

If you are going to support dvd playing, make it a progressive dvd player and make it work out of the box. No more nickle and dimeing the customer to buy a remote in order to play dvd's.

So, don't make customers pay for things some don't want/use/need, but make sure the DVD player's a good one and doesn't require anything else to play DVDs... Personally, I don't play DVDs on my XBox because I'm not going to spend $30 to do it, but I wouldn't ask them to build the functionality into it, either. Then again, I don't see why they couldn't control it with the controllers like the PS2 does (even though using the controllers to play DVDs on the PS2 is a pain in the ass).

Re:Inside Information (1)

Zed2K (313037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6223081)

"Wouldn't a top-loading system continue to cause problems with this for you? At best your console would have to be on top of the stack or on it's own shelf with easy access to the top of the unit."

Yeah, thats the downside. But we all know they won't make a console look like other hometheater stuff. I know with the gamecube i need to make sure I've got clearance above it, but as far as ease of use and reliability I still think top loading works better. No motors, no electric buttons, just a purely mechanical switch and a spring.

"So, don't make customers pay for things some don't want/use/need, but make sure the DVD player's a good one and doesn't require anything else to play DVDs"

I think more people will want to use it to play dvd's than going online or for multiple tv's or want wireless controllers. I have my own dvd player and won't ever use a console to play dvd's, but the added cost of being able to play dvd's can't be anything since games already will use that ability to some extent. Its already there so why force someone to buy a remote to access it when it can just as easily be controlled from the controller. If they want something better then buy the remote.

Re:Inside Information (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6224001)

I think more people will want to use it to play dvd's than going online or for multiple tv's or want wireless controllers.

I agree with the multiple tvs and wireless controllers parts, but not the going online part. While none of my consoles are currently online (though I'm considering getting a wireless router to hook them all up), I believe that charging extra for an ethernet port (especially at the rates charged for the Sega and Sony adapters, and considering how hard they can be to find) is pretty much insane, especially since it costs next to nothing to add to a system if it's built into the board (consider that you can buy a PCI 10/100 ethernet card for $5, and that ethernet ports are standard on most x86 motherboards now). Cable internet has a very high market penetration in the US, and those that don't have access to it will eventually if they have access to cable television. The more systems that have this built in, instead of as an add-on, the more likely it is that developers will support it. While I believe that online only titles may never take off on consoles, or maybe will simply take a few more years, online multiplayer and online extras will become nearly as crucial in the success of console games as in the success of PC games.

I have my own dvd player and won't ever use a console to play dvd's, but the added cost of being able to play dvd's can't be anything since games already will use that ability to some extent. Its already there so why force someone to buy a remote to access it when it can just as easily be controlled from the controller. If they want something better then buy the remote.

I agree more or less. There could be a few more things that are needed to support DVD playback that aren't needed to play games, but most of that functionality is a very small cost when it's built into the video chipset (as it is with most current video chipsets, both in PCs and consoles). The added cost of the remote is the only reason I've never used my XBox for DVD playback, although I've heard that it does better than the PS2 (I wouldn't use either of them, but my roommate highjacked the DVD player in the living room and I don't care enough to force the issue when I have a DVD player in my room and the PS2 plays DVDs). Still, with the proliferation of DVD players, I'd think the only valid reason for using a game system as a DVD player for most people is when the system is hooked up to a secondary TV in the household. I can certainly pick up a DVD player that does a better job than the PS2 for $10 more than the cost of a PS2 game down at the local WalMart (although quite frankly I doubt that DVD player would be as good as either of the DVD players I already own).

Re:Inside Information (1)

Nonki (682234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6223398)

I also heard Xbox 2 is switching to ATI for thier Graphics chip, which makes sense. Wireless controllers sound cool but they would probably cause problems with phones, microwaves, wifi, etc. like every other wireless device not to mention that latency. 2 tv outs would be awesome! Shouldnt be much more expensive to add another SCART on the box. It would be nice to have a built in IR reciever like the new PS2, and use that for Remote On/Off. And it should definately come with built in media sharing/streaming to and from PC's and other Xboxen. That should have been included in Xbox 1 from the get-go, its only software for god's sake it's not that hard for Microsoft!

Re:Inside Information (1)

Nonki (682234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6224585)

I didn't think they would even consider a top loading tray.

1) it's easier to use PC-style parts and
2) the possibility of using disc swapping techniques to run unauthorized code, MS does not like unauthorized code!

I don't really care which one they use, but if they use front loading, i hope they include an eject/close button on the remote.

What Nintendo SHOULD do (3, Interesting)

KU_Fletch (678324) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220591)

I hope Nintendo doesn't do a price cut, but instead creates a super bundle. Put the Gamecube, GBA SP, and a game for each. Keep the $150 price level. Parents will love it because they see it as getting two consoles for the price of one, kids will love getting more, adult gamers (myself included) will enjoy the linkable features that are upcoming. Plus, they could have theme packs. The Zelda, Metroid, and Mario also have big name games on both consoles (with Zelda and Metroid having link capacity). Hell, there could even be an Animal Crossing bundle with Animal Crossing and an e-Reader instead of a GBA-SP game since you can download NES games instead.

What if they introduce networking in a big way? (4, Interesting)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220654)

Then cheap, individual consoles are going to be important to get. They should come with game discs that let you play GBA-SP or go webtv/networked mode with a broadband adapter and let you remotely boot net-aware games, like an arcade setup.

That would kick ass. Of course, they might not like the idea of only having to have one copy of the game for 4 people to play over a LAN (you'll probably need it for net play, however)
In fact, that sounds like a good compromise! $150 for a "LAN party pack", GC, controller, Net/GBA rom, broadband adapter.

Re:What if they introduce networking in a big way? (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221385)

Mario Cart Advance supposedly already does this. Link 4 GBA together and you only need one catridge to play with your friends. I wonder if there are other games who support this tough.

Re:What if they introduce networking in a big way? (1)

h0mer (181006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6222462)

A lot of Game Boy Advance games allow you to play multiplayer with only one cartridge, but there are tradeoffs. For example, in Mario Kart, every player has to use Yoshi and there are only a couple of levels. Transferring all of the levels and characters through the link cable would take too long.

Re:What Nintendo SHOULD do (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6223986)

Interesting idea. They are going to bundle the GBA player with the Gamecube, which should appeal to older gamers like us, who appreciate quality titles like Castlevania for GBA, yet offering the SP as a choice would appeal to kids who just love their portables. Maybe you could get a choice of which GBA (SP or Player), AND one free game like they do now. They would rule next Christmas if they did that. Microsoft and Sony can't give away handhelds so Nintendo always wins. Maybe MS will give away OS's. Buy an Xbox get a copy of WinXP!

Re:What Nintendo SHOULD do (1)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 11 years ago | (#6225916)

There's only two problems with this thought.

1) The GBA player for the gamecube, is only supposed to top out at $50

2) The GBA SP is making money. You don't go bundling a complete seperate system with another for $150 when one of the systems is consistantly still selling out at $99 a pop.

The closest chance to this happening would be to bundle the Gamecube with an original GBA, since there would be a lower price difference and all, and more incentive for some to buy that bundle.

Same story, same comment (0)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220688)

Drop the prices of new release games and we'll talk. A$100 is too expensive. Bring it down to A$50-A$60 and I've already got two titles for the PS2 I'd be interested in.

Re:Same story, same comment (1)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221540)

What's the conversion rate between US$ and AUS$? New titles in the US only cost $50 at worst... most of the time they're $40-45.

Re:Same story, same comment (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 11 years ago | (#6222080)

You'd think with the whole internet at your service you'd be able to find the conversion rate for USD to AUD (hint: xe.com says it's about $1:$0.67).

So $100 A is a bit more in real terms than in the US. But still I agree. $45 US for new titles is way out of line. Not that y'all aren't used to paying it, but personally I balk at $30, and prefer $20. Of course, I'm content to let everyone else play the latest and greatest and wait for the used consoles and games to show up in the bin at EB Games and Funcoland.

Especially since most of the new games put way too much emphasis on graphics and not nearly enough emphasis on game play. Apparently hardcore gamers are taking this all way too seriously. It's not that the sprite animation I grew up with should be good enough for the present day, but that with the possible exception of racing games, I haven't noticed that all this excess computing power has made video gaming any funner. :)

Re:Same story, same comment (1)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6233418)

Now, now... let's not get hostile. I only suggested that the parent provide the current exchange rates because he was complaining about the cost of new games in a foreign country. I don't feel anyone can make a comment one way or the other without the appropriate information, which is, in this case, the exchange rate.

Sure, I prefer to pay $20 to play a new game... but I recognize that with the demand of new games with good graphics, sound, and gameplay, there's a supply that necessitates a cost of around $35 - 50. So, I don't really complain. I enjoy getting a good, fun game for $20 (like SimGolf), but I don't think that is, or necessarily should be, the norm.

I think it's a little objective to say that the only games that have improved due to (at least in part) the graphics are racing games. By that logic, I could say that since I like them, that the only games that have improved because of graphics are FPS's. After all, I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that Wolfenstein 3-D (the original) is a better game overall than Doom 3 or Half-Life 2 (hopefully). I had a much more enjoyable experience playing Final Fantasy X than I did playing Final Fantasy 2 (or 4, depending on your point of view). However, I also recognize that people look at their pleasant childhood experiences through gold-colored glasses... so I realize that in retrospect, Final Fantasy 2 SEEMS like it was more fun. For reference, play Final Fantasy 2, immediately followed by Final Fantasy X and see which you enjoy more. It would be especially interesting to play 2 games that you've never seen or played before... just to be totally subjective.

Price cut (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6220772)

How low can prices go before a new generation of console hardware kicks in?

How about $150, which is what the last cuts SHOULD have been? It's good to hear that the modest price cut has bolstered sales, but it was a letdown to consumers and retailers that were expecting something bigger.

Next Gen (0)

laserlights2000 (661582) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221071)

Considering the next consoles are out till an estimated 2005, I suppose 100 or so is rock bottom before new consoles come out

How low can prices go? (3, Interesting)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221588)

How low can prices go before a new generation of console hardware kicks in?

Pretty low. Remember the NES and SNES? Or even the SNES and N64? What about the N64 and the GameCube? (This is from memory, so mistakes can and probably will be made.) AFAIK, they ALL dropped to around $100 before the next generation came out. Here's my prediction: we should expect another relatively minor cut in the next few months (probably before November) to around $149 for the PS2 and XBox. Then, right at the end of 2004 or beginning of 2005, they'll announce the next generation, which would be out in mid-2005 to late-2005... as soon as the announcement is made, it'll be less than a week before they drop prices to $100, or possibly $125 (counting for inflation and all).

Does that sound amiable to all?

Re:How low can prices go? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6221857)

Also remember the PSOne was released at a low price around the time the Dreamcast came out. So, it could be that near the end of life of one console, if a new console comes out from one of the other 3 (doesn't Nintendo intend to be much faster to the table this time around?), you could see a new revision of the other 2 consoles and a large price drop to combat the adoption of the new console (PS2 came out in the US what, a year after the Dreamcast? Or was that just when you could finally get them without being on a waiting list?). I distinctly remember a lot of parents going out at XMas time looking for 'Playstations' that may have inadvertently brought home PSOne systems for kids that already had a PS 1 and wanted a PS2, because the PS2s were released, but weren't available for the most part.

My parents didn't buy an NES until it dropped to $110 w/ the light gun + duck hunt/SMB cartridge, whereas my uncle had bought one with the robot years earlier for ~$400. The improvement in the graphics of NES games over the years was really amazing when you look back, too.

Re:How low can prices go? (1)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6233472)

The Dreamcast came out on 9/9/99 (remember the adds? 9/9/99... "It's thinking."...). The PS2 came out the following year on October 26 (if memory serves). So, yes, you're right... it was just over a year. The reason PS2's were so hard to come by was that Sony didn't manufacture enough of them to meet demand. Some of them were going for over $1000 on eBay right before Christmas. They didn't completely meet the demand until the following March or April, perhaps even as late as May. I got mine in March... I think... Seems like so long ago... =)

Re:How low can prices go? (1)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6222556)

Speaking of N64, it turns out the price of a used on at Gamestop is down to $20 these days. $20! If I didn't have one already, I wouldn't have been able to stop myself from buying it on impulse yesterday. Seriously, $20 for a console as good as N64 is rediculous. (Disclaimer: I don't have the disposable income to waste on current systems, especially since they don't look that great)

Re:How low can prices go? (1)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6233512)

Here's the problem with it though... Name 5 good games for the N64. I can think of a few... but 5 is pushing it.

I can come up with Goldeneye, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Zelda: Majora's Mask, Super Mario Kart 64, and Super Mario 64. Really, both Zelda games are the same... Can anyone think of any others?

Re:How low can prices go? (1)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6235002)

Super Smash Brothers, Mario Party, Bomberman 64, FZero X, and Starfox 64, in addition to the ones you listed are all great games in my opinion.

The thing about truly good games, though, is that you only need a few of them to keep yourself entertained for months.

Re:How low can prices go? (1)

mink (266117) | more than 11 years ago | (#6236914)

Tetrisphere
The New Tetris
Yoshi's Story
Mario 64
Jetforce Gemini
Conkers Bad Fur Day
Pilotwings 64
Mario Kart 64
Golden Eye
Zelda: OOT
Zelda: MM
Paper Mario
Wonder Project J2
Harvest Moon 64
Mistchief Maker
Donkey Kong 64

Thats all off the top of my head. IfI look in my collection I will probably find a dozen more that were not crap.

...and in other news... (2, Funny)

ameoba (173803) | more than 11 years ago | (#6226583)

Computers will get faster, education will get more expensive, politicians will lie and SCO will soon press charges of distributing child pornography against IBM.

Low Enough For DOOM III (1)

webzombie (262030) | more than 11 years ago | (#6236504)

Ok, if the Xbox gets to $100 I'll buy it.

But just for DOOM III

Cheaper then those honkin' ATI and GEForce cards Carmack on Crack keeps yappin' about! :-)

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