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Evidence for Console Price Cuts

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the encheapening-of-consumer-goods dept.

Businesses 150

Next Generation offers up an exhaustive analysis of previous console generation price cuts, and concludes that we are definitely due for some cheaper next-gen action sometime in the near future. The piece includes charts of lowering system prices, as well as a breakdown of how many consoles sold at various price tiers. "Certainly we can use history as a guide, but there are limits to its use for prognostication. The price drops this generation may happen in ways entirely different from what has been suggested above. Maybe the $300 console this generation will be what the $200 console was last generation. Maybe Microsoft will forge ahead with its current price structure until after Halo 3 has come and gone. Maybe Sony will bless the PlayStation 3 with a 33% price drop sometime this year. And maybe Nintendo will give the Wii a small price drop by removing Wii Sports from the package. Those could happen, but don't bet on it."

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in all honesty (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424909)

Only the PS3 feels overpriced to me. The 400 dollar price point of a 360 premium or 250 for the Wii seem very reasonable and fair to me...I had no buyers remorse spending that much on either system.

I simply cannot justify, however, spending 600 on a PS3. I don't care if it is a Blu-Ray player, I still cannot justify it.

If the PS3 were 400, I would likely buy one. If there were more than two games I was highly anticipating (God of War 3 and Lair) I would be willing to pay 450.

But 600? No fucking way.

Re:in all honesty (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425081)

I kind of agree. I'm seriously considering buying one, though that decision would be already made if it was $100 less.

The PS3 as BluRay player (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425109)

I simply cannot justify, however, spending 600 on a PS3. I don't care if it is a Blu-Ray player, I still cannot justify it.

The valid point of view contrary to this is that if you have an HD setup, and are therefore probably considering getting some kind of next-gen player at some point, then the PS3 which is affordable as next-gen players go and is a game console actually looks like a decent deal. This is the standard argument against the PS3 being overpriced (the "you get a lot for the money" argument), and it is a valid viewpoint if it applies to you, but it misses the bigger point:

Basically nobody who is balking at the price of the PS3 gives a shit about the "you get a lot for the money" argument. If you have enough to blow on an HD home theatre then you can easily afford the PS3 and sure maybe it's a good deal. "Good deal" and "affordable" aren't the same, and the fact is the PS3 is not affordable to many people. Just like a 70ft yacht for $100k might be a great deal, you will still find sales of such a yacht limited to the wealthy. Duh. So why people think "you get a free bluray player!" will make people leary of spending $600 on an entertainment device more likely to buy a PS3, I don't know.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (2, Interesting)

JMZero (449047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425645)

I don't really understand this perspective, though I hear it a lot. I understand not everyone has an HDTV, but it's not like they're exclusive toys for the insanely rich. For years I've been using a $900 720p projector. In my last house I had it in a theatre style room (in the basement) together with probably $500 worth of stereo equipment.

Does the fact that I had $1400 worth of theater equipment mean that $600 is chump change?

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (2, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425715)

A modern 1080p/60 projector will run you ~$3000-$4000 right now. When comparing a PS3 to the midrange PJs on the market today, it is cheap. It's also the best sub $1000 BD player on the market, though that will change soon. But I admit, if you just want to play games in HD, the 360 is still the way to go.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428259)

Actually, the PC is still the best for HD gaming in my opinion.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426625)

I don't know, you tell me if $600 is chump change to you. If you don't balk at a $600 price point, then you are in Category A regardless of how much your last house's setup cost, and that's why you don't understand the perspective of people in Category B. They don't care that they get a "free" BluRay player because they don't want to spend $600 in the first place.

"Not exclusive toys for the insanely rich" is a far, far cry from "mass market".

Even if it's chump change, it's too much (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428803)

Even if 600 bucks is chump change, it's too much for the PS3 until some decent, exclusive games are available. I bought one purely because I love tech porn, and the PS3 is tech porn, but I can't see how anyone can justify buying a PS3 based on what it actually offers. Unless you really, really, really love Blu-Ray movies and Motorstorm.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19426979)

The difference I think is that few people really care a whole lot about 1080P and BluRay, and I think this was the fundamental judgement error Sony made. Sony wasn't really hearing the people say... Bluray... meh. I think they were remembering how much the fact that the PS2 could play DVD's drove sales. There is a huge difference though- DVD's were replacing the old, tired, crappy, bulky VHS format. DVD was revolutionary in almost every way- crisp images, small form factor, no dealing with rewinding, "tracking" or dirty heads, and the audio was just eons better. DVD's also age very well, whereas VHS tapes would lose quality in your average player after many plays. Everyone wanted a DVD player. I am kind of an A/V enthusiast, and in general an early adopter, but Bluray just doesn't have a big enough improvement to justify the cost. Ive seen the displays in stores, its nice, but there is no wow factor.

So yeah, you are getting a "deal" by paying $600 for BluRay players that go for $1000 right now, but who really cares? As for the argument that "well you blew $2-3k on a home theater, you can afford it" argument, I don't really buy it. A home theater is something the whole house will enjoy, and to some extent saves me money as I would much rather sit in my nice cozy living room and watch most sporting events than go to a game, or pay $30 to go to the movies. A PS3 is a pure luxury item with limited utility. Yes I have the money to buy one, and I (and many others) also have the ability to buy a rolex, but you won't see any gold on my wrist any time soon, and you won't see a $600 PS3 in my living room anytime soon either.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428987)

I think they were remembering how much the fact that the PS2 could play DVD's drove sales. There is a huge difference though- DVD's were replacing the old, tired, crappy, bulky VHS format. DVD was revolutionary in almost every way- crisp images, small form factor, no dealing with rewinding, "tracking" or dirty heads, and the audio was just eons better. DVD's also age very well, whereas VHS tapes would lose quality in your average player after many plays. Everyone wanted a DVD player.

Not to mention that DVD was the standard that was replacing VHS, and while DVD was still gaining marketshare when the PS2 was released it was already established as a success. DVD drove PS2 sales, and surely PS2 sales helped gain marketshare for DVD, but DVD was taking off regardless of the PS2. Whereas now there are two competing formats, neither of which has established itself at all. They are depending on the PS3 to boost BluRay sales to cause the format to win, while simultaneously hoping the unestablished format will help PS3 to win.

As for the argument that "well you blew $2-3k on a home theater, you can afford it" argument, I don't really buy it.

Well I'm really saying the causation is the opposite: The people who are saying the PS3 is a great deal and the price not a big deal are the ones who blew $2-3k on a home theater and still have $600 to spare without blinking.

But your point is well taken that even among the already limited number of people with HD setups there are still a lot who are not going to see the value in a PS3, and again telling them "but you get so much for the money!" will simply miss the point.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428297)

I could buy a PS3 tomorrow without going into debt. I have an HDTV and a Denon AV system. However, $600 is more than the PS3 is worth to me, given the range of games available. I don't have any use for a Blu-ray player until it's region free. Therefore I support the claim that the PS3 is overpriced for its target market. I've got a PS2 and a Wii though.

Re:The PS3 as BluRay player (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429481)

I have HDTV and could certainly afford a PS3. But...why?

I don't care about Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. I'm more than content to wait this stupid format war out, or until hybrid players are out for under $300.

The PS3 is more expensive than the 360, yet the crossplatform titles look and play nearly identical between the two. This might not be as big a problem if there were actually a good selection of exclusive games for the PS3, but there too, the 360 has the advantage - EVEN IN THE AREA OF RPGs, which was one of the strengths for the PS1 and PS2!

The price is also a problem. Would you spend $700 for a PS3 and a single game? What game is worth that much money? Especially when you know that in 6-12 months, the price will drop on both the game and the hardware.

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425135)

Everyone states that the PS3 is $600 without even mentioning that there is a PS3 that was sold for $500 that works perfectly fine also. I know that Sony is going to try to stop selling this version in the future but that is the one that I bought and I feel that it was definitely worth the $500 for a Blu-Ray player and a next gen video game console.

Re:in all honesty (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425187)

Number 1. you cannot buy the 20 gigger in many places anymore since sony stopped production, and number 2. 500 is STILL overpriced for a system that quite honestly doesn't really have anything out yet that I can't find on other systems....at least nothing worth spending 500 bucks on a system for

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425299)

It has a Blu-Ray player that you can't find on other systems... and those do sell for at least $500 all on their own, and you can still play games that you can play on the xbox360. Also I did mention that Sony is trying to phase out the 20 gig version, but you did have a good opportunity to buy one in the last few months if you wanted one.

Re:in all honesty (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425403)

It has a Blu-Ray player that you can't find on other systems... and those do sell for at least $500 all on their own,

Nobody who thinks $500 is a lot for a console cares.

Re:in all honesty (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425555)

It has a Blu-Ray player that you can't find on other systems
Yeah, that's great. But I wasn't planning on buying one of those any time soon, anyways. So why should I care?

Re:in all honesty (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425669)

seriously, why the hell would i want a blu-ray player when i can download the movies in any format i wish for free?

until the movie cos put out films with real substance and not just the usual commercial "blockbuster" crap ill stick with my looting and pillaging

Re:in all honesty (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425869)

Um, you call the movies crap but you still watch them? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19426353)

I think the point was that only the blockbuster titles are being distributed on Blu-Ray right now. Until it is a ubiquitous standard most of us don't want to waste our money. Sony doesn't have a good record for success with Betamax and Mini Disc both coming from Sony already. Blu-Ray likely will go the way of Laser Disc.

Re:in all honesty (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428353)

find me a copy of Secret of Nimh on Blu-Ray and ill buy a player, til then ill stick with my .avi copy.

Re:in all honesty (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429625)

Stores received very few 20GB PS3s, a fact which Sony then used as evidence that there wasn't a demand for the 20GB version (wait...what???)

If you're only interested in the games that are available for both the PS3 and 360 - which, sadly, are the better titles for the PS3 right now - why waste $100-200 more on a PS3 when you could get a 360 for less? Do you really think that being able to play one of the HD video formats is REALLY that much of a deciding factor for someone interested in GAMES?

$500 is too much to pay for ANY console that has virtually no games for it at this time. Blu-Ray is not a deciding factor here. We will see Blu-Ray players for $500 or less very shortly. Those who were only interested in the PS3 as an inexpensive Blu-Ray player will go for those, and stop buying PS3s. After that, the *only* reason to buy a PS3 will be to play games. Let's just hope there's actually something to play by that time...

Now, if there wasn't a format war going on, and HD was about where DVD was when the PS2 came out, then yes, the PS3 would have been in a much stronger position. But without games, it would still only really appeal to the home theater fans - not the gamers. And once video players inevitably dropped below the PS3's price, the home theater folks would stop buying PS3s. The reason the PS2 did so well was that by the time this drop-off occured, its game library was more than strong enough to entice folks to buy a PS2 for its games - not just as a DVD player.

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425933)

$600 for a just console is a lot.

$600 for just a console and an over-priced Blu-Ray player that will probably cost around $200 by next year is still a lot.

However, lots of people forget all of the other things that comes with the PS3. You basically get a Linux box minus the "monitor" and speakers. And I bet that building an equivalent system (or even near equivalent system) would cost a few hundred dollars alone. That to me is worth a lot. Hello, you get to program for the Cell? What kind of nerds are you? Even if you're not into programming the Cell processor, you get a computer. And please don't give me any crap about the RSX, there have been student projects [youtube.com] aimed at getting around that problem. Heck, look up IBM's IRT (interactive ray tracer) if you want a more impressive demo.

Due to the weekly updates that Sony has, you can basically use your PS3 as a huge media center connected with your computer to play music and movies. If someone is on a shared network with you, you can play the files that they share.

Probably the coolest thing you can do (IMO) with the PS3 is play PS3 games remotely on your PSP (assuming you have one). Look into it.

Yes, it's a little pricey, but the average consume doesn't realize how complete of a package that they are receiving. If you have a HD setup and a fancy for Linux, you get a whole lot for your money. Perfect for those "big kids" who have apartments to themselves and nice setups. Not so perfect for a 12 year old, I'd say. No parent would want to spend that much money on a toy for their child. If you're looking for just a gaming system, get a Wii, if you can find one. It took me nearly 3 months to find mine.

Oh, and I personally cannot wait for Ninja Gaiden Sigma. It looks totally sweet.

For the record, I do not own a PS3 (because of the price), but I intend on buying one next year once I have some money and get out of this 10x10 box that they call a dorm room that I live in. However, I have played with it enough to realize that I want to buy this system.

Re:in all honesty (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427299)

It's even better. With the media center capabilities, you can stream movies off your file server to your PS3 and then to your PSP over any wireless internet connection. It also upscales PS2 games (they look a lot nicer) and is (from what I've heard) an amazing DVD upscaler.

The thing about the PS3 is that if you use its features, it's a hell of a bargain and an amazing machine. If you don't have an HDTV, PSP, or any interest in Linux, then I can definitely see the excitement over it fade.

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19428233)

Wow. Welcome to the Xbox 360 EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO. I've been streaming video and music from my PC to my 360 since day one (and I only had to spend $300 to do it). Suddenly this is the feature that makes the PS3 a multimedia powerhouse? And why on earth do you need the PS3 to stream to your PSP? Use your PC and Orb and you could have been doing this for a year. Sony's attempt to include the PS3 in something it isn't needed for is like all those lame recipes they put on the box of Nilla Wafers- a solution looking for a problem.

Re:in all honesty (2, Interesting)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428977)

As someone who owns both a PSP and a PS3, I can't see any practical use for the media streaming feature. I tried it once. In the local network, it's rather impressive, you barely see the compression artefacts. However, there is simply no reason why I would want to stream a movie to my PSP if I'm at home. Why not watch the movie on the beamer? That leaves the streaming using the Internet. I haven't tried that, but I guess it requires that the PS3 is in PSP connection mode, which means I have to leave it on just in case I wanted to stream a movie. Why not just copy the movie on the PSP instead of leaving the PS3 running all the time?

I honestly can't see when I would possibly want to use this feature.

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427967)

Ps3 is far from perfect, although like AC1 said it has a lot of potential, and 600 is too expensive for a console in my opinion, but selling 900 bucks worth of hardware for 600 bucks is underpricing it.

Re:in all honesty (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19430003)

Underpricing the hardware is a common practice in the video game console market. The hardware companies (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft) expect to make the majority of their money from the licensing fees collected from software sales.

Re:in all honesty (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429919)

Blah blah blah PS3 media center. The 360 does this too. And costs less.

Linux - yeah, OK, but who cares? Seriously. The PS3's Linux is on a customized kernel due to the hardware, meaning you'll have to recompile everything not included on Sony's distribution. Even then, the PS3 doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard or mouse. For $600, you can get a decent Dell, with monitor, keyboard, mouse AND LINUX. Besides, do you honestly expect folks to hook their PS3 up to their big HDTV just run a Linux CLI?

The 360 also supports HD - in fact - the Premium and Elite models even come with HD CABLES! You know, the ones that Sony makes you buy separately?

Sure, Ninja Gaiden looks great, but think about it - is ONE game worth nearly $800 after you factor in the console, cables, game, and tax?

Re:in all honesty (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426053)

I paid $500 for mine, added a $70 120GB HDD and I'm good to go.

I justified it simply by saying, the 360 is $400, or $479 with HDMI.. so $499 is not so bad... and $599 is not a huge leap. :)

Clearly you are not the target demographic...

Re:in all honesty (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426391)

But Sony said we'd all go get extra jobs in order to be able to afford it.

Maybe you're right, and sony was just targeting the wealthy hardcore gamers. But if that's the case, it's was a pretty stupid move from a business point of view, and the performance of the PS3 in the market has reflected that. Development of hardware and games costs too damn much for a niche console.

Re:in all honesty (1)

skobar (890726) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426539)

Xbox 360 needs a price drop too IMO. People are waiting for that to buy it. If it was 100$ less for the premium version, you can be sure that it would sell like hotcakes.

Re:in all honesty (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427245)

While I PERSONALLY think that $400 is a very fair price for that system given the quality and number of games available for it (especially now compared to when it was released), I do agree with you...even a $50 price drop would make a massive difference in their sales, methinks.

It would almost be like getting a game for free. A $100 price drop would be like a free game and an extra free wireless controller.

Personally, I think Microsoft should drop the price $50 dollars and include a recharchable battery with the system. The controllers eat through AA batteries like they are nothing, while the recharchable batteries last a LONG time before they need to be recharged.

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427459)

I bet you dropped $100 on the 360 Wireless adapter and $199 for the HD-DVD addon.. pretty sure it's past $600 at that point.

Re:in all honesty (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427785)

I bet I didn't because I ran an ethernet cable 4 feet to my router...as far as HD-DVD, no I didn't purchase one because I don't see a reason to repurchase my 400+ DVD's for a slightly improved picture.

You know what they say about assuming, Mr. AC...

Re:in all honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427941)

WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!? You aren't willing to spend thousands of dollars on marginally better audio/video? You FOOL! And to think that you call yourself an American and a consumer.

Oddly enough my script word was dignity.

Re:in all honesty (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428009)

Who says sarcastic humour is a lost art:-)

Mod up....uh...the AC I suppose? 8D 8D 8D

All three are overpriced (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428751)

At this point, in Europe at least, all three are overpriced for what they offer. The only one that is debatable is the Wii - it seems to be selling just fine, even though it is definitely on the expensive side for what it offers. The other two are definitely overpriced; the PS3 obviously more so than the 360. Neither the PS3 nor the 360 are selling particularly well, either, which is most likely do to the high price of both.

(I do own a Wii and a PS3, by the way)

Re:All three are overpriced (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429023)

Blame your governments for that one bud. That does suck though, I feel for everyone on the other side of the ocean. Then again, you don't have to deal with American politics like we do. And I live 25 minutes outside of Washington, DC. At least you live on a leg, I live next to the asshole

Evidence?! (5, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424927)

They're going through historic trends, and guessing what the current outcome is going to be. That is NOT evidence - that is conjecture.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Evidence?! (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425203)

What about evolution?

Moore's Law? (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424935)

If Moore's Law applies to consoles they should halve in price every 2 years.

If you look at their price cut per month scale it seems to fit pretty neatly in there with a 50% price cut at the 24 month mark. However there it stabilities, I suppose there are minimum costs involved with logistics and whatnot that prevent further price drops.

Re:Moore's Law? (0)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425981)

Moore's Law applies to processing power, not economics.

Re:Moore's Law? (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426375)

Moore's Law applies to transistor density, not processing power.

However, transistor density is a factor in both price and processing power.

Re:Moore's Law? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428355)

It applies to the number of transistors on a chip, not processing power.

Umm... (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424941)

Doesn't this happen with every console?

Re:Umm... (1)

Phoenix00017 (1017168) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426647)

Most certainly not. The NeoGeo never saw a price cut and died a horrible death. The Wii on the other hand started at a price people were comfortable with (I think $250 is going to be this generation's $200 mark - $300 is a little high and will probably be next generation) and has sold phenomenally.

The XBOX360 released at what was roughly equivalent to the PS2 and XBOX release points (with inflation, yada yada). All of those systems showed very similar sales in the first year [vgchartz.com] and then dropped in price after hype died down and early adopters all owned one. The PS3, while starting out comparable to the 360, is distinctly losing momentum [vgchartz.com] at this point. It is sitting in a position of having numerous "hardcore" gamers (myself included) who really honestly want one but can't afford it - as has been pointed out, it's the affordability, not the bang-for-the-buck, that's holding people back.

Re:Umm... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427625)

I still maintain that it's not affordability at all - it's the fact that the games just aren't there. It's a great box, but great games are few and far between, so there's not that "omg gotta have it". Once the titles people are excited about start flowing out (Lair, Heavenly Sword, Final Fantasy, GTA, Home, Little Big Planet), the sales will jump quite a bit regardless of a price drop.

Re:Umm... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427971)

### Most certainly not. The NeoGeo never saw a price cut and died a horrible death.

Yeah, right. Let me quote a little bit of Wikipedia:

"""The Neo Geo's 14-year official span of support from its manufacturer makes it the second longest-lived arcade or home console system ever produced."""

That doesn't exactly sounds like a horrible death. The point to keep in mind is that the NeoGeo was never ever build to bring them market dominance and compete with the SNES, Genesis and friends. It was arcade hardware for your home, that of course comes at a high price point, but SNK only started selling them because there was demand. It simply was niche hardware right from the start, nothing wrong with that.

Re:Umm... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429101)

The NeoGeo never saw a price cut and died a horrible death.

Maybe you're thinking of the 3DO? The Neo Geo was never supposed to compete with the other home consoles. It was always targeted at rich, high-end gamers, and it was a success at that. If that is Sony's intent, too, they may be succeeding. But it would be the most stupid thing I've ever seen.

Also, stop the inflation argument. Technology does not get more expensive. It gets cheaper. Computers get cheaper all the time. Even other gaming hardware does. For example, despite inflation, the Gameboy line has become cheaper with each version. There's no reason why home consoles should become more expensive, and obviously, most consumers are not willing to pay even 400 US$ for a toy.

About that chart... (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429449)

Since you're comparing 'from launch', aren't you actually confirming that the PS3 is ON TRACK compared to similar 360 sales? (ergo, it's not losing 'cause people won't pay, it's losing 'cause it's the newer console)

Course, when you do like I did and toss the Wii in there for kicks, you notice it's climbing a lot faster than both.

A good quote here... (3, Insightful)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424973)

Past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

Re:A good quote here... (1)

encebollado (472759) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428673)

Very true, but when it comes to people, past performance in a similar situation is the best indicator future performance.

Since these companies are run by people it is reasonable to speculate on what price cuts will happen in the future based on what they've done in the past.

Sometime (2, Funny)

HazMathew (207212) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424975)

Sometime in the near future something is going to happen. It could be good for you. But don't bet on it.

Wii Sports (2, Interesting)

Erioll (229536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424981)

Considering one of the main "pick up and play" games for the Wii is Wii Sports itself, I see it as highly unlikely that they'll de-bundle that anytime soon. Eventually it'll happen, but not soon IMO.

Re:Wii Sports (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425075)

Also, it's not really that good, I mean, not something I'd pay $60 for separately from the system. If they debundled it, it would probably be best to sell it at $20-$30. It's a fun game, but you can tell it's just a tech-demo and that they didn't put a ton of work into it. With baseball, you don't even get to control the fielders or running the bases, and with golf, you only have 4 clubs, and 9 holes to play.

Re:Wii Sports (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425197)

The game IS a tech demo, and that's why it's so vitally important that it remain bundled with the console. This console has a totally new control mechanism, it needs a simple bundled game to serve as a tutorial for that mechanism. Removing that game in order to cut the price of the one console that has no one complaining about the price would be ludicrous.

Wii Sports seems to sell just fine unbundled (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429189)

People seem to buy it unbundled just fine. [1up.com]

It's not aimed at hardcore gamers. It's for casual gamers, and it's perfect for them. Easily worth 60 bucks - they probably get more playtime out of it than we get out of most hardcore games.

Non-sensical (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425171)

Why would they de-bundle a piece of software that costs them nothing to re-produce (bundle) in the first place? Customers are eating it up at the current price point as is.

Re:Non-sensical (2, Interesting)

Erioll (229536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425593)

Why would they de-bundle a piece of software that costs them nothing to re-produce (bundle) in the first place? Customers are eating it up at the current price point as is.
I guess that's true. It's not like the old days of cartridges where each one was a non-trivial amount of money (the electronics itself inside the cartridge). With dvds (which is what Wii games are printed on) it's literally pennies per game. I wouldn't be surprised if it cost more to print the manual and sleeve than to manufacture & press the DVD itself.

Re:Wii Sports (2, Informative)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425799)

The Japanese version of the Wii does not include any bundled-in game.

Wii Sports is still the number one selling Wii game in Japan.

Re:Wii Sports (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426415)

Or how about the fact that it would be purely stupid to do a price cut on the Wii when they still cant keep them in the stores. consumer demand for the Wii has not reduced and they still cant ship them fast enough.

Basic economics say, you keep the price you are at, lowering the price will only low profits as demand is higher than supply already.

What's the news here? (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19424983)

What's the news here? It's not saying that there is any indication that there will be any price cuts other than, "there was price cuts with the last generation, so there will be with this one". Personally, I think the PS3 has the most to lose. It's not selling well, and it's already being sold less than cost, so I don't think a price cut would Sony that much. However, if the XBox 360 and the Wii take a price cut, then the PS3 will be left as the really expensive one that nobody wants to buy.

Sun will shine tomorrow. (2, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425049)

Of course we will see price cuts, everyone but Nintendo are in urgent need of a larger sales base because the Wii is raping them six ways from Sunday. These predictions are ridiclous and on a long enough time line cannot fail to be correct.

Why was an article even wrote and why is it on Slashdot?

Re:Sun will shine tomorrow. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425137)

The competition needs to do something to beat Nintendo. If you look at the charts [vgchartz.com] , you'll see that Nintendo has sold more consoles in 6 months than Xbox360 sold in it's first year as the lone player. Also, it looks like they will surpass Xbox360 within 6 more months. And the PS3 looks like a no show. Looks to me like the tables have completely turned this generation.

Too many maybe's (5, Insightful)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425063)

This is ridiculous.

Maybe something will happen. Maybe it won't. I can make random conjectures too.

Re:Too many maybe's (2, Funny)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425939)

Maybe something will happen. Maybe it won't. I can make random conjectures too.
Good idea! If you fill a website with them, maybe you'll get some ad revenue too. Or maybe you won't.

Stop the presses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425071)

You mean to tell me that eventually expensive new things cost less as they get older? Shocking! Seriously this is the most obvious piece of "news" ever. The fact that it's so vague makes it even more funny.

Nintendo Will Not Drop It North American Wii Selle (3, Insightful)

Johnny_Law (701208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425107)

And maybe Nintendo will give the Wii a small price drop by removing Wii Sports from the package. Those could happen, but don't bet on it."


There isn't a good reason for Nintendo to drop Wii Sports from the North American Wii package. Wii Sports is a great hook for selling the system.

At this point, the cost of removing Wii Sports would probably only save a a few dollars or so at most (Disc pressing, manual, and packing). Cutting the system price by $50 wouldn't require pulling Wii Sports to make it feasible. I suppose you could argue that Nintendo could make part of that $50 back by selling Wii Sports as a stand alone game. However, Nintendo would then risk not having a great ratio to new Wii sales and losing the part of the Wii system that makes the whole bundle so easy to pickup with family and friends who have never touched a game system.

Simply put, cutting Wii Sports does not fit with the "Blue Ocean" strategy.

Re:Nintendo Will Not Drop It North American Wii Se (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19426311)

Is the shortage on Wiis over yet? (I finally got one of my own, so don't check it's availability anymore). There's no point in dropping the price on something that they can't keep on the shelves at the current price.

Re:Nintendo Will Not Drop It North American Wii Se (1)

lgramling (1064562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429363)

Nintendo makes a profit on every Wii that is sold, while the other 2 lose money. Nintendo could drop the price and just lose a little bit of cash and keep Wii Sports.

Sports? Never gonna happen (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425131)

Why should Nintendo drop Wii Sports from the package? It's the biggest, best piece of advertisement they have. It's Wii Tennis, or Wii Bowling, that sells grandmothers and fathers on buying their own Wii after having played a round or two at their kids place.

Wii Sports isn't bundled in Japan though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425543)

So it's not impossible that they'd leave it out.

I'd welcome them at least offering the option of getting a slightly cheaper Wii with no Wii Sports, or even a slightly more expensive one with a different bundled game.

I'm interested in getting the system for Mario Galaxy and Monkey Ball. I'm not interested in Wii Sports.

PS3 - blueray = win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19425479)

If the PS3 dropped the integrated blueray player (so long as it isn't needed for the actual game discs), and dropped the price to be in line with the xbox 360, I would buy one in a heartbeat. If I want a game system, I'll buy a game system. If I want a Blue Ray player, I'll buy a Blue Ray player.

Seems like a case of 'feature creep' to me. At the VERY least they should offer a cheaper iteration of the console that doesn't include the player, that is accessible by your average gamer, which isn't necessarily rich.

PS3 with Blueray = winning (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426933)

First of all, have you considered that every game today is on a Blu-Ray disc, and without a Blu-Ray drive you'd have zero games to play? That doesn't seem very smart.

But to get back to the PS3 minus Blu-Ray - Sony is in this to win it all. Yes it has dampened PS3 sales, but only after a large surge of buying that has established the player in millions of homes. Is it winning against the 360? Not at all right now. But it may pick up a lot of steam later in the console cycle when the larger disc storage starts to show the difference.

But the PS3 has made the difference in the HD media war, where Blu-Ray is winning big time - sales at over two to one over HD-DVD since January, and with a growing lead. A victory there is huge, and sets of Sony for a lot of good things later on. They could not ignore a need to win there, nor could they ignore that with Microsoft's unwillingness to really back HD-DVD by including it in the console, Sony's doing so insured essentially an automatic victory of the format.

So short term losses for the gaming system for a much bigger win later on - in both gaming and media.

Re:PS3 with Blueray = winning (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428597)

And then you have people like me who are sick of buying new physical media. I have a nice HD setup with an up converting DVD player. Having said that, I will NOT be purchasing either of the new players.

Re:PS3 with Blueray = winning (2, Insightful)

Jthon (595383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429083)

You don't have a nice HD setup if you think an up converted DVD looks as nice as anything on Blu-ray and HD-DVD. The OTA 1080i/720p signals from any of your local TV stations look light years better, then even a nicely up converted DVD. That is assuming you've actually seen real HD content.

Several of the big broadcast networks only have a couple shows actually filmed and broadcast in HD, a lot of their content appears to be standard def stuff scaled just like your DVDs. Oddly enough where I live the PBS affiliate has the best HD programming OTA.

If you truly want to enjoy your HD setup you really should reevaluate your decision to avoid the new formats. I'd at least pick one once the war has settled down because you're missing a lot by sticking with DVDs. It's not like you need to replace all your movies with HD stuff right away, just pick up new stuff that you like in the better format. Then again once you have several of these you might realize how terrible DVDs actually look.

Re:PS3 - blueray = win (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427107)

If the PS3 dropped the integrated blueray player (so long as it isn't needed for the actual game discs)

That won't work. The primary expense is the hardware mechanism that reads BD discs (particularly the laser diode), and not only has Sony committed to BD as a game disc format, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they are manufacturing all games (even DVD-sized or CD-sized) games on BD-ROM blanks as part of their home-grown format arrogance. You know, the same one that caused them to also push Beta, MD, ATRAC, and three Memory Stick formats? (plus Memory Stick's "Magic Gate" DRM as a PS2 memory card technology)

The BD player software essentially costs them nothing per unit, other than maybe some non-Sony patents and recouping the development costs of the BD player software.

Perhaps? (3, Funny)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425635)

While the Wii seems reasonable to most people who can afford to spend on a system, The major issue for the 360 or PS3 is that you have to spend more immediately on games to have any fun. The Wii leverages the variety of Wii sports so that people can be fascinated by the control system for a while before buying add-ons.

Instead of a price cut, perhaps MS will bundle the systems with more games and maybe a wireless controller or something. The Wii can just give away some free money to buy online games with. The PS3 needs to bundle their console with... a Wii

Cheers!

Re:Perhaps? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426605)

The problem is finding a game for XBox 360 or PS3 that everyone would like to have. Wii Sports fits the definition as something that everyone wants to play. Plus Wii sports was a cheap-to-produce tech demo that isn't worth much on it's own. If MS an Sony start to include free games, then they'll probably have to have a couple different options to please everyone, And it will lower their profits because nobody will be buying that first game at $60.

Re:Perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427311)

"Wii Sports fits the definition as something that everyone wants to play."

Speak for yourself! Why would I play a dull*, simple sports game when the system has great stuff like WarioWare...

*OK, never played it, maybe it's not all dull. But bowling and golf are tedious in real life, even drunk.

Re:Perhaps? (1)

clontzman (325677) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429457)

People forget, though, that buying a 360 gives you access to dozens of downloadable game demos that will give you a pretty sick amount of playtime for the price (free). Frankly, I'd rather have access to a single level of 70-80 games of my choice than any single game in its entirety.

i dunno about wii sports (0, Redundant)

rubberbandball (1076739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425693)

Nintendo should probably de-bundle wii sports and instead sell the wii with mario party. I paid $40 for the most highly anticipated game since LoZ:TP at circuit city to learn that (after a near 3 month delay) the actual gameplay doesn't support 16:9 resolution, and that there are no sound/video options whatsoever. The cutscenes (if they so can be called) are in 16:9. basically, you're playing mario party 5 with a wii controller on your 50" panasonic plasma, and you've got 4 inch borders on each side of the screen. meanwhile, i could play Mario Party 5 on my wii and have full screen support, allbeit stretched, but fullscreen. now i get to wait til (at least) august for Metroid Prime 3. thank god i can play baten kaitos origins (which is fullscreened, btw) on my fancy new gamecube until then.

Where oh where are the Wii's? (2, Interesting)

Pontiac (135778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19425733)

Ya know I'd be happy if i could find a Wii to buy at the current price.
I saw one at Wal-mart 2 months ago.. I haven't seen one since.

Re:Where oh where are the Wii's? (3, Informative)

zarkill (1100367) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426403)

I was able to track one down from EBGames using the following URL:

http://www.gamestop.com/productavail.asp?miles=50& sku=020070&zip=33607&product_name=nintendo+wii&pla tforms=&sbox=&status=&bn=False [gamestop.com]

Just replace the ZIP code in the URL with your own.

I lucked out and a location near my office was showing 4 units in stock so I called to verify and then picked one up on my way home.

Re:Where oh where are the Wii's? (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426413)

Try Target. I regularly shop at 2 different Target stores and for at least the last month, they've both had Wii's for sale every time I've bothered to look.

Re:Where oh where are the Wii's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427803)

Yeah. Same here. Whenever I go shopping I, too, just take a look at the current supply of random videogame consoles around and take detailed notes in my "special" diary.
Next step is to wait for a related story on slashdot to give my insightful comment on the matter.

Sincerely,

The Axe Murderer

I've got iron-clad proof... (3, Funny)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426013)

that a PS3 price cut is coming. I just bought one :\

Re:I've got iron-clad proof... (1)

masterzora (871343) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428349)

Leo? Is that you? If so, why has your curse carried to Sony products?

Nintendo (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426131)

I cannot imagine Nintendo dropping the price on the Wii while supply / demand are so out of balance. If you're a manufacturer, and you can sell every single unit of a product you make, and you still have an order backlog, that's not a lot of motivation to drop price. On the other hand, if your product is sitting on the shelf and being outsold five to one by the competition in your home market *cough* Sony *cough*, you might consider dropping your price.

Re:Nintendo (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426905)

I was going to point that out, but you beat me to it.

If anything, by the rules of supply and demand, Nintendo should have priced the Wii higher. The catch is that the market doesn't like it when prices go up, so it's too late to change that now.

Only a 360 price cut makes sense right now (3, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426479)

The Wii is sold out pretty much as soon as it enters stores. A price INCREASE might may sense, but a price decrease doesn't make sense until you start having demand problems. I don't think they'll increase the price due to public outrage, but the demand is there.

A price cut on the PS3 would bring an immediate price cut on the 360. Comparing a $500 PS3 to a $300 360, the $300 console is going to sell much better. Especially with a better game library right now. Sony should hope and pray that price cuts don't happen for any console until Sony has significantly reduced the manufacturing price.

Microsoft should have cut the price of the 360 in May. The Wii is very quickly gaining ground on the 360 and will catch up soon. The lead over the PS3 may disappear when Final Fantasy XIII and Metal Gear Solid 4 come out. Microsoft should drop the 360 core (sell them with a hard drive for $249 until there are no more) and focus on a $299 360 premium. Anyone who wants to pay more can buy a $399 Elite. 360 sales are not very good and there is a lot of stock at stores. Pretty much everyone who wanted to buy one at $399 already has one.

Microsoft has non-traditional sources of income for the 360. Live brings in $50 a year per subscriber. Profit from Live is probably at least 30%. Microsoft makes a 30% profit from downloads. If someone is a Live subscriber and buys $50 worth of downloads a year (movies, television shows, Arcade, expansions, downloadable content), that would be $30 a year. Over 4 years, that's $120 profit. With publishers paying Microsoft $8 for every game sold, 20 games over 4 years adds up to $160. Both of those together would be about $280. If Microsoft's cost of manufacturing a 360 is about $300 http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/multimedia/display/20 061120132150.html/ [xbitlabs.com] (the article is dated November 20, 2006 and I'm assuming that it's lower now) and their cost of shipping, assembling and store profit is about $100, their total cost per console would be $400. Once the 65nm chips are out, it will only cut the cost further. You could make an argument for any price between $199 and $299. A $299 price would get them many more sales and would still be a profitable position in the long run. I don't think a price less than $299 is in the planning, but I think it could be justified.

If Microsoft wanted to screw over Sony, they would buy Rockstar and Square Enix. Buying Square Enix is probably the only way they could break into Japan. Make Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy exclusive to the 360. Release it for Windows Vista 6 months later. It would piss the Japanese off, but they would grit their teeth while buying a 360 to get some FF action. Losing Grand Theft Auto would kill the PS3 in North America and Europe, it would probably be enough to take it down worldwide. The Wii will continue to be profitable for Nintendo.

Price (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19426807)

How can you talk about the PS3, 360, and Live in the same post and still say the 360 is much cheaper than the PS3? With Live you get to pay $50 a year over the life of the console for online match play, and you don't even get an HD-DVD player. The PS3 and 360 seem pretty evenly matched to me.

The Wii is busy actually expanding the game market into areas that wouldn't even consider a 360 or PS3 anyway, so it's hard to say what effect that is really having on sales (as in, would the PS3 or 360 really be selling much better if there were no Wii? I'm not sure that would be so).

Re:Price (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429121)

Yeah, so? You don't have to pay for it if you don't care about multiplayer so why factor it in? Besides, people like Live because it works to get rid of cheaters. Are the "free" competitors going to do anything like that? No one I know cares about HD or BluRay. It is only relevant to the small portion of the population that cares. He is comparing apples to apples...as in the base price of the consoles. If you want to play addon games to make the PS3 look better...that's fine, but I don't see anything wrong with what he did.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19429323)

To paraphrase a Penny Arcade comic: "Once you buy extra controllers and a jewel-encrusted chalice, the price advantage completely disappears." No one doubts that, in terms of price:features ratio, the PS3 is as good a deal as the XBox 360. The PS3 is probably better, in fact. Nevertheless, if someone offered me a $200,000 Ferrari for the low low price of $100,000, I wouldn't buy it, because it is still a $100,000 car. This is something that Sony (and Sony fans) can not seem to understand: a "good deal" is not a guaranteed sale. The Blu-Ray drive alone might make up for the price difference - after all, buying an XBox 360 and HD-DVD drive would cost $600+. But this assumes that they're going to buy the HD-DVD drive, which most aren't. 3 or 4 years from now, either one of these formats will have caught on, or neither will have. At that time, you'll be able to get a player dirt cheap, much like you can with DVD players. So why spend $200 (above and beyond the price of the XBox 360) to get a player that might catch on?

Re:Only a 360 price cut makes sense right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427009)

It would be horrible if Sony completely got out of the picture. There would be no real motivation for Microsoft to pump out a more powerful system. It's only competition would be Nintendo, and that in itself is not competition on the processing/graphics front. Also, Microsoft's system can still, relatively speaking to the ps3, be the cheaper buy. It would only hurt the consumers if Sony got smothered out.

Geez.. Insightful? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427671)

What's worse than an analyst? - Some retarded wannabe analyst posting on /. about his moronic views on current videogame console trends.

Shut the fuck up.

Re:Only a 360 price cut makes sense right now (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427673)

Profit from Live is probably at least 30%. Microsoft makes a 30% profit from downloads. If someone is a Live subscriber and buys $50 worth of downloads a year (movies, television shows, Arcade, expansions, downloadable content), that would be $30 a year. Over 4 years, that's $120 profit. With publishers paying Microsoft $8 for every game sold, 20 games over 4 years adds up to $160. Both of those together would be about $280. If Microsoft's cost of manufacturing a 360 is about $300 http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/multimedia/display/20 [xbitlabs.com] 061120132150.html/ (the article is dated November 20, 2006 and I'm assuming that it's lower now) and their cost of shipping, assembling and store profit is about $100, their total cost per console would be $400.
...probably..if...if...

You should look at Live revenues/unit sold. Yes, your example sounds reasonable, but we have no idea if it's typical, which your model assumes.

Make Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy exclusive to the 360
Good luck making that stick with the remaining shareholders. MS's installed board would get their ass sued off by other shareholders if they tried that. Also, I'm not sure MS would want to waste the kind of cash it would take to buy enough outstanding shares of R*/Take2 to make it worthwhile. Something tells me it would be significantly higher than (or at least a significant chunk of) expected lifetime profits on the 360.

Blue Ocean Says No (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427617)

Under Blue Ocean thinking, Nintendo is actually unlikely to cut the price of the Wii, especially as a response to a PS3 or 360 price cut. The "blue" is supposed to mean that they're in a non-competitive market.

Of course, such markets don't really exist, but the Wii IS differentiated. They walked the price cut path with the Gamecube, staying $50 - $100 cheaper than the PS2 and Xbox, and the market share slide that snowballed during the N64 days continued. Pricecuts don't always follow the Econ 101 S-D curves -- being the least expensive can make you seem the least worthy. "Cheap" is not a compliment, even when consumers are always asking for lower prices.

Whether you really believe the "blue" business or not, I think Nintendo believes it. The PS3 is going to drop first, and it's not even a lock that MS will respond, much less Nintendo. It's hard to imagine a $499 PS3 concerning anyone. MS ($100 less + Halo 3) and Nintendo (Let's play!) will just stay the course and see how the Christmas war goes with the big software releases.

Sometime in late Spring 2008, all 3 will pricedrop and MS will discontinue the Core. So if you wait until May 2008, you'll probably be able to choose from a $399 PS3, a $299 360 (Elite version), and a $199 Wii.

There's another scenario for the North American market in 2008. It's possible that Nintendo doesn't price drop. They may bundle Wii Health along with Wii Sports in the boxes. A disruptive "healthly lifestyle" non-game from the Big N may be humongous. Can you imagine that ad campaign targeted as casuals, including Moms with concerns about the dark side of gaming?

And maybe... and maybe... (1)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19429395)

Maybe Sony will bless the PlayStation 3 with a 33% price drop sometime this year.
Maybe Steve Ballmer will decided to make all Windows products open source.

Maybe corrupt politicians will see the evil of their way, and have a change of heart ("How the Grinch Stole Christmas" style).

Maybe I'll win the million dollar jackpot... 5 times in a row.

There are a lot of things that are possible, but most of them just aren't probable.

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