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Wii Nintendo The Almighty Buck Games

Wii Gets Price Cut To $199 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-softses dept.
After watching Microsoft and Sony drop the prices on the Xbox 360 and the PS3, Nintendo has decided to jump in with a price cut as well. Starting September 27th, the Wii will cost $199 in North America, a $50 drop from the previous price. Japan will be getting a slightly smaller price cut, but Europe seems to be left out of this change. Nintendo is hoping this reduction and the release of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Fit Plus in the coming months will boost slipping sales rates.
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Wii Gets Price Cut To $199

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  • Soon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:31PM (#29530135) Journal

    And the fact that xmas sales are coming soon.

    But what actually gave Wii some boost and made me pick it up again was the Motion Plus extension - it feels a lot better than the regular controller without it. Sadly, theres still not many games for it.

    Also like was discussed a few days ago, Wii might be on end of its lifecycle soon and Nintendo might go a little different route with next console, which I actually find a little sad. The control scheme is a nice change and it could be utilized really well with some types of games. Nintendo should have pushed indie game developing a lot more, since thats where some great ideas could had been coming from and because of Wii's limited graphic powers, indie game developers could had concentrate on the control and gameplay a lot more.

  • Wii upgrade. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:38PM (#29530231)

    The Wii when it was sold a couple years ago was already behind the time in terms of graphics and performance. Today it is that much further behind. It is in really need for an upgrade. Granted I am not a hardcore gammer and I don't think graphics are the most important part to good gaming. However its graphics are a bit early 2000 compared to what the other guys have.

  • Re:Soon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:39PM (#29530255)

    Nintendo should have pushed indie game developing a lot more

    Yeah. I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but XNA and XBLA were fantastic ideas that have led to some great games. Same with Apple and iPhone apps. You pay $100 and off you go. But Nintendo...$2000 for the SDK? Ick.

  • by sajuuk (1371145) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:47PM (#29530331)
    Almost down to that $100 price they said it was going to be originally.
  • Boosting sales (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eNygma-x (1137037) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:48PM (#29530345)
    Actually to get the last great push for sales... enable the DVD drive to play movies!!! I mean come on! And upgrade the flash player!
  • Re:Soon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:48PM (#29530359)

    Nintendo should have pushed indie game developing a lot more

    Yeah. I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but XNA and XBLA were fantastic ideas that have led to some great games. Same with Apple and iPhone apps. You pay $100 and off you go. But Nintendo...$2000 for the SDK? Ick.

    This has always been Nintendo's biggest weakness. While their in-house development is good, they have an abysmal track record when it comes to third-party support. With the reinvention of the one-man "indie" developer this problem is exacerbated.

  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:50PM (#29530379) Homepage

    You give your own criticism to your own comment.

    When it was *released* it was out of date. And it's still the best-selling games console. So what makes you think that the graphics/performance have any effect on *sales* at all? Did you ever seriously believe that game console wars have *ever* been solved by technical prowess and not by games, marketing, gameplay, etc.? At best you could claim that you prefer games with style/content but the sales figures speak for themselves about how bothered the general populous is about the "out-of-date"-ness that the Wii was released with... None.

    It's been a wonderful product because it proves the point that I've always maintained - games don't even *need* graphics at all to be great games. It's always been true, but people lost track of that during the last few generations of console wars.

  • by NoYob (1630681) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:51PM (#29530393)

    That's peanuts compared to the cost of doing an internship in another state and then leasing an office. Nintendo requires developers to have a dedicated office and experience in the mainstream video game industry [warioworld.com].

    Nice barrier to entry there. I bet current game developers just love that.

  • by tilandal (1004811) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:53PM (#29530415)

    Its funny how the most profitable console maker doesn't follow that business model.

  • by NoYob (1630681) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:56PM (#29530441)
    It'll get there. I'm expecting a really shitty Christmas season - there are more job loses coming. When these guys start seeing their sales keep falling, they'll lower prices more to get rid of inventory.
  • by tedgyz (515156) * on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:59PM (#29530471) Homepage

    They need to drop the game prices. It's hard to justify the $50 for a game like Punch-Out. For casual gamers, that's a high price tag.

    As others have said, the motion-plus is badly needed. Sadly it may be too late since so many games have already been produced without it. Star Wars Unleashed would be so much better if the light saber truly followed your motion. I don't think I want to pay the extra $50 for Star Wars Unleashed Motion Plus. How about a downloadable upgrade?

  • by ccandreva (409807) <chris@westnet.com> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @01:19PM (#29530677) Homepage

    Depends what you mean by "good games".

    My son and I played Mario Super Sluggers all last winter. For the last 3 months or so we have at least an hour every night of the whole family playing Mario Kart Wii.

    My 6 year old daughter loves Disney Enchanted Princesses, and both kids are enjoying Disney Think Fast.

    So I would say yes.

  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PitaBred (632671) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @01:19PM (#29530681) Homepage
    If they keep compatibility with Wii games and controllers, I'd buy the new console.
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @01:26PM (#29530763) Homepage

    Nintendo needs bundle a lot more with the Wii for it to be a value. It is meant for multiplayer non-online gaming. A wii + 2 additional controllers + 2 nunchunks + motion plus + a balance board is a good gaming system. But a very expensive one.

    The other problem is that the Wii really just never worked right. Wii + motion plus is closer to what Nintendo originally promised. I love physically interactive games (DDR, Police 911 [wikipedia.org], etc.) but the Wii is really a pretty weak platform for them. Wii Tennis just detected if you swung the controller randomly. Punch Out can't tell uppercuts from high punches from low punches without relying on buttons. The balance board can't really tell if you dodge - people have figured out things like standing on one foot that makes it think you dodged, but that takes the fun away (and doesn't work on the later levels).

    I am more excited about the next generation of interactive gaming than what the Wii does now.

  • by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @01:41PM (#29530981) Journal

    That would presumably cost more to build. There is a DVD-Video player for the jailbroken Wii, but it makes the drive wear out faster.

    In some unrelated news, it was discovered that using lightbulbs caused them to burn out.

    Take is from someone who has soft-modded their wii. The DVD playback works fine.

  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @01:43PM (#29531001) Journal

    >>>Did you ever seriously believe that game console wars have *ever* been solved by technical prowess and not by games, marketing, gameplay, etc.?

    Nope. If you look at the winners over the last 30 years, it was NEVER the most powerful console:

    - Atari VCS/2600 - inferior to Intellivision and Colecovision
    - Nintendo ES - inferior to Sega MS
    - Super Nintendo - inferior to the Genesis' 32-bit capability
    - PS1 - inferior to Nintendo' 64-bit console
    - PS2 - inferior to faster-operating Cube and Xbox
    - Wii - inferior to high-def-capable PS3 and X360

  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cowclops (630818) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:07PM (#29531297)

    Eh... while the Atari, PS2, and Wii examples are accurate, I don't think the NES/SNES/PSX examples are correct.

    NES and SMS were very very close in capability. The SMS might have been superior in some nitpicky sense, but if you play games on both systems it isn't apparent that SMS outpaces NES. I'll give you credit that NES won despite not having any obvious technical superiority (since it didn't.)

    At SNES vs Genesis: Genesis was noticably inferior. Genesis was NOT 32 bit capable, as it used a 68000 on a 16 bit bus. Its cpu was measurably faster, however its graphics and sound hardware were noticeably behind SNES. If you play SNES and then play Genesis, especially games that were on both systems, the SNES version nearly always had better graphics and sound. Due to the censorship issue, I wouldn't compare Mortal Kombat 1 on Genesis to SNES, but if you go to MK2, the SNES version is a lot closer to the arcade version than the Genesis version was. Having a slightly faster processor doesn't outweigh the greatly superior dedicated sound and graphics chips of the SNES. Genesis can only put 64 colors on screen out of a palette of 4096... SNES can put 256 colors on screen out of a palette of 32768. Not to mention FM synthesis in the Genesis vs 8 channel PCM mixing in SNES.

    As far as Playstation vs N64... the Playstation won because its storage system was technically superior to N64. Game developers didn't want to be limited to expensive ROM, so developers switched in droves to PSX. The 3d rendering capabilities of N64 were limited by the small amount of data each game could hold, not to mention a tiny texture cache that limited the detail in games. Granted, the main CPU in N64 was superior to the main CPU in PSX, but this isn't the only "technical" detail of the system. Playstation won due to technical superiority: In 1996, CDs were technically superior to rom cartridges.

  • Re:Soon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:15PM (#29531403)

    I've found that the game library for the Wii is terrible and THAT is its greatest weakness.

    The better games - like Smash brothers - aren't even Wii games (How much motion control is in it?) which shows that Nintendo knows how much their control scheme is lacking. There's no Zelda for Wii (it's a Gamecube port) and Mario Galaxy was meh at best. Mario Kart is a decent party game, but it requires you to race so much in single player that you honestly can't play a pickup game against your friends. The guy who unlocked everything is going to dominate.

    The motion controls, while innovative, are move confusing than enjoyable. Otherwise decent games end up frustrating because you don't have the right kind of control. Now there's a motion plus sensor, which for $100, lets you and your wife have the control that they should have put into the controls in the first place.

    There isn't a decent native RPG or racing game in their library, and if I'm wrong, I'd love to hear the titles. Look at the all-time ratings on Gamespot; half the top games are games you got tired of playing 10 years ago.

    It's been great to lose 20 pounds with the fitness games, but the two I've used (Wii Fit and EA Active) are fucking terrible. I imagine the interview process at EA was like this:

    "Have you ever played a game -- any EA games in particular?"

    "No."

    "Hmm, what do you think makes a game fun?"

    "Absolute precision, interrupting gameplay for no reason, and a repetitive soundtrack."

    "Hmm, have you ever exercised before?"

    "Does shaving count?"

    "You're hired."

    I've never had a problem with the graphics on the Wii; perhaps that's because one of the first games I played was a black square racing down a blue path surrounded by orange. It was called "speedboat". If I want immersion, I'll go outside.

  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarKnyht (671407) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:22PM (#29531467)

    Let's look at the facts behind some of those wins

    - Atari I cannot comment on because I was too little for it and only remember playing the Intellivision.

    -Nintendo Entertainment System won because of two things, Mario and a anti-competitive contract with developers. If you wanted to develop for the NES you were not allowed to develop on anything else. Hence why most of the Sega Master System games were ports done in house by SEGA.

    -Super Nintendo won because you had a huge installed base with NES who were familiar with the popular characters of the system. Plus the Genesis suffered from attachment syndrome, you were constantly purchasing bigger and more expensive add-ons to get to the 32-bit capability.

    -Playstation One won because Nintendo stuck with the expensive Cart-based system. 600+ MB of cheap CD to work with or 64-256 MB of expensive RAM chips was an easy choice for developers. Plus, Nintendo screwed up their relationships with important developers such as Squaresoft.

    -Playstation Two won because their marketing department promised Toy Story quality graphics that only appeared in non-playable cut scenes. Plus at the time, the PS2 was the cheapest way to get your hands on a DVD Player. Gamecube was hurt itself in the US by making itself look like a kid's toy and using proprietary DVD discs that had less storage capability (making multi-platform releases harder on it). SEGA was hurt by focusing on 2D over 3D graphics, although they did have a superior online system for the time.

    -Wii won mostly because of novelty and price. It was accessible to people that otherwise would not touch a game system.

  • Re:Still too much. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:25PM (#29531501)
    I'd be interested if EITHER of you could support EITHER of those figures. Note: A gaming magazine survey isn't sufficient support, nor is counting up your friends.
  • by DarKnyht (671407) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:25PM (#29531505)

    Parent was referring to the Wii which is basically a Gamecube on steroids. The price of manufacturing as Wii vs. the sale price meant that the Big N made a profit on the Wii Console from day one.

  • Re:Soon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:01PM (#29531933)
    "Nintendo" and "Indie games" are two terms that have never, and likely will never, mix. Even getting them to accept 3rd-party games was like pulling teeth.
  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:48PM (#29532471) Journal

    Well thats your definition of gaming though - the Wii's Target Audience is not the Age 12 through 40 Males who enjoy the satisfaction of a good online headshot.

    Their Target Audience was: Everyone ELSE. I guess someone in marketting said "Hey, you know, I looked at the numbers, and there are more people who haven't played Mario then the people who have played Mario. I guess the Gamer group is still not quite a majority. What if we made something for everyone that isn't a gamer?" and thus the Wii was born.

    It is still Gaming, just not in the sense that you've grown to call it. The games aren't "Good" because you don't find them challenging, or you find the controls to be lacking, or the graphics are bad, or anything else you've put on the list.

    These are not reasons that the Wii is a bad Gaming Console. These are reasons that YOU don't like the Wii. The Wii is a very successful gaming console, and it is very good at doing what it aimed to do: Taking someone who has never in their life touched a nintendo product, and made them purchase it.

    You will find that the amount of people who Have a Wii and DON'T want a 360 or PS3 is Staggering, if you get out and meet some new people who aren't into gaming.

  • Re:Wii upgrade. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:09PM (#29532717)

    What? A control system that flat out fails for most games,

    The Wii-mote itself fails for more traditional games, and I think it's gimmicky myself, but that doesn't mean it's not meant for gaming. The Wii-mote is useless for almost all non-gaming applications. Also, if developers so chose to support them, the Wii has support for the analog stick attached to the Wii-mote, OR the classic controller which is a drop in replacement for the control scheme used on other consoles. Developers have just chosen not to support it since most people who want that style of games are on other systems.

    hardware that would have been top of the line 10 years ago

    That's inaccurate. The Gamecube itself was released 8 years ago (and it was no slouch when released) and the Wii is a slight but definite upgrade on that hardware, so the gap is most certainly not 10 years. Still, hardware has little to do with whether or not they care about gaming. It just says that the games they're targetting aren't the cutting edge in-your-face graphics style. Personally, I had a hell of a lot of fun with games published 10 years ago.

    online gaming that pretty much doesn't exist,

    A lot of people who play games don't care one way or the other about online gaming. That's one facet of gaming - it's absence certainly doesn't indicate that the Wii has nothing to do with gaming. What they simply decided was that for the majority of the population, if they want to play a game with other people, they want to play it in the same room rather than with complete strangers.

    What you're essentially arguing is that because the Wii doesn't target gaming in the traditional sense, it doesn't target gaming at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As I said, earlier, I think of all 3 consoles Nintendo has targeted gaming in general far more than XB360 or PS3 did. Both of those want to be game machines/video players/social media hubs. All Nintendo seems to be aiming for is game machine; it's just that it's aiming to be a more casual, simple game machine than most of us on Slashdot want.

    Having said that, I'll admit that I don't like the Wii personally. I DO like the more traditional "hardcore" style games and so I own a 360. Still, it's hard to argue that Nintendo isn't receiving attention. They've far outsold the other competitors, and it's all been for their games.

  • Re:Soon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:43PM (#29533129)

    I think the person you're looking for is a "maid". ;) The maid pathway is cheaper and more efficient than the girlfriend -> wife pathway. This is especially true if she decides to spawn a new process after a "memory leak". (FTR, both my kids were planned by both of us.)

    You do have to spend a lot of time with your family, so that's why he thinks you've got all the time in the world. Frankly, you do have more time. Try cooking for four and cleaning for four and laundry, etc. Plus you'll have to get a bigger place, which means more attrition and cleaning. Kids also require ATTENTION NOW

    and, uh... by the time you get back from helping them, you've forgotten what you were doing.

  • Re:Soon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @08:26PM (#29535457)

    The better games - like Smash brothers - aren't even Wii games (How much motion control is in it?) which shows that Nintendo knows how much their control scheme is lacking.

    That's some serious spin you've got there. How about, "Some games, like Smash Brothers, don't use motion control, which shows that Nintendo knows that not every single game is enhanced by motion control."

    That doesn't mean the control scheme is 'lacking'.

    There's no Zelda for Wii (it's a Gamecube port)

    Yep it was a launch title that supported both consoles. Its more than a gamecube port, but quite a bit less than a full fledged wii game. But then launch titles are always less than what comes later. I expect we'll see another Zelda for Wii eventually.

    Mario Galaxy was meh at best.

    Galaxy is one of the best platformers I've ever played. Perhaps 2nd only to Wii's Super Paper Mario.

    but it requires you to race so much in single player that you honestly can't play a pickup game against your friends. The guy who unlocked everything is going to dominate

    Thats a problem with most party games on most platforms.

    The motion controls, while innovative, are move confusing than enjoyable. Otherwise decent games end up frustrating because you don't have the right kind of control. Now there's a motion plus sensor, which for $100, lets you and your wife have the control that they should have put into the controls in the first place.

    Sure and if they'd launched it at $379 it wouldn't have outsold the other consoles 2:1. They took a gamble: a lower cost system with lower specs and a new controller. It paid off. And now we're in the refinement phase. (And imitation too, based on what Sony and MS have been working on lately...)

    That said, if you think the Wii library is lacking buy another console. You aren't going to get a game like Wario Ware Smooth Moves or for your Xbox 360, and you aren't going to get Halo3 for your Wii. Its not that either library 'sucks' its that they complement eachother.

    All that said, one of my favorite wii games is Radiant Dawn, a strategy game that doesn't need a controller beyond what came with the original NES.

  • Re:Soon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tyrus568 (644456) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:06PM (#29542595)

    Link is normally left-handed, but most players are right-handed and would want to use the sword (Wii-remote) with their dominant hand. It's somewhat less confusing if the game character also uses that chirality.

    Not that I own a Wii (or Gamecube), but what if you ARE left-handed? You just get to be confused because the on-screen Link is now right-handed (even if in all previous games it was the opposite), or does the game on the Wii allow you to change this and make Link left-handed again?

    Oi, the many annoyances of being left-handed..........

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