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Games Entertainment

Analyst Predicts Further Console Price Cuts 50

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

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  • Inside Information (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:11AM (#6220533)
    Working at Microsoft Games Research, I can tell you a few things (anonymously ofcourse). The codename for it is Xenon. We are considering using wireless controllers (no specifics). We are also considering using two TV-outs (our focus group voiced that 4 people crunched together on one TV wasn't too enjoyable). The DVD will be front tray loading rather than on the top. Remote control on/off a possibility (from controller probably). It will be backwards compatible. The controller will be smaller. There will be an expansion slot. Most of the focus group said they weren't interested in web browsing or email with the console, so we will be more media centered.

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

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

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

      We can assume that the sequel to XBox will have new anti piracy and region locking. It will be interesting to see if microsoft try to sell it as a feature.
    • We are considering using wireless controllers (no specifics). We are also considering using two TV-outs (our focus group voiced that 4 people crunched together on one TV wasn't too enjoyable). The DVD will be front tray loading rather than on the top. Remote control on/off a possibility (from controller probably). It will be backwards compatible. The controller will be smaller. There will be an expansion slot.

      Assuming any of this is true:
      wireless controllers suck. They could be useful for games that don't
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I think it's worth noting that the general consensus of Nintendo's Wavebird (their 1st party wireless controller) is that it is a very good controller. Perhaps you are thinking of old-school wireless controllers that used IR? If that's the case you should try a Wavebird out - only when the batteries get low have I experienced any sort of transmission problems, and when it works right (probably 95%+ of the time) the fact that it's wireless makes it very appealing to me. Still prefer the controller-s layou
        • I think it's worth noting that the general consensus of Nintendo's Wavebird (their 1st party wireless controller) is that it is a very good controller. Perhaps you are thinking of old-school wireless controllers that used IR? If that's the case you should try a Wavebird out - only when the batteries get low have I experienced any sort of transmission problems, and when it works right (probably 95%+ of the time) the fact that it's wireless makes it very appealing to me. Still prefer the controller-s layout,
          • I have a Wavebird and a Logic3 wireless controller for my ps2. I have never ever EVER noticed any lag. No interference either with absolutely any appliance, including my wireless pc keyboard / mouse. I suggest you give it a try, having wireless controller has cleared all the clutter from my living room. You are actually the first person I have ever heard making complaints about latency. Have you even tried out a modern 2.4GHz wireless controller?
            • I suggest you give it a try, having wireless controller has cleared all the clutter from my living room. You are actually the first person I have ever heard making complaints about latency. Have you even tried out a modern 2.4GHz wireless controller?

              Well, I can always pick up a Wavebird when I pick up my GC, and if it works out I'll look around at the controllers for the other systems (unfortunately I somehow doubt there's a recent wireless Dreamcast controller out there). I'm a little worried by the fact
              • I'm using the "2.4GHz" label to distinguish them from older technology, IR based wireless. Please read reviews of said wireless controllers, you will see they were tested quite thoroughly by people who were expecting them to be quite crap (like you seem to do, for example). I do accept that YMMV but I think that at least the Wavebird, a controller that was engineered to be functioning up to 50 ft away from the console will fill your needs. Also, please don't compare phones with controllers, it is very painf
                • Also, please don't compare phones with controllers, it is very painful

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

                  The way I see it, though, is that if people seem to think that a particular controller is much more functional than others have been, then it's not a big deal to go out and grab one when I'm already throwing down some cash for a console, memory card, and othe
              • The Wavebird is either 800 or 900mhz, not sure. Definately not 2.4ghz.

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

                The controller does suck though when the batteries are low.
          • by Matrix272 (581458)
            Wireless has always had some appeal to me, as well, but the problems with them in terms of gaming don't even seem to be something that most people have been looking at. I know 2 people that have wireless controllers for their gamecubes that noticed the same latency issues I'm talking about (note: not dropouts, latency, the time between pressing the button and the action being performed on-screen), but I don't know if they have the controller you're talking about or not. I definitely have had problems with w
            • I would highly recommend both items, although cost might be an issue. If memory serves, the WaveBird was about $35 new, and the Logitech MX700 is around $75 - 80.

              I'll probably pick up a WaveBird with my GC in a couple weeks. If it gives me any problems it can always be controller 2 ;p As for the Logitech mouse, I won't touch anything they make until they make a trackball I can use comfortably. I'm setting up a computer for my gf, though, and she might prefer a mouse, so we shall see. I was considering wir
          • I have the wavebird, the one made directly by Nintendo, and the only problems I've ever had as an issue with it and latency is if I'm at somebody's house and they have a very cheaply made wireless phone. There are knockoffs of the wavebird that from what I understand, have not gone anywhere near the ease of use and juse quality that the wavebirds have.

            It's actually very likely that with Nintendo's next console, the system will use something that would be equivilant to a 4th generation wavebird. (First be
      • > wireless controllers suck. They could be useful
        > for games that don't require quick input, but
        > fighting games, fps games, and even most
        > platformers and 3rd person games take a hit.
        > Until latency on wireless is the same as with
        > wires, this will continue to be a problem for
        > at least some people.

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

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

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

          I will most likely pick up a WaveBird with my GC, fine, but as even a few of the people raving about the WaveBird have admitted, that doesn't mean that all wireless controllers are good, or even all current wireless controllers.
    • I wouldn't buy it if it had wireless controllers. That is an extra purchase, don't make people pay for it to get the console. Just have the controllers have extra long cables. I'd also say ditch the 2 tv-outputs. If you want, build it into the hardware and make a different cable that people have to buy that takes advantage of it. Again, don't make people pay for something that very few people ever do. I don't like tray loading players for game systems. Too easy to knock into it or break it. Top load
      • Top loading is the best and probably is the best use of space since the top door doesn't need to be very thick or take up much plastic. But with a drawer you have that entire drawer mechanism that you have to build around. Make it look like the rest of my home theater stuff. Right now I have a separate shelf for the game systems because they don't go with anything else that I have and don't fit nicely on the shelves because of their odd sizes and shapes.

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

          Yeah, thats the downside. But we all know they won't make a console look like other hometheater stuff. I know with the gamecube i need to make sure I've got clearance above it, but as far as ease of use and reliability I still think top loading works better. No motors, no electric buttons, just a purely mechan
          • I think more people will want to use it to play dvd's than going online or for multiple tv's or want wireless controllers.

            I agree with the multiple tvs and wireless controllers parts, but not the going online part. While none of my consoles are currently online (though I'm considering getting a wireless router to hook them all up), I believe that charging extra for an ethernet port (especially at the rates charged for the Sega and Sony adapters, and considering how hard they can be to find) is pretty much
    • I also heard Xbox 2 is switching to ATI for thier Graphics chip, which makes sense. Wireless controllers sound cool but they would probably cause problems with phones, microwaves, wifi, etc. like every other wireless device not to mention that latency. 2 tv outs would be awesome! Shouldnt be much more expensive to add another SCART on the box. It would be nice to have a built in IR reciever like the new PS2, and use that for Remote On/Off. And it should definately come with built in media sharing/stream
    • I didn't think they would even consider a top loading tray.

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

      I don't really care which one they use, but if they use front loading, i hope they include an eject/close button on the remote.
  • by KU_Fletch (678324) <<ude.uk> <ta> <1samohtb>> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:33AM (#6220591)
    I hope Nintendo doesn't do a price cut, but instead creates a super bundle. Put the Gamecube, GBA SP, and a game for each. Keep the $150 price level. Parents will love it because they see it as getting two consoles for the price of one, kids will love getting more, adult gamers (myself included) will enjoy the linkable features that are upcoming. Plus, they could have theme packs. The Zelda, Metroid, and Mario also have big name games on both consoles (with Zelda and Metroid having link capacity). Hell, there could even be an Animal Crossing bundle with Animal Crossing and an e-Reader instead of a GBA-SP game since you can download NES games instead.
    • by Ayanami Rei (621112) <rayanami&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @04:01AM (#6220654) Journal
      Then cheap, individual consoles are going to be important to get. They should come with game discs that let you play GBA-SP or go webtv/networked mode with a broadband adapter and let you remotely boot net-aware games, like an arcade setup.

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

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

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

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

        The closest chance to this happening would be to bundle the Gamecube with an original GBA, since there would be a lower price difference and all, and more incentive for some to buy that bundle.
  • Drop the prices of new release games and we'll talk. A$100 is too expensive. Bring it down to A$50-A$60 and I've already got two titles for the PS2 I'd be interested in.
    • What's the conversion rate between US$ and AUS$? New titles in the US only cost $50 at worst... most of the time they're $40-45.
      • You'd think with the whole internet at your service you'd be able to find the conversion rate for USD to AUD (hint: xe.com says it's about $1:$0.67).

        So $100 A is a bit more in real terms than in the US. But still I agree. $45 US for new titles is way out of line. Not that y'all aren't used to paying it, but personally I balk at $30, and prefer $20. Of course, I'm content to let everyone else play the latest and greatest and wait for the used consoles and games to show up in the bin at EB Games and Funcol
        • Now, now... let's not get hostile. I only suggested that the parent provide the current exchange rates because he was complaining about the cost of new games in a foreign country. I don't feel anyone can make a comment one way or the other without the appropriate information, which is, in this case, the exchange rate.

          Sure, I prefer to pay $20 to play a new game... but I recognize that with the demand of new games with good graphics, sound, and gameplay, there's a supply that necessitates a cost of around
  • How low can prices go before a new generation of console hardware kicks in?

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

  • by Matrix272 (581458) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:55AM (#6221588)
    How low can prices go before a new generation of console hardware kicks in?

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

    Does that sound amiable to all?

    • Also remember the PSOne was released at a low price around the time the Dreamcast came out. So, it could be that near the end of life of one console, if a new console comes out from one of the other 3 (doesn't Nintendo intend to be much faster to the table this time around?), you could see a new revision of the other 2 consoles and a large price drop to combat the adoption of the new console (PS2 came out in the US what, a year after the Dreamcast? Or was that just when you could finally get them without be
      • The Dreamcast came out on 9/9/99 (remember the adds? 9/9/99... "It's thinking."...). The PS2 came out the following year on October 26 (if memory serves). So, yes, you're right... it was just over a year. The reason PS2's were so hard to come by was that Sony didn't manufacture enough of them to meet demand. Some of them were going for over $1000 on eBay right before Christmas. They didn't completely meet the demand until the following March or April, perhaps even as late as May. I got mine in March... I th
    • Speaking of N64, it turns out the price of a used on at Gamestop is down to $20 these days. $20! If I didn't have one already, I wouldn't have been able to stop myself from buying it on impulse yesterday. Seriously, $20 for a console as good as N64 is rediculous. (Disclaimer: I don't have the disposable income to waste on current systems, especially since they don't look that great)
      • Here's the problem with it though... Name 5 good games for the N64. I can think of a few... but 5 is pushing it.

        I can come up with Goldeneye, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Zelda: Majora's Mask, Super Mario Kart 64, and Super Mario 64. Really, both Zelda games are the same... Can anyone think of any others?
        • Super Smash Brothers, Mario Party, Bomberman 64, FZero X, and Starfox 64, in addition to the ones you listed are all great games in my opinion.

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

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

          Thats all off the top of my head. IfI look in my collection I will probably find a dozen more that were not crap.
  • by ameoba (173803) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @05:36PM (#6226583)
    Computers will get faster, education will get more expensive, politicians will lie and SCO will soon press charges of distributing child pornography against IBM.
  • Ok, if the Xbox gets to $100 I'll buy it.

    But just for DOOM III

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

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