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Games Entertainment

Next-Gen Pricing Still A Hot Issue 101

Posted by Zonk
from the you-need-to-sell-more-organs dept.
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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Next-Gen Pricing Still A Hot Issue

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  • game prices (Score:1, Insightful)

    by FadedTimes (581715)
    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.
    • 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 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Leiterfluid (876193)
        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
        • 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.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:01PM (#13608416) Homepage

    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.

    • 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.
      • 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

        • by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:35PM (#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.
          • 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

            • by Anonymous Coward
              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.
              • 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 l
          • 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).

            • Only if the game sux will they discontinue it.
              • 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...
                • 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.

            • 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

              • 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.

                • 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.

                  /

          • 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.
        • by Keith Russell (4440) * <keith.russell@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:56PM (#13608932) Journal

          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.
          • 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

            • 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 conso
    • 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.

      • 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).

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

          Would that something else be Streets of Rage?
          • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
      • "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?
        • 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...
          • 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
    • 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 m
    • 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)).
    • 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... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alkaiser (114022) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @05:01PM (#13608421) Homepage
    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.
    • 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

      • 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

        • 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. (Act
      • 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.
      • Retailers are the entities creating those bundles, not Microsoft. Microsoft has no control over how individual retailers choose to sell it.
    • "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.
  • [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"?

  • by nmaster64 (867033)
    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

    • 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 c
      • 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.

        • 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 h

          • 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 c

      • 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.
    • 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.
      • 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

  • by Rolman (120909) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @07:11PM (#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.
  • When (Score:2, Insightful)

    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 Ferra
    • Re:When (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by bigman2003 (671309)
      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
    • 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.
    • 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

      • "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'.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:28PM (#13610615) Journal
    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.
    • 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.
      • "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.

  • 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
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @08:57AM (#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.
    • 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

  • 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. T
  • by UES (655257) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @09:40AM (#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.
    • 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 game

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