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Next-Gen Pricing Still A Hot Issue

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-need-to-sell-more-organs dept.

Games 101

GamesIndustry.biz has two articles taking a look at next-gen pricing, both from Microsoft's point of view. Xbox VP Peter Moore says that next-generation pricing is actually going to be an excellent value for the money. From the article: "...he predicted that many games may be offered in limited edition bundles, similar to the already announced Perfect Dark Zero bundle, which costs an additional $10 but adds a significant amount of bonus content to the title, and that premium downloads costing 'maybe another $5' will also be a key strategy for publishers." Additionally, the Xbox marketing folks are already planning price reductions for the 360. From that article: "'We will wind up cost-reducing the product every year,' Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of the Xbox product group, told Reuters. It's estimated that the 360 costs approximately $100 less per unit to manufacture than Sony's PS3, giving Microsoft more scope for price cuts."

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AC wins (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13608322)

frist post

Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (0, Troll)

TelJanin (784836) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608334)

Even if the price will be cut later, it still costs $500 to buy the full version. Buying a new video card every 3-4 years for that much is one thing, a new console every year is quite another.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (4, Informative)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608622)

Buying a new video card every 3-4 years for that much is one thing, a new console every year is quite another.

Huh?

PS3/XBox360/Revolution = 2005/2006

PS2/XBox/GameCube = 2000/2001

PS1/N64 = 1995/1996

SNES/Genesis = 1989/1991

That's about a five year time span between generations. If anything, console upgrades are less frequent that pc video card upgrades.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608638)

A new console every year? What are you talking about? A console's lifecycle is 5 years, so even if you for some reason have to buy every console that ever comes out, you'ld still have a hard time finding a new console to buy every year.

Also, it's $400, not $500.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13608691)

I believe the grandparent is talking about Microsoft's idea to release upgraded versions of the console in quick succession. I don't have a link handy, but I know this has been discussed on Slashdot before. If that's not easy to find a quick Google search should be sufficient.

Exclusive titles (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610500)

A console's lifecycle is 5 years

When the three games you really want to play are exclusives on three different companies' consoles, then a console's average life cycle is 1 year and 8 months.

Re:Exclusive titles (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612369)

How about having friends? You know, people you can trade with, for a week or so.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#13609994)

um first its been 4-5 years since the last console came out.

second, you would expect a console to cost MORE than a graphics card simply cause it does more to begin with. its a graphics card PLUS a CPU, motherboard, etc.

And third its 400 for the full version, not 500.

Seriously you PC trolls really need to start doing your homework before you shoot flames.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (1)

theapodan (737488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611247)

second, you would expect a console to cost MORE than a graphics card simply cause it does more to begin with. its a graphics card PLUS a CPU, motherboard, etc.

Not true actually, you would expect a console to be competatively priced with one of its components. Because the console market pushes for so much production of components, deals can be reached for components in bulk, whereas as consumers we pay out the nose.

It's how wal-mart manages to package all sorts of junk in one box, while charging more for each piece of junk individually.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (1)

bleaknik (780571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610993)

... a new console every year is quite another.

A new console every year? Yup. Spoken like a true PS2 (malfunctioning optical drive?) or X-Box (optical/hard drive failure) owner. Hehe.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611048)

You seem to be confused - it's 300-400$ for a new video card every 6 months, 4-500$ for a console every 3-4 YEARS.

Re:Who cares, it's still $500 at launch (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13618323)

No, you are the one confused if you think you have to buy a new card every six months.

game prices (1, Insightful)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608358)

Game prices are high enough as it is. Now if people want to play the 'whole' game they have to pay an extra $10 for more of the game and $5 more for extra online content? It seems like just another way to nickel and dime consumers. They just just release the 'whole' game at the standard price, and if you pay for xbox live you should get the online content for free.

Re:game prices (2)

Chemical (49694) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609087)

Game prices, if adjusted for inflation, are significantly cheaper than they were in the NES era. A game these days costs $50 new. A game in the NES days costs $40-50 new. Adjusted (1987 dollars) that is $67-84. And think about how much more it costs to make a game vs. in 1987. If anything, were getting a way better deal since the days of the NES. I wouldn't complain. I think $50 is perfectly reasonable.

Re:game prices (3, Insightful)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609568)

You know, I hear this "logic" mentioned quite a bit, and I would like to point out that the cost of optical media, used by all three major manufacturers, is significantly less than the cartridge-based games of yore. Nintendo tried upping the price when the N64 was released (Shadow of the Empire was $90!) and they couldn't maintain that price point for long. The fact of the matter is, regardless of what the development and marketing costs are for a game, manufacturers save a BUNDLE on manufacturing because of the minimal duplication costs, which help maintain the price of the games at about $50.

Add onto that the fact that developers can slap a sequel together for most licences without having to rebuild the game from the ground up. Grand Theft Auto is an excellent example of this. While there were ginourmous differences between GTA II and GTA III, the base elements of GTA:SA haven't changed much since GTA III.

The other side of that coin is that casual gamers are quite simply not going to spend more than $50 for a game. Sure, the gaming elite will spend three times that for a "super special limited edition" that comes in "collectible" packaging, but I'm starting to wait for games to become a Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits/Player's Choice (yes, I own all three consoles) title before shelling out the $20 for it. And sometimes I'll wait until a retailer has a 2 for $30 deal before spending my dough.

I won't buy a next-gen console until they hit the $150 mark. And I dig on video games.

Re:game prices (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610332)

The base elements themselves may not have changed, but Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas got a new engine. GTA III and GTA:VC were running on the old Body Harvest engine from the N64.

Just because it plays similarly doesn't mean that no work was done.

Re:game prices (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13617901)

Not exactly. GTAIII, VC and SA all run on whatever build of the middleware platform RenderWare that was out at the time of development.

One word (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13608398)

Goooooooo0oooooooaaaaaaaaaaaSaaaaaaaaaallllllllllL LLllllll!!!!!!333333111111111111111111111111111111 111611111111111111

Because They Are Too Expensive (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608416)

I expect Nintendo to release at $250 and clean up.

That said, let's look at the fact. According to IGN [ign.com] the NES launched for (an adjusted) $351.91. For that price you got two games (Mario and Duck Hunt), the console, two controllers, and a light gun (you even got R.O.B. if you bought one of the earliest ones in the US).

The XBox 360 is launching at $399 (for the REAL version, not the "XBox three-shitty" as Penny Arcade has termed the cheaper one. For that price you get the console, one controller, a headset, and a one year subscription to live. If you assume that live costs $50 a year, that means that the same price as the NES (adjusted), you get.. two fewer games, one less controller, and no lightgun.

The Sega Genesis which cost $389.67 at launch (again, adjusted) came with two controllers and Sonic. Again, you got two controllers and a game.

The N64 cost $242.75 at launch. So for what the XBox 360 will cost you could have bought the N64, Mario ($60 lets say), Pilotwings ($60 lets say), and a controller ($30 lets say). Two games, two controllers for that price.

Now let's look at the GameCube. $210 at launch leaves us with an extra $190 (three games) before we hit the price of the XBox 360 without a game. Add the price of a game to the 360 ($60-70) and you could buy two controllers for the 'cube, or a controller and a memory card.

Now MS is doing better than the NeoGeo ($1040), the 3DO ($920), and the Atari VCS ($810). But with the exception of the Atari (the first real home system), the other two FAILED in the marketplace (largely due to high price).

The NeoGeo had games costing upwards of $200 at the time. Sure they were arcade PERFECT, but most people didn't buy $200 games. I hope MS is smarter than that. They will probably only charge $80 for their games.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (2, Insightful)

kryogen1x (838672) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608473)

It doesn't matter if the price isn't as high as we think because of inflation. I don't care if $200 back then costs $351 now, especially since my income hasn't increased since then.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608519)

I agree with that fact. I (like most people) will balk more at a $300 price today than $200 ten years ago, even if the $300 is technically cheaper.

But my point was to shoot holes through any "It's higher because of inflation" and "It's such a great value" arguments. You can't arbitrarily raise the price of consoles $100 each generation and expect people to cough up the money.

I remember the price of the XBox being balked at because it was so high. Now after a little initial hoop-lah we seem to hear almost nothing about the ridiculous price of the 360.

I wouldn't mind if the $400 version included a game or two, or at least a second controller. But instead I am paying $100 ($50 if you remove the "price" of XBL) to uncripple a $300 piece of hardware.

Am I the only one who things that $300 pieces of hardware shouldn't be crippled for the sake of making you pay more? $50 hardware, sure. But $300?

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (3, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608731)

If people would hold off a second, they wouldn't have to pay the "early adoption tax."

If console sales are really sluggish in the beginning, MS will lower the price to get the install base. The whole business model depends on it. If people don't buy the system, they don't get license fees, and they don't make money. Third party developers do not make games for systems with no installed user base. This is a leason every console maker knows full and well by now.

This is just as much the fault of the consumer accepting the ridiculous pricing because they cannot exhibit self control as it is of the console makers who inflate the price in an attempt to offset the pre-known losses they're going to incur.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (2)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608779)

I agree. I'm a geek, I love games, and I've been buying consoles on launch day since the original PlayStation. I would have done it for the 360 and PS3 is they had reasonable prices ($300 or less).

Now there is NO QUESTION that I won't be buying a 360 (maybe when the price drops to $300, or buy a used one from any unhappy early adopter). The PS3 is looking iffy (as much as I like Sony. But we don't know the official price yet). The revolution I know I will buy at launch, because I trust Nintendo. But then I also expect them to have a lower price (I'm guessing $250). They'd have to charge over $400 to make me wait.

I agree, the problem is self control. They are too far out there on price, and I think they'll take a hit for it. They want to launch in time for Christmas with the XBox. Unless they cut the price before the end of December, I predict "sluggish" sales of their new "hot must have console".

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13610203)

There are people who don't give a shit that they just spent $600 on a console and only have one good game. This christmas xbox 360 is for rich kids, their sisters are getting ponies. Next year, maybe me and Joe Schmoe will buy one if we don't have any unexpected bills.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13617620)

Mandude, if I had mod points, I would certainly have modded this one "Insightful" rather than "Funny" because what you said is certainly true. My wife and I combined make a decent amount of money. We're not rich (especially by /. standards, it would seem), but we're comfortable, and can afford to sock away a good percentage of our income for retirement, building up our savings, and for a down payment on a bigger house. That having been said, although I can probably afford to buy the next gen systems at launch, I'm sure as hell not going to. I've got better things to spend my money on. Let the trust-fund kids buy the new systems first, and once they've blown their wads and MicroSonTendo have dropped their prices, then I'll buy.

Games do go out of print. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610521)

If people would hold off a second, they wouldn't have to pay the "early adoption tax."

Three words: Out of print. People want to buy a console before a particular title goes out of print permanently. Not all publishers re-release titles in "Greatest Hits" editions; some just discontinue the title for the next 94 years (or 9.4 if you're lucky).

Re:Games do go out of print. (2)

jimi the hippie (725322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612274)

Only if the game sux will they discontinue it.

Re:Games do go out of print. (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13614799)

Only if the game sux will they discontinue it.

Then please find me a new copy of Ikaruga for the Gamecube. Heck, I'd take a used copy at a reasonably price...

Re:Games do go out of print. (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13623164)

Then please find me a new copy of Ikaruga for the Gamecube. Heck, I'd take a used copy at a reasonably price...

Checking ebay I instantly found 11 copies for sale. I've recently been bolstering my own collection from ebay, and now that the game stores have embraced selling used merchandise it is much easier getting ahold of older titles than, say, when N64 and original Playstation were king.

Re:Games do go out of print. (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13623249)

Three words: Out of print. People want to buy a console before a particular title goes out of print permanently.

I'm not sure that's as much a selling point for new consoles. Instead I would say it applied more to the older, soon-to-be-discontinued consoles. I recently bought an Xbox1 because of the hacking potential and because I'm sure Microsoft will axe the product as soon as 3-shi**y comes to market.

Anyway, as I said in another post: With the game stores embracing used merchandise and the huge yard-sale site known as eBay, the buy-it-now its-your-only-opportunity argument isn't really so true anymore. Ten years ago when Playstation and Saturn were first out, I would defintely worry about getting a particular game before it was discontinued. Today, if it disappears I just hop on eBay and look for it.

These days I regularly buy 6-month old titles for half-price, instead of paying full price "just to have it" on day one.

Half price my ass (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13623456)

These days I regularly buy 6-month old titles for half-price, instead of paying full price "just to have it" on day one.

Half.com lists Rez for PS2 at $100 used. I seriously don't think the game cost $200 when it was new.

Re:Half price my ass (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13626643)

Great way rebutt -- highlight the one outlying data point to argue against. :-P

I never said I bought Rez for half price, just my regular purchases. Currently I'm waiting for Resident Evil 4 to hit the bargain bins. My point was that shelf-life is no longer a strong factor in moving console purchases.

/sidenote: Besides, half.com usually doesn't have the best deals anyways. I say this as an experienced half.commer, where my eBay ID was actually assimilated (from half.com) during half.com's big buyout.

//sidenote: As a male, I don't need a game with a special 'vibrator' attachment.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (2, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612501)

Precisely. I operate about 18 months or more behind on games, so I pick them up second hand or on sale for about 30-50% of the new price. It's not like I lose anything by not buying a game on its release date - I still have loads of games to play.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#13614666)

Well, that depends on how much you like online play. Excepting megahit-sized games, there may be no one left online after 18 months. So you actually may be losing something.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (4, Insightful)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608932)

You need to make up your mind. Here, you're complaining that Microsoft doesn't provide any bundled games, and that you have to buy one to "uncripple" your $400 purchase. But in this post [slashdot.org] , you complain about how retailer bundles include games you don't want. Goes to show that you can't please all of the people all of the time.

A few more points:

  • Those big $1000 4-games-and-extra-accessories bundles are from the retailer, not Microsoft. In fact, I'm not sure Microsoft can do anything about it without running afoul of price-fixing laws. (Besides, those bundles are a scam that makes it look like there's a shortage, when you'll be able to walk into any random Target and pick up exactly what you want, and nothing more.)
  • Sony and Nintendo do the same thing. The box, one controller, and lowest common denominator AV pack. That's how I bought my XBox, that's how I bought my PlayStation 2. Of course, given the difference in cost between the XBox360 bundle and the XBox360 core + hard drive + wireless controller + etc., well, Gabe and Tycho have it right.
  • I have yet to buy a DVD player, at any price, that included the latest top selling Michael Bay explosion-fest, or a CD player that included a new saccharine pop artist.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609092)

I agree that Nintendo and Sony are doing the same thing do a degree, and I understand that the $1000 thing was a case of one retailer. But there was quite a bit of talk about MS doing that themselves, and I wouldn't put it past them.

As for bundles, it depends on price. If you want to sell your console without a bundle, then offer it cheap ($200). If you want to sell it in a bundle offer it more expensive but reasonable ($300, $350). But the idea of offering the console alone (not in a bundle of games) for $400 (hence the bundles start at $500+) is insane.

Bundles are fine if they are a value. But taking an already expensive console and adding on games and calling it a "value" is a complete sham.

I think I would prefer the bundle (especially if there are two or three versions depending on what game you want packed in). I think what Nintendo later did with the 'Cube (buy it for $xxx and you can choose one of these games (Mario, Metroid, or something else good) for free) was good. The ideal is offering that, and offering a non-bundled version too (you wouldn't have to do that if your bundle was $150 or less).

My main complaint is the base price point is too high. To charge $300 without including a game is pushing it. To charge $400 is outright mean.

I agree that the $400 version has a VERY fair cost compared to the $300 version (considering all it includes). But my complaint is the $300 version is overpriced, and thus the $400 version is overpriced.

Bundles are fine, done right. But at the prices MS if offering the XBox 360, I feel that it should be a bundle, and the bundles that 3rd parties are making are (due to the core cost) too much to be considered a value.

Hope that explains my logic better.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13618472)

I agree that the $400 version has a VERY fair cost compared to the $300 version (considering all it includes). But my complaint is the $300 version is overpriced, and thus the $400 version is overpriced.

I'm curious as to what you mean by overpriced? Do you think the machine is overspec'ed or do you think that Microsoft/Sony should be taking smaller (or more negative) margins on the sale? Not everyone can afford a Lexus, but that doesn't mean it's overpriced. At this point in their lifecycles, these consoles are pretty much luxury items.

I have a feeling a lot of this has to do with the changing demographics of console buyers. When I was a kid in the 80's, there weren't that many adults playing NES. Now, a huge number of adults with plenty of discretionary income are buying consoles.

Paying $400 for a Xbox 360 isn't going to put a dent in my household financially. Paying $200 a couple years ago for a Playstation when I was in college was a huge burden. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's in this boat.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608883)

Actually the Sega Genesis launched at $299 with Altered Beast, 2 controllers and 1 free game by mail. I picked Golden Axe. I still remember cause I bought it.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608917)

Didn't know that. The price was the original price adjusted to 2005 dollars, but I didn't realize there was a second game (even if it was mail-in). Another point against the XBox 360.

I didn't get a genesis until the CDX came out. That came with Sonic CD (awesome, best sonic game ever), the Sega Classics Collection (Shinobi, Columns, Golden Ax, and something else) and one other thing (I think).

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13609871)

> the Sega Classics Collection (Shinobi,
> Columns, Golden Ax, and something else)

Would that something else be Streets of Rage?

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

macshome (818789) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610226)

And Yuzo Koshiro's soundtracks in SoR and SoR 2 were awesome!

I got the same sampler disk, and a rather generic shooter, and a CD-G sampler, and a Music CD, that I got with my 1st gen SEGA CD. I also have a launch Genny unit, but i don't remember the mail-in game coupon...

FWIW, I think that the rev. 2 SEGA CDs and the CDX came with Sewer Shark.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13620096)

Rev. B SEGA CD units came with Sewer Shark, CDX came with the aforementioned sampler (Colunms, Super Monaco GP, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage), Sonic CD and the CD version of Ecco the Dolphin.

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13609602)

The Sega Genesis which cost $389.67 at launch (again, adjusted) came with two controllers and Sonic. Again, you got two controllers and a game.

Sonic wasn't around until 2 years after the US Genesis launch.

Re:Wrong (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610658)

Hmm. Didn't know that. Someone else posted with what the game actually was. As I said (at least in another post) I didn't get a Genesis until the CDX came out, and I didn't watch the Genesis until about the time Sonic 2 came out.

Thanks for the info though.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610225)

So what? If you adjust for inflation, a cheap set of clothes in 1850 probably cost $300. That doesn't mean a consumer today would be willing to pay that much.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612863)

I take it you don't own any nice suits.

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13616126)

I take it you didn't understand that "cheap set of clothes" does not mean "nice suits."

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610961)

And if I opened the Xbox 360 box and saw an NES I would be pissed.

Of course computers are getting more powerful, and cheaper all the time, so a direct comparison isn't right.

In 1983 or 1984 I bought a Commodore 64. I paid $99 for it at K-Mart. Add in a monochrome monitor for $150 and I had an awesome computer for only $250.

According to the inflation calculator [westegg.com] , that would be about $467 in today's money. I *could* go out and buy a computer for $467, and it would be decent- sufficient, and possibly fairly good.

But I don't want that computer. I want an LCD screen, I want lots of RAM, I want a large hard-drive and a DVD burner.

I don't want a modernized version of the NES, with some cheap light-gun and a cartridge based media that doesn't work unless I slam it in 'just right.'

I want the PLUS option, something a little more. The Apple ][...not the Commodore 64. I'll take the $400 Xbox 360 over a $250 Revolution any day.

And besides...the Xbox 360 will already have one price reduction by the time the Revolution comes out...so they won't be cleaning up too much...

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13617954)

"I want the PLUS option, something a little more. The Apple ][...not the Commodore 64"

Hell yeah!

"I'll take the $400 Xbox 360 over a $250 Revolution any day."

?????

So why are you taking a more expensive rehash over innovation?

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13618029)

Hmmm...which one is more of a re-hash?

The console whose biggest selling point is that it plays ALL previous Nintendo games?

Yes, the Revolution will have a new controller, but other than that we don't know much. I can only base my opinion on what is out there now- the Xbox vs. Gamecube. It really is the Apple ][ vs. Commodore 64 comparison...

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13620708)

Hehe...'zing!' Ok, you do have a point there :P
But that new input device will have a profound effect and create new genres of games (as well as enhancing old games...if it works like it should). As for xbox vs Gamecube type things...I still do my buying based on expectation of content. 's Why the world has VHS and dumbed the technically better Betamax.

Plus, if one where to only compare using whats available, it seems to me that you should get a PS2, which (along with the gamecube) has a much larger share of interesting, innovative games. The xbox is technically better, but content wise it loses to the gamecube and the PS2. Which is kinda alos a function of the fact that it sold worst of all three consoles worldwide, but is also a function of the fact that Nintendo and Sony are more willing to take risks with respect to 'new' games.

Cheaper consoles don't necessarily sell better! (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612155)

The N64, Gamecube, and (though you didn't mention it) Dreamcast didn't do any better than the more expensive competitors. The N64 was easily beaten by the PS1 ($300 in 1995), the Gamecube was soundly outsold by the PS2 ($300 in 2000) and to a much lesser extent the Xbox ($300 in 2001), and the Dreamcast ($200 in 1999) was crushed by the PS2.

As long as the price is within certain limits it doesn't appear that it has any real effect on console sales. The real issue is always the games, and it's very hard to make any prediction about the Revolution's strength and (more importantly) appeal in that area, since none have been revealed in any way. For that matter, neither has a price or solid release date (how much will the X360 cost when that date comes?).

And though most gamers will probably grab the $400 version of the 360, the $300 version will play the vast majority of games released for the system (basically everything but the MMORPGs it looks like right now). It's pretty fanboyish to essentially ignore that there is a perfectly functional and more cost-effective version available to those that find $400 to be too expensive. But I guess it being cheaper than the NES at release would sort of destroy your argument, huh?

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13612583)

I expect Nintendo to release at $250 and clean up.

You are probably wrong. Nintendo will most likely launch for $199, they have yet to launch any console for more than $199 (The N64 was supposed to be $249, but then the dropped the price before it even hit the shelves).

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (2, Informative)

Metal_Demon (694989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612888)

You are forgetting two things about the $400 version of XboX 360:
1. Hard drive (sold seperately for like $80)
2. The controller you get is wireless (like for instance the WaveBird ($25)).

Re:Because They Are Too Expensive (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13613363)

The Genesis did not launch with Sonic and 2 controllers. It launched with Altered Beast and one controller. I don't remember the price though.

In regards to PDZ... (2, Informative)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608421)

The "significant additional bonus content" has already been reported to be jack shit.

1 of 9 collector's cards? Behinds the scenes footage? Who cares.

Meanwhile on the other hand Firaxis is offering:

Collector's case: Navy blue "leatherette" bookshelf case embossed with the Civilization IV logo.

CD Soundtrack: Containing original compositions by Christopher Tin (http://christophertin.com/news.html [christophertin.com] ) and Jeffrey Briggs (composer of Civilization II), as well as classical pieces throughout the ages.

Keyboard template: A die-cut keyboard layout for quick reference to keyboard commands during the game.

Tech Tree map: A foldout poster that displays the tech tree for ease of reference. A tech tree is a path you need to take with your scientific research in the game in order to reach certain goals. The path you take helps shape the society you create and help shapes you as a leader. Here's an example: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/techtree/ [civfanatics.com]

Spiral bound manual: The 250pp+ manual is upgraded from the standard perfect bound to a spiral bound version, allowing it to sit flat while open.

All this for the low, low price of FREE if you preorder. Microsoft wouldn't know "excellent consumer value" if it kicked them in the nuts and punted their dog off a suspension bridge.

Re:In regards to PDZ... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608485)

I disagree. MS's bundles are better.

At many places, the only way to get a 360 may be to preorder in bundles costing up to $1000. For that you get games (close to their retail price), maybe a controller (close to the retail price), etc. So instead of buying a $400 console and the two $70 games you want, you can either buy the version that includes one of the games you want (and one you don't) and pay $70 above what you should (for the game that you don't want), or buy the version that includes 4 games (and pointless extra stuff) just so you can get the two you want. That costs the price of those two games you don't want ($140) plus some extra.

Aren't bundles GREAT for the consumer these days?

Re:In regards to PDZ... (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609271)

Aren't bundles GREAT for the consumer these days?

The consumer doesn't have to buy stupid bundles. They could exercise a little self control.

The thing is, people who will buy these bundles even though they don't really want all the stuff have more money than sense, and that's exactly who such bundles are aimed at.

Simple market place economics, really. Who'll buy this for $500? When you run out of those guys, you can see if anyone wants to buy at $450, etc.

Speaking for myself, I got an Xbox when they were £120 at Amazon with 4 games. Yes, 2 of the games were crap, but I judged that the bits I actually wanted were worth the price.

Actually, the main problem I have with bundles is they usually include an extra controller. But it's one of those lame 3rd party controllers. Which suck. But then you have 2 controllers, so you can play multiplayer. But you really want a decent second controller. But you can't justify buying a 'proper' one, because, well, you already have a second controller. But it sucks.

It's a dilemma :-)

(BTW, the universally acknowledged solution to this problem is for the platform to have a Mario Kart game, then you just have to buy 4 proper controllers, no questions asked. Job done. If you disagree with me, I'll see you on Toad's Turnpike. Mirror track.)

Re:In regards to PDZ... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611012)

Having a crappy controller is a problem...

I bought my Xbox, and I wanted an extra controller for my daughter. Of course instead of buying a Controller 'S', she picked out some third party piece of crap...because it was orange.

I hated that controller. Later on I bought two more controllers and I would have Top Spin parties, 4 players. I always wound up with the crap controller because I didn't want to force someone else to play with it.

Finally I bought a new controller and got rid of the orange one. (Actually, I gave it to some poor sap who just bought an Xbox...just passing the problem on to him.)

Not only is a bad controller not worth the money...it keeps you from buying a good one.

Re:In regards to PDZ... (1)

eht (8912) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609434)

Only $1000? gamestop has a bundle that is almost $2000, the Omega Bundle. [gamestop.com]

Wal-Mart actually has a very cheap bundle at only $576 where GameStop's cheapest is $700.

Re:In regards to PDZ... (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610210)

Retailers are the entities creating those bundles, not Microsoft. Microsoft has no control over how individual retailers choose to sell it.

Re:In regards to PDZ... (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609306)

"The "significant additional bonus content" has already been reported to be jack shit."

I concur - they're just stealing a trick from the movie industry, adding in $0.50 of special packaging and some promo movies that were last seen on ET/Inside Hollywood and convince people that it's worth an extra $9.00.

Peter Moore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13608470)

If things get any worse for the Xbox 360 I'm pretty sure Peter Moore and the others in charge of the project are going to be lynched by irate and disillusioned Xbox owners.

Probably not the best guy to be quoting...

Template for Marketing Speak (1)

courtarro (786894) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608573)

[product name] [person in company] says that [future category for product] pricing is actually going to be an excellent value for the money.

Has there ever been a combination of those values that didn't result in an "excellent value for the money"?

Re:Template for Marketing Speak (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610854)

[product name] [person in company] says that [future category for product] pricing is actually going to be an excellent value for the money.

Has there ever been a combination of those values that didn't result in an "excellent value for the money"?

Xbox360, Iwata, and competition for the Revolution?

Re:Template for Marketing Speak (1)

courtarro (786894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610890)

Ah, but that's not a person in the company that produced "product name", though now that I look more closely I could have been more specific to say "[person in company that makes product]". But yeah :)

Re:Template for Marketing Speak (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610918)

Yeah, that was just my poor attempt at making a joke. I don't expect to get modded insightful or anything.

Choose your poison... (2, Interesting)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 7 years ago | (#13608710)

My Speculation...

Xbox 360
Perfect Dark Zero
Wireless Controller
Headset, Media Remote, + 20GB HD
Partial Online Access (Live Silver)
Total: $450

PS3
Metal Gear Solid 4
Wireless Controller
Media Remote
Online Access?
Total: $450

Nintendo Revolution
Super Smash Bros. Revolution
Wireless (Revolutionary!) Controller
Analog Stick Attachment
Full Online Access
Total: $300

Depending on how the Rev controller thing turns out with Smash Bros., I personally have to go with the Revolution. If, for no other reason, because that's all my wallet can handle, and it might not be able to handle that!

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

Rancidlunchmeat (897597) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609085)

Is everybody missing the point of the article? It says two things. One, that the PS3 costs Sony $100 MORE to manufacture than the X360 costs MS. Somehow you still think the PS3 will be the same price as the supposedly "Expensive" X360? I can't wait to see what all you people who are complaining about how expensive the X360 is have to say when the PS3 is released. Secondly, it says that MS is planning on doing yearly price reductions. Because it's cheaper to manufacture than the PS3 and because it's coming out sooner, MS is going to be able to lower the price of the X360 and make the already over priced PS3 look even more expensive with each passing year. Do you forget that MS started the price war this generation and while Sony initially stated they wouldn't follow course, they eventually were FORCED to? Only N didn't have to initially because their console was cheaper to begin with, but even after two price cuts from MS (followed by Sony), N still HAD to reduce the price of the Gamecube in order to compete because it couldn't exist in the same marketplace as equally priced PS2 or Xbox.

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610019)

Yeah, I don't know exactly why you decided to go on that little rant of yours, all I did was post what I thought the next-gen prices would probably be...I wasn't complaining about them, I was just saying that I'm literally on that tight of a budget to where I probably couldn't afford anything but the Revolution. The prices really don't surprise me one bit...

And, for the record, you cannot compare last-gen to next-gen in terms of pricing. It's going to be an entirely different ballgame.

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610841)

And, for the record, you cannot compare last-gen to next-gen in terms of pricing. It's going to be an entirely different ballgame.

Based on what? You can get an Xbox 360 that will play almost all of the games for $299. Sure, you'd have to buy a memory card but you had to buy a memory card for the PS2 which was also $299. The games have gone up in price 20 percent since the release of the PS1. That would mean a rate of inflation in game prices of 2% per year. Considering that the price of making the games has gone through the roof, the price to buy a game has stayed pretty even.

If this round of consoles is expensive, the last one was too. And yes, they are expensive if you want to get them right away. I remember shelling out almost as much to get my PS2 and the games and extras I bought (by choice, not because of a bundle) as I plan on spending to get my Xbox 360. I think I spent $560 or so on the stuff I bought for the PS2 on launch day. On November 22, I plan on spending something like $600 maybe $700 depending on what I decide to get. Plus maybe another $5 to get lunch on the way back from picking up my 360. I could easily stick to $450 and have a lot of fun with it though, assuming I didn't make a poor choice on what games to buy.

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13615210)

I meant in comparisons over the entire life-cylces of the systems.

The PS3 features brand new technology, such as Blu Ray, which will see a strong drop in price. However, it will be over a long period of time, and the PS3 is possibly looking at a 10-year lifespan, which will space price drops out even more.

Microsoft recently claimed their going to cut the 360's price once a year. That's a bold statement, considering it would be almost free in a decade. We'll have to see how that turns out, because they could mean $10 cuts or $50 cuts, so...

As for the Revolution, that's anyone's guess. It's the hardest system to price, although I think $250 is a good guess. But that controller really makes it's pricing curve a big question mark. And being the cheapest, it of course has the least room to manuever.

So, I think the reason why you can't compare the current-gen pricing to next-gen is simply that there's too many X-factors, at least at the moment. There's just to many things we don't know that make it hard to predict the next-gen cycle. That's all I'm saying...

Re:Choose your poison... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13619244)

10 year life span? You've got to be kidding me.

We'd all be playing N64 right now if consoles had 10 year lifespans. Even assuming your theory is true, Microsoft will be selling Xbox 720 by the time PS3 can take advantage of price cuts in Blu Ray (and that's also assuming Blu Ray even survives as a viable technology).

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610894)

What makes you think MS forced the other two into price reductions. As I remember it, most consoles eventually go through a price reduction. That Microsoft had to do it first for whatever reason does not mean that they forced Sony and Nintendo into doing the same. You said yourself, they didn't initially. Even without ANY competition, most consoles would likely have to reduce prices at some point to make a few more sales.

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611029)

But how much will the Xbox 360 cost when the other two consoles launch in the U.S.?

My guess (but I do have my head up my ass, and I like it there...) is that the 360 will get a decent discount when the less expensive revolution is launched.

They've already stated that their means to combat the PS3 was to launch Halo 3. Not a bad plan- go after Sony by attacking their (weak?) launch line-up. Go after Nintendo by attacking their potential drive for the cheap-o customers.

Re:Choose your poison... (1)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13615264)

Just so you know, Bungie says they probably will NOT have Halo 3 ready by the PS3 launch, but of course that depends a lot on when it launches.

I think everything hinges on the PS3 and Revolution launch dates. I expect them within a month of each other, but when in 2006 is beyond me. I was pointing towards March for the longest time, but I'm beginning to think summer '06 is more feasible. However, I think if they're going to wait that long, they may just hold off until late fall so they can hit the holiday rush.

The later the two release, the cheaper the 360's price drop will be. Although, I think it's more likely early on to see software bundle deals instead of hardware price drops.

N64 was a good example of bad pricing (2, Insightful)

Rolman (120909) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609523)

The N64 was the last cartridge-based home console Nintendo made, throwing themselves out of the industry throne because of the implications of that choice alone.

Producing the N64's cartridge media was literally hundreds of times more expensive than the PSX's CDs. Thus, to remain profitable, Nintendo had to raise the price of their games up to $70 per cartridge. That just helped Sony to strenghten their position in the industry since they had a far superior bang-per-buck ratio for both users and developers. Nintendo finally settled for a profitable, yet distant second place in that generation of the console wars.

The current consoles from Sony and MS are sold initially below cost (Xbox is still bleeding like in a Tarantino movie), while the development costs are skyrocketing because the market demands higher complexity. I can't help but think this will only get bloodier in the next generation of High-Definition, Online-enabled, high-performance, BT/Wi-Fi, _______ (insert trendy buzzword here) gaming.

I think that the PSP's media prices are already outrageous ($50 for a non-original game!). That fact alone makes me expect things to be worse for next-gen console games.

Nintendo, OTOH, definitely learned something from that awful $70 experience as it showed us with their cheap, powerful AND highly profitable Gamecube, GBA and DS. I certainly hope Revolution games and console are cheaper than the competition. I also hope gamers take notice and stop buying slightly prettier versions of existing games at a $10-$20 premium.

Re:N64 was a good example of bad pricing (1)

Psiven (302490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611208)

The most I ever paid for an N64 game was 60. I once paid 70 for an import though. N64 was very succesful for Nintendo. There was nearly zero piracy. The console was quite profitable, esp. with the high value of the dollar at the time. It was developers who got shafted for high media costs and small storage space. Sure, the consumer paid an extra $10 but as a trade off you got nearly instantaneous gameplay - no loading whatsoever.

The other benefit was you never had to fumble for memory cards - it was built into the cartridge. This was only a problem when you rented a game and there was no external save option (first party titles mostly).

I know the choice to go with cartridges was a major contributing factor to the console's "demise" (despite major profits), but as a gamer I found myself appreciating the cartridge format. The load times were a huge plus.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Nintendo go back to it in a few generations, or the industry for that matter. Everything goes in cycles afterall.

When (2, Insightful)

PenguinCandidate (819243) | more than 7 years ago | (#13609803)

did American kids get so damn rich? Did I miss a memo? Same goes for the parents, I had to beg for an N64 and that was $250 and umpteen years ago. Message to Sony/MS: We don't all live in houses with Viking ranges, infinity pools and boat houses. Remember that video games have 'game' in their title. You can shove all the 'value' into a system you want, but if it's expensive it's still, well expensive. Otherwise we'd all be listening to Bose theater systems after a jaunt around the country club in our Ferraris.

Re:When (0, Offtopic)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611093)

Okay, I don't mean to be a jerk. (Which everyone knows means, "I am going to be a jerk..")

Looking at your username, I am guessing you are a proponent of FOSS.

I've been saying for years here on Slashdot, that FOSS is like shooting yourself in the foot. How a group of professionals ever got it in their head that it would be a good idea to give away the results of their labor for free...I don't know.

Personally, I subscribe to the, "Pay for software because it puts bread in my Viking oven and nice cars on my driveway" theory.

But if people really do believe in the idea that their labor isn't worth charging for (or they are morally against it..) that's fine.

Just don't complain to me when you can't afford to buy the product of someone else's labor who doesn't subscribe to the "I'll work for free" ideal.

Re:When (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13611246)

Very, very well said. For fuck's sake, mod this guy up. $400 for a console? I don't care if the average gamer age has been going up over the years, it's still a LOT of money. Not to mention the shit about "premium content" in games.

Mod UP, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13612335)

That last post is ANYTHING but offtopic!

As a programmer for a major industrial OEM, even I don't have $300 to toss at a console system. The pricing for systems and their peripherals (especially) has become outrageous. I'm not paying $30 for a fucking controller, nor am I ever paying more than $20 for a game I know I'll be tired of after one weekend.

Bargain bins, baby. Bargain bins.

Re:When (1, Troll)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612419)

Hey there! Heres comes the WAAAHmbulance! WAAAH! I can't buy a ferrari because I don't have money! WAAAH! I can't buy microsoft or sony's latest crapfest because it's expensive! Well, maybe they don't WANT to sell it to YOU. Maybe they KNOW they could sell it for $1000 and you'd still be a tool, gobbling up every sticky drop sony or MS shot in your mouth. There's good reason to hope Big N won't go that way, but come on. Nobody wants to buy the cheaper console, because cheap = suck in most people's minds. Just like those kids who live the the projects in my town - their mothers kill themselves at work, make huge sacrifices concerning basic necessities, so that they can buy their kids 200 Adidas or Nike shoes and Diesel Jeans. Hey, maybe this schtick works because you're a mindless tool who hasn't ever thought about the people's ultimate weapon, boycott?

Re:When (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13614336)

I don't think he's whining as much as just wondering where the game industry thinks it's headed. Sure, having a more expensive toy makes you look cooler, but there's a limit for the majority of consumers. If there wasn't everyone would be driving around in porsches or ferrarris, instead of settling for something more practical.

The billion dollar question is where is this line for video game consoles and the mass market? It's even more important in this industry, because you don't make the money on the console anyway, you make it back on volume sales of games. If the high price of these consoles causes them not to sell, then MS/Sony are pretty much screwed. There really isn't a niche for the "super nice, more expensive" console in this industry, because if development studios don't see a big enough customer base, then they won't develop, especially with the costs continually going up.

Believe me, Sony and MS both want to sell their systems to everyone. They're going to lose money on each box they ship, but they still want to sell as many as possible. They're both convinced that the way to move units is to pack as much hardware power into them as is possible, even at the risk of driving prices up really high. And they're just hoping that the price doesn't cross that hazy line of consumer willingness.

Your parent poster understands all too well the power of the consumer's boycott. I think he's wondering if Sony and MS do as well.

Re:When (1)

PenguinCandidate (819243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13615196)

Not quite the reaction I was prepared to get... defending high prices by calling middle America 'whiners' for not saving and saving and saving to buy an expensive system?

And the whole "high price equals quality" thing? Someone didn't take Logic in college methinks. Since when? Not only is such a belief ignorant, its dangerous to personal finances.

Taking the blatantly stereotypical "inner city youth buys Air Jordans' point to task -- Air Jordans sure looked slick, but did they make you jump higher, as all the hype in the commercials promised? Sounds like someone pre-oreded a system and is having some subconscious buyer's remorse.

On a more flamebait note, I think the Sony/MS interns need to put down the keyboards and leave Slashdot a lone for a while. Count to ten and breathe deep while reciting "I am in love with a $500 -- but really pretty! - paperweight"

Re:When (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13620047)

You can argue all you want, but the "stereotype" is the awful reality. Take a stroll through your nearest projects - If you have the balls to! This morning, I saw von dutch, diesel, nike, energy, and many other expensive brands labeled as streetwear or sportswear. Worn by the typically jobless, don't-go-to-school-anymore youth, standing around in front of their project buildings doing nothing. It's NOT a stereotype.

When Sony's CEO says "people are going to have to work harder to own a PS3", he means it. And most people ARE going to buy it anyways, because, EVEN THOUGH Nintendo does the superior product at a lower price, people will automatically think "it's less expensive, so it's shit".

It's called BRANDING. Read "NO LOGO", and come back to discuss it, if you want.

Most people WILL buy the systems, even though they're rehashes of old games with new textures. Like it or not! I personally DON'T, but I'm not gonna argue against rain or snow falling either, get it?

Oh, and calling me a sony/MS intern and modding me troll for stating the obvious? Nigga please. The saddest thing is, we actually agree on both points but you're too dense to realize sarcasm.

Re:When (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13615345)

No kidding. My freshman year of high school, my brother, sister and I pooled our money together for a SNES - $120, came with Super Mario World AND Mario All-Stars. (This was 1993, it'd been out for a while.) We were proud to have saved up for that.

And I still have the same system in my living room. I'm finally planning on getting a GameCube now that it's in the right range (well, I want a GBA adaptor to go with it, so that ups the price). I'll want a Revolution as soon as it comes out, but I know it's going to have to go through at least one reduction before I can justify spending the money. There are just so many better things I can do with $200+.

Re:When (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13618028)

"There are just so many better things I can do with $200+."

Absolutely. My problem is just that N has made something with the Revolution which just begs to be played around with asap.
A couple of my friends will undoubtedly buy xbox' or PS3's, but I can already see them popping 'round just to play with that '3D remote thingy'.

Why yesteryears' models don't apply (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13610615)

I think that MS and Sony both are making a pretty large mistake with their new consoles.

When new consoles were released in the past, they offered an incredible upgrade in game quality. Graphics, sound, gameplay capabilities (like better controllers, games with more depth, etc) were all significantly better than the previous generation.

Because of the remarkable upgrade in gaming experience, people were willing to part with tons of cash in order to play the newest games.

I don't see this happening quite so much now. Will gameplay on these new consoles be so much better that I have to get one?

The only place I see these consoles being remarkably different is with online play being better utilized. Is that enough to swing enough buyers, especially considering monthly fees?

I'm not a Nintendo fanboy -- but a cheaper system better reflects the smaller incremental increase in game tech.

Also, for those of us who bought PS/PS2/Xbox but not N64 or Gamecube, the re-release of classic Nintendo games allows us to experience content that we may have missed.

For those entering the console market for the first time, however, the Xbox 360 and PS3 may have more appeal.

Re:Why yesteryears' models don't apply (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612465)

The main improvement I can see in the next gen consoles is the increased RAM available, which should give developers scope for more open-ended, persistent game worlds.

The aim these days seems to be to sell what would once have been considered an expansion or map-pack as a new game, so I don't know why everyone is quite so excited. Bah humbug.

Re:Why yesteryears' models don't apply (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13617708)

"The main improvement I can see in the next gen consoles is the increased RAM available, which should give developers scope for more open-ended, persistent game worlds. "

They don't want the world to be hosted locally. They want us to pay for their subscription service so that we can access those open-ended, persistent game worlds on their servers.

microsoft *gulp* dishonest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13612378)

Microsoft rip someone off? Mr. Gates I wouldnt have expected this from you....for shame, for shame

Special editions become the norm? (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612556)

I wonder if the recent success of things like the Jade Empire Limited Edition (which included an extra playable character) the Halo 2 boxset (that included lots of documentaries that explained why they didn't finish the game) and the Half Life 2 Gold package has opened up a new market?

It seems hardcore gamers are willing to pay more if there are a few extras thrown it. I worry though that this will create some sort of two-tiered market where you don't get all the features in your game unless you pay for the super special edition.

I suppose a more benign form of this is Xbox Live where you pay a subscription and get extras for many games, like Ninja Gaiden's Hurricane Packs. Still it's not something I'd like to see become common.

Adjusting for inflation? (4, Informative)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612664)

I see a lot of posters trying to make themselves feel better about the next-gen pricing structures by adjusting yesteryear's system launch prices for inflation. This will not give you an accurate picture of what's going on for two reasons:

1. Electronics are getting cheaper. How much was that TV you bought in 1983 adjusted for inflation? How about the VCR you bought in 1985 for $250? Or even your refrigerator or oven? The price of a next-gen system SHOULD be cheaper by this logic.

- BUT -

2. Consoles are becoming more powerful compared to their peers. Back in the day when the NES came out, it was significantly less powerful a machine than the PCs of the time and the arcade machines of the time. Now the XBox and PS2 are about 3/4 as capable as a PC that came out around launch. As these consoles become more and more powerful compared to their peers, they SHOULD become more expensive.

The important thing isn't what the XBox 360 or PS3 will cost compared to the NES. It's far more important that you think the XBox 360 is a good value from the money. Judging by these "adjusting for inflation" defenses, I get the idea that a lot of people aren't happy with the price but are willing to pay it.

Re:Adjusting for inflation? (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 8 years ago | (#13613951)

Yeah, whatever. If you just look at the fact that this is a high-definition console, compared to the previous one where is was possible, but not standard (although almost all games were 480p) then the price should be even more. Standard DirecTV/Tivo unit? 100 bucks (free with rebate). HD-Tivo? Five hundred dollars at it's current price. And EDTV 42 inch Samsung plasma screen? 2200. The same thing, but the HD model? 3000 dollars.

The same thing is going to happen with HD-DVD players too. Is everyone going to complain when they cost more than current gen DVD players, or are they going to rationally explain the fact that standard DVD players cost a lot at the time they were introduced?

Not to mention the fact that with the 360, at least, you get things included in the premium version that you would have had to buy seperately with the original Xbox. Just add up the current price of Component Cables, A headset, and the remote, and it easily comes close to that 100 dollar price difference alone. Really, I don't even care how much the damn thing costs. Most early adopters realize they're paying more for getting things first. Heck, that HD-Tivo I mentioned above was 1000 dollars less than a year ago when it was introduced, and they were sold out for a long time.

Price cuts are a bad thing (tm) (1, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612802)

Price cuts are a tool companies use to bolster slow or lagging sales. They hurt the bottom line and they are not something companies wear as a badge of honor. This is probably the single most important sign of wavering confidence in this console war - yet the media is generally giving it a free pass.

Microsoft is backpedaling and stuttering like a scared little boy. On one hand they just the same day claimed how their console costs less to produce! Then they say they will be making yearly major price cuts. These two things do not jive in marketing. If you have a superior product that costs less to manufacture than your direct competitor you have the upper hand without price cut tactics. So something is massively wrong here. This should be raising red flags in every single persons mind, and shows some serious weakness in some aspect of their product to resort to price cutting and pulicising price cuts.

Honestly Microsoft just put a nail in their own coffin on this misstep. Consumers who are on the fence will now pass on the initial release to wait for Sony to release and compare the products, especially since they know now by waiting a year they will be saving money *and* have the chance to weigh their options. Many seasoned gamers will also play the wait game as they know that not much happens in the first year beyond one or two solid launch titles.

Bad move.

Three pricing strategies (3, Interesting)

UES (655257) | more than 8 years ago | (#13612990)

It looks like there will be three discrete strategies to grab differing types of consumers.

1) Sony

-Very high price point.
-Going after large installed user base as well as hardcore gamers.

Negatives:

-High manufacture cost means less opportunity for dicounting.
-Casual gamers and Parents (who buy gifts for minors) will likely balk at ultrahigh prices.

2) Microsoft
-Very high price point.
-Going after installed user base as well as hardcore gamers.

Negatives:

-High manufacture cost means less opportunity for dicounting.
-Likely consumer confustion over various hard drive options*
-Casual gamers and Parents (who buy gifts for minors) will likely balk at ultrahigh prices.

* Spare me your lectures. If you have ever worked retail, you know customers are dumb about stuff like this.

3) Nintendo

-Lower price point than Sony or Microsoft.
-Going after casual gamers, Women, and nostalgic gamers, as well as Nintendo Fanboy base.

Negatives:

-Unusual controllers may have tech glitches, forcing costly recall.
-Hardcore gamers think Nintendo is 'kiddy' and will probably avoid.
-Going after people who usually don't buy games is risky. They may still not care about games.

Just from this sketch, the best case scenario for each company is:

SONY
-Devotion to the Sony brand and superior graphics carries PS3 to victory.

MICROSOFT
-Marketing 'cool factor' and online elements, including exclusive licensing deals, carry XBox 360 to victory.

NINTENDO
-Expansion of the market due to lower priced option and attempt to keep games simple and innovative carry the Revolution to victory.

Note: 'Victory' means THE MOST PROFIT, not THE MOST UNITS SOLD. If you are a shareholder, you care about PROFIT.

I'd put my money on Nintendo. Sony and Microsoft and going to beat each other to death with their unlimited marketing checkbooks while Nintendo creates new customers.

Sony has the most to lose. Why should consumers pay hundreds of dollars for graphics that are somewhat better than what they have now?

I don't see where Microsoft goes. THey aren't innovative like Nintendo. They don't have the huge installed fanbase that Sony does.

Nintendo is taking a very high risk strategy, but the payoff could be immense.

Re:Three pricing strategies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13613283)

'Unusual controllers may have tech glitches, forcing costly recall'

Of all the companies, Nintendo would be the least likely to have this because they have (always) produced their systems at a higher standard than their competition; with the notible exception of the NES and the dust problem.

Re:Three pricing strategies (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13614368)

I agree. Nintendo has too much riding on this console to screw up the controllers. They'll delay the release before they'll start shipping hardware that they have doubts over. Nintendo's biggest risk is whether or not a good number of third party developers will get on board with the new controllers.

I think even with lackluster 3rd party support, the console will still live and even be fairly profitable (a la the Gamecube). But if Nintendo hopes to make up any serious ground in terms of marketshare, they're going to need more games than they can produce on their own.

Re:Three pricing strategies (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13618083)

I agree; N will win this one yet again. 'Cause (and this is a point many people have missed), in terms of profit, actual money they get to put in the bank after costs have been deducted, they've won every console war bar the N64.

The Gamecube might have sold just slightly more than the xbox (21 milion vs 18.5), but MS has been losing money with every one they sell, whilst N has actualy NOT been selling under cost...every sell they made was money in the bank.

Plus they expand the market. Which is good for gamers and every other game related company out there. The DS, the d-pad, the shoulder button, the analog stick...all Nintendo innovations. Talk about a UI trackrecord.
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