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The Almighty Buck Wii XBox (Games) Games

Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers 351

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the play-board-games-instead dept.
MojoKid writes "The rumor mill is still churning out quite a bit of information on new consoles this week, including new data on Nintendo's upcoming Wii U. According to unnamed developers, the Wii U actually isn't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PS3, despite boasting HD graphics and significantly improved hardware. Meanwhile, the Xbox 720, codenamed Durango, is reportedly targeting the holiday season of 2013 as a launch window. Rumors are floating about of a required always-on internet connection and of locking out the used game market. What this discussion truly highlights is just how dysfunctional the entire console industry is and how skewed its profits are. Profits on hardware sales are so small, game shops can't survive on console sales alone. $60 MSRPs are subsidized by exchange and trade-in programs. Kicking Gamestop in the teeth may occasionally sound like fun, but the idea of killing the used games market doesn't make much sense. If used title values collapse and MSRPs stay the same or rise, the entire industry could hamstring itself in the name of higher profits."
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Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

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  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:18AM (#39571157) Homepage Journal

    All three consoles have an online store for downloadable games, apps, etc.

    Microsoft charges for XBox Live Gold. They've had other avenues for profit during this entire generation.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yep - they as in the console companies.

      but this industry refers to other players in the industry, namely game stores. which are as fucked as they're always been. of course if it was a goldmine.. everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't be a goldmine anymore.

  • Higher profits (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:20AM (#39571189) Homepage Journal

    Killing used sales doesn't mean higher profits for console makers. Those who are only willing to spend $20 on a used title aren't suddenly going to drop $400+ for a new console and then start paying $60 for new games. They'll likely just spend $20 on used games for current gen titles like they do. Console makers will hurt the adoption of their consoles and lower profits. And some gamers will be less likely to spend $60 on games that already currently do so, if there is no longer an option to sell the game back and make back some of their money.

    I don't understand how Microsoft and Sony think this will lead to higher profits. And frankly if Microsoft or Sony does this, but the other does not, then it will just drive business to that console.

    • Re:Higher profits (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:29AM (#39571287)

      I don't understand how Microsoft and Sony think this will lead to higher profits.

      I sometimes think that high prices aren't all about profit. It almost seems like Microsoft / Sony / Nintendo think it would be an insult to offer their best titles for $15 even if that meant they would make much more money. Prestige matters to them.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Might be granny and auntie christmas purchase marketing. "the $60 game must be better than the $30 game... I'll buy junior the $30 game"

      • Re:Higher profits (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:47AM (#39571495) Homepage Journal

        Technically, it is the game publisher who sets the price. For instance, at one point someone decided to challenge the Madden franchise by offering a $20 alternative.

        Developers and publishers have both been going belly up. Budgets on games are going through the roof. You need $20 million to put together a AAA title these days, with some games costing $100 million to make.

        NES games in 1985 were $35, which is over $70 in today's dollars. But the cost of making a game is considerably higher today than it was in 1985. Some people claim that there are more consumers today, so you can sell more copies.

        But there were 62 million NES consoles sold. There have been 62 million PS3 consoles sold and 65 million XBox 360 consoles sold. Given that many people have replaced 360's due to defective hardware, I'm not sure you can honestly say you can expect more sales from a console game today than during the height of the NES.

        $60 isn't ridiculous when you look at it. I don't know why people felt $35 was fine in 1985, but assume better games today should sell for $15 as you suggest.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Technically, it is the game publisher who sets the price.

          While that's true, Microsoft and Sony both pressure the publisher towards higher-priced games in a variety of ways. Examine for example Halo. All the IP is controlled by a holding company controlled by Microsoft so it's not like there's any separation there. Halo games have all the fancy crap, the themes and the videos and the DLC. If you want to have that stuff for your game you have to shell out a bunch of bucks to Microsoft for them to handle the downloads and such for you on a service which is then paid

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        Prestige matters to their investors.

        FTFY

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      I was rather late to the console party. I got a PS3 for it's media capabilities, but picked up a few used/sale games due to how cheap they were; I mostly play them when I have a parry, let them out and let people manage playing them for themselves. I have not and will not drop $60 for a new game, I don't even do that with my PC which is my primary gaming platform.

    • Re:Higher profits (Score:5, Insightful)

      by localman57 (1340533) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:36AM (#39571371)
      They aren't going to be married to a $60 price point. If they cut out the used game market, then it becomes a curve over time. Right now, we have a situation where a small number of die hards pay $100 + for a pre-release version with some extra trinkets, the first-day adopters pay $60 for a new game, a large number of people buy it at retail for $40 a year later, then it goes in the bargin bin for $20 or $30 a few years later. That's the curve. The problem for publishers is that they have to compete with their own used games at the end of this curve.

      The new model will look different, and will vary a lot from game to game. Basically, the game publishers will try to maximize revenue by getting each customer to pay the highest price they are willing to pay, with the reward of getting the game sooner than you would have for a lower price. When your distribution costs approach zero as they do with digitial distribution (remember that Wal-Mart probably gets somewhere between $10 and $20 out of that $60), you can sell a game for $7 and still make a profit. And that beats not making a profit. So expect used games on consoles to follow the same thing that's happened on Steam. Eventually some pretty good but old games will show up for a few dollars on the consoles; this is a price point that isn't worth GameStop's trouble. There's already some flavor of this with the fact that you can buy MarioCart for N64 on the Wii market for $5.
      • Re:Higher profits (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tharsman (1364603) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @11:13AM (#39571843)

        That's the curve. The problem for publishers is that they have to compete with their own used games at the end of this curve.

        Excellent statement but this bit is a bit off. The problem for publishers is not at the end of the curve, but at the start. Game chains like GameStop will carefully calculate demand and order as few copies as they need to seed a local market of used copies. They will do their best to brainwash children into beating games and return them for "amazing credit value" (rip-off values) and then push a full wall of these new titles for a $2 dollar discount.

        Heck, look at Modern Warfare right now at GameStop's website. [gamestop.com] Amazing savings, eh? $2 whole bucks saved in exchange of a box filled with store stickers and thorn box!

        You will find even great games back in the used bins in large numbers and an artificially created scarcity for new copies of the "hot" title. See, kids eventually are "educated" that should they return the game as soon as they can from release date, they will get more money back (still a rip-off value but a lesser rip-off.) This is not a new practice, but as games get more expensive to produce, and the market becomes more competitive, it becomes a larger issue, especially for smaller game titles (not so much for the Modern Warfare’s of the world.)

        I actually perceive the end of the curve used copies to be extremely undesirable for most people. At that point they are so thorn and destroyed that you may as well just get the new copy for $20.

        This is one of the reasons online play has become so big in the last few years: online components tend to encourage people to keep their games for longer instead of just beating a campaign and returning the thing.

    • by Rifter13 (773076)

      Console games used to be $50. They bumped them to $60, and the secondary market took off, after that. They took the market past what it could handle. I do believe that this will hurt consoles more than anything. Most "kids" I know, buy used. That is a fairly large demographic to cut out.

      • As a kid I remember saving up money to buy Super Mario 3 for $35. If you account for inflation, that's over $70 in today's dollars.

        Console game prices do go up in time, but that's because all prices go up over time.

        • Re:Higher profits (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rifter13 (773076) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:55AM (#39571619) Homepage

          One of the MAJOR problems, though, is that inflation has gone up, while general salaries have remained stagnant. So, people don't make a LOT more than they did 10-20 years ago, but things cost more. It's getting to the point right now, that charging $60 for game is going to slow sales for many, MANY titles. I think the REAL gaming success story, over all, is Steam. They are very aggressive on pricing, and they just send you games, when you want them, day or night.

          • It's getting to the point right now, that charging $60 for game is going to slow sales for many, MANY titles.

            I don't believe this to be true. We're at a point where at debut, premire titles sell in the hundreds of thousands of copies within the first 24 hours of release. There are release parties, where people rejoice in their freedom to drop three Jacksons plus tax for the right to get a game within minutes of its availability. There was nothing of this magnitude in the NES era.

          • The median household income has risen 30% since 1990. Prices have gone up about 65%. So there is definitely a disparity, but people didn't make MORE money 20 years ago. They made 30% less.

            It should be noted that we're in a recession. If the economy hadn't tanked, there probably wouldn't be as much of a disparity in income growth rate and inflation.

    • Re:Higher profits (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tharsman (1364603) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:54AM (#39571597)

      Those who are only willing to spend $20 on a used title aren't suddenly going to drop $400+ for a new console and then start paying $60 for new games.

      Here is the biggest issue with your observation. The problem is not people buying old used games for $20 bucks. The problem is people that just pay $57 bucks at a GameStop for a used game instead of paying the $60 for the new copy.

      At every level, the only one winning here is GameStop. The used copies are rarely in a condition where they are only worth 3 bucks less, yet that’s the undercut range they go for with used games is only between $2 to $5. Given the conditions they sell them at, these used games should be worth about 50% of the new copy price.

      Given no choice, most these people will just buy new, heck, if GameStop was not pushing the used copy down their throats with "incentives" like free magazine subscriptions and discounts for a yearly fee, they would never had looked at the used copy anyways.

      I am not in favor of used copy banning, but it's this predatory actions from chains like GameStop that are actually hurting many studios that barely can make a profit due to not having the marketing backing that you see behind titles like Modern Warfare.

      • Those people are idiots. And that behavior will stop pretty quick given that many games now include a one-time code for some of the content. The used copy is often devalued by $10 by these online codes, making it really hard to sell a used game for anything more than $50.

        If someone purchases a new game for $60, they consume that code, and then someone later buys that game used with less content for $50, then the publisher was never going to get that sale. That consumer has determined they aren't willing to

        • by Tharsman (1364603)

          Those people are idiots.

          Those people are usually children or parents that don't care. Neither makes them idiots, just uninformed. GameStop (flagship chain doing it, not the only one) preys on these people. Unfortunately, most games are actually purchased by either uninformed parents or children.

          There ARE some idiots out there, too, helping the process (I do know a few) but for the most part it's the children and parents.

    • It doesn't matter to the publishers whether the gamers that spend $20 a month on used games will only buy a new game every 3 months. For them, that is profit already. Not a cent spent on used games goes to the publishers and studios. It all goes to Gamestop and other retailers.

      Even if people buy 1 new game every six months rather than 10 used games a month, it's more beneficial for the publishers that way.

      • Option A). 3 used games on current gen consoles they already one

        Option B). Spend $400 on a new console, and then purchase 1 new game for the same price as 3 used games

        You honestly think the budget gamers are all going with option b?

  • Specifically, back to 1983 [wikipedia.org]. It's a big step in that direction. Don't think for a moment that it can't happen again. It can.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:25AM (#39571235)

    the idea of killing the used games market doesn't make much sense

    It does if you're looking to appease developers. And if you think that killing the used console game market is going to hurt developer profits, I would like to submit exhibit A: The PC game industry.

    Unfortunately, the consumer suffers. But what's new, huh?

    • by Moridin42 (219670)

      Yep. it worked so well the PC game ecosystem is flourishing! Only.. it isn't, really, unless we're talking indie developers that are hitting close to the mobile app price points. I have a hard time believing Microsoft, Sony, or console development studios are going to aim that low ..

    • by Moheeheeko (1682914) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:54AM (#39571593)
      The main reason that the PC is doing better is that the development companies dont have to make expensive we-lose-our-ass-on-each-sale hardware every 5 years. All they have to do is pop some new parts in the dev machines every 2-3.

      Same goes for the consumer. The last time I spent 300+ on PC parts (the cost of a new console by a very modest estimate) My purchase Included one of the most expensive parts to buy, a new monitor. And even then, it isnt NECCISARY to upgrade all that often, I know people who game on PC who havent upgraded in 6+ years.

      Then we have Things like steam sales, and if you are patient with your gaming, you can come away smelling like a rose most of the time. That one game you kinda wanted to try 6 months ago but never gort around to it? if it was good, you are looking at $30, not so good? $5-$10.

      The videogame hobby as a whole, is cheaper for the consumer on the PC

      • by tepples (727027)

        The videogame hobby as a whole, is cheaper for the consumer on the PC

        Does this remain true even if you take into account that console games are far more likely than PC games to support multiplayer on one machine through gamepads?

  • Well then ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:27AM (#39571259) Homepage

    Rumors are floating about of a required always-on internet connection

    That pretty much guarantees I won't buy the next XBox.

    I have no interest in having my XBox being required to always be connected so they can implement annoying features like ads in my XBox and other nuisances.

    I don't play on-line, and I mostly view a console as a stand-alone, mostly off-line game. So, if it truly does require a constant internet connection, it's not going to get bought by me.

    • Yeah, I thought people bought consoles instead of gaming on a PC precisely because their Internet connection sucked, such as farmers and their children who have to live in a rural area. At least games for consoles are historically more likely to support multiplayer with one machine and one monitor, especially on Wii.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Yeah, I thought people bought consoles instead of gaming on a PC precisely because their Internet connection sucked, such as farmers and their children who have to live in a rural area.

        I'm sure for many people that's a big part, but for me I simply have no interest in a video game console which demands a constant internet connection.

        I'm not playing on-line. I'm not downloading content. I don't even have an XBox-live membership. But, after the recent update to my XBox where Microsoft started putting ads i

    • Same. Always-on is a dealbreaker for me.

      If both Sony and MSFT implemented always-on, I simply wouldn't buy either.

  • by billcarson (2438218) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:27AM (#39571263)
    I believe the console market is in the same position as the arcade halls were back in the early '90: filled with 'mature companies', struggling to provide added value to their product over the then relatively new home consoles. If the console market wants to survive, they really need to move away from copying the success factors from the PC market, and provide added value to their product that the PC industry can't easily copy, just like surviving arcade manufacturers are doing nowadays. And, while I agree it is hard to find such elements, they certainly exists. The wii-type thing was a good start. Just adding a faster internet modem and high end graphics card isn't going to do it this time.
  • the Wii U actually isn't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PS3

    This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

    Rumors are floating about of a required always-on internet connection and of locking out the used game market.

    I'm almost positive if these rumors prove to be true, the receptive companies will take a huge hit in sales.
    I'm not huge on the "I hate company X because of this, this, and this" mentality that most of slashdot has, but if I buy a game? I expect it to be mine.
    And in these difficult economic times? I expect a lot of people think similarly to this, being able to sell games you're not using for extra cash is great.
    The ONLY reason I'd go along with this was if game pric

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I live in the boonies and I want my console game most when the power is up but the internet is down and I can't even get online. Planning to move further out where I may even end up on satellite, urgh. I just have to stick with the old games and systems if this happens. No big deal though, there's hundreds of games I haven't played yet for the systems I've got.

      • Yeah, this is my take on it as well.
        That, and with every form of DRM, someone, somewhere takes it as a challenge and takes it down.
        Up until the past year or so, I've been very much against piracy. But when companies do shit like this...Yo fucking ho.
  • While the Wii was very successful, even tough technologically as advanced as its nearest competitors as the PS3 and the Xbox 360. However with the new version, you would expect it to be at least a little more powerful the their aging competitors. It not like I am expecting the Wii U to have superior graphics over the PS4 or the Xbox 720 but... It should be at least a little better then these old systems.
    • I have a Wii. It's almost 100% used for watching Netflix. My first grader doesn't care for games, and though I was a gamer once, neither do I. I want something more computer like, yet dirt simple to hook up to the TV so I can watch Netflix, YouTube and do light Web Browsing, and maybe email checking.

      Maybe there is already some kind of Roku thing that does it. I got YouTube vids running briefly though Opera which runs on Wii, but it wasn't smooth. I'd get some wireless keyboard to keep on the coffee t

  • From the article:

    effectively using the touchscreen means finding a way to make it uniquely useful without giving the player who possesses it an overwhelming advantage. There are some multiplayer games that will map very effectively to this concept--but most won't.

    Isn't this a case where players 2, 3, and 4 can use a DS Lite, DSi, or 3DS with DS Download Play?

    • From the article:

      effectively using the touchscreen means finding a way to make it uniquely useful without giving the player who possesses it an overwhelming advantage. There are some multiplayer games that will map very effectively to this concept--but most won't.

      Isn't this a case where players 2, 3, and 4 can use a DS Lite, DSi, or 3DS with DS Download Play?

      There's no way they could make game play identical between a special purpose device and general purpose devices. (unless the special purpose device *is* just a DS in a slightly different case)

      If I were to get one of these, I'd leave the touchscreen controller in the box, and get several DS's. Perhaps that's Nintendo's plan. The touchscreen device might just be a "starter", but to get full control, you need a DS.

      • (unless the special purpose device *is* just a DS in a slightly different case)

        Photos make the Wii U controller look almost like a cut-down 3DS. Compare this illustration [wikipedia.org] to this photo [wikipedia.org]. It just has a bigger touch screen, a second Circle Pad on the right, no top screen, no GPU, no Game Card or SD slot, and probably only enough CPU to display rendered images that the console streams to it.

  • by fallen1 (230220) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:38AM (#39571397) Homepage

    They WILL hamstring themselves. Even with the overall apathetic appearance of a large portion of the United States, if they attempt to kill off the secondary or used game market they will, in effect, be killing the console game market. The only people who can afford to throw $60+ at a game every time they turn around does not constitute the overall gaming market. I would be willing to bet that those people with large enough bank accounts to buy games AT WILL amounts to less than 10% of the overall gaming market. The VAST majority of the gaming market depends on being able to play a game and then turn it in to lessen the cost of the next game, specially when you can run through the majority of the games on the market in under, what? -- 20 hours per game?

    Their need for control and their greed will be their undoing. A lot of people say that voting with your dollars doesn't work. I say that it will work when at least 50% of the market rises up against the corporate overlords who are producing this crap. Who want us, the gamers, to continually pay them for the privilege of using their game - not owning OUR game. As these rumors become fact, I hope that each of you who despises this will begin educating those fellow gamers who may not be following the information. Educate them that the cool thing to do is not to buy that uber new shiny, but to reject the new paradigm that the corporations want to foist upon all of us. Actually vote with your dollars this time and not just pay it lip service. All it takes is enough of us protesting in forums, in direct mails to the companies, in e-mails to the companies, and DO NOT BUY ANY NEW CONSOLES. Make it plain and clear, without resorting to cursing and ranting, that you nor anyone in your family or circle of friends will be purchasing any gaming console that removes the rights of the people* to First Sale Doctrine or the ability to trade it in so you can afford to purchase another new game.

    Make them understand they will pay for their hubris by us, the gamers, simply saying "No."

    * Do NOT, under any circumstance, call yourself a consumer. We should always remind them that even if we act as a group, we are individuals who are much more than just a consumer.

    • by tomhath (637240)

      The VAST majority of the gaming market depends on being able to play a game and then turn it in to lessen the cost of the next game, specially when you can run through the majority of the games on the market in under, what? -- 20 hours per game?

      Very good point. Perhaps the best strategy would be for the game makers to DROP the price to where $new - $used is today. Maybe $20 instead of $75 would be far more profitable. Then people wouldn't fret about not being able to sell used games.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:39AM (#39571405) Homepage

    These damned MBAs out there seeing only what they want to see and not understanding the whole picture is a problem. For one, the used market is actually vital to the game industry. Without it, people are less inclined to buy new things as they [rightly] feel that the ability to sell something they bought for a rather high price is a way to lessen the sting of the high prices and the high risk when some games end up being rather disappointing. After all, there are no returns on most of these which is a huge risk for the buyer.

    But beyond this, it's clear that the technology of games has just about plateaued for now. Things aren't getting any better or more exciting until the next earth-shattering invention. The Wii and Kinect and whatever the PS3 has are fun and all, but when it comes to long-play games, I'm sorry, but endurance shouldn't be a requirement. The gimmick has already worn off on me. I do like sword fighting games though... just not enough good ones and anything for Kinect will just suck.

    But what's wrong with keeping things as they are for a while?! The PC market "matured" from always wanting to upgrade. The gaming market is there right now, I believe. Let's just sit on our laurels for a while and let the innovation in game creativity run on its own for a while. The greed and unrealistic perspective of change and control and getting people to buy new things every 5 minutes needs to fade.

  • "Killing" the console with these particular problems would really just mean their market shrinks to its natural size, as opposed to the current state in which more people want in because of artificially low console prices.

    Net effect: PC gaming no longer screwed up by megacorps chasing fratfucks and other casuals. Players having higher barrier to entry causes more devs to consider risk taking, returning artistic credibility to the medium. Bobby Kotick switches to making staplers. The Mona Lisa takes her t
  • the era of the walk/run kill a few enemies, scour for crap and repeat is over. the market is now after casual kiddie games. angry birds made more money than most "hardcore" violent games. i love Mass Effect and other games like this, but this is the new era of gaming.

    farmville/cityville were just sim city clones with a social aspect and publishers have noticed. if you don't like any kinect games its because you aren't the target market for them. the market just became a lot bigger and the run/kill games are

  • by NetJunkie (56134) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <hsan.nosaj>> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:49AM (#39571529)

    We want an updated Xbox. I want an Xbox that can compete fairly well with modern PCs. I want to run games at 1080p and have them look good with high frame rate. I want it to be quiet. I want it to have a good online gaming experience, which honestly I think Live has done. I want good first party games. The problem is that the current consoles are old. They are outdated. My gaming has dropped off over time as the games and quality are lagging. Don't try to reinvent everything...I'm trying to make it easy for you. Give me a modern capable console.

  • i played black ops after it came out. play it once and its useless to replay. same with gears of war.

    Mass effect and other RPG/shooter combos can be replayed a lot of times with different strategies each time

    if you want people to buy your games new and not sell them, make games with replay value

  • Nintendo knows where the money is.

    Microsoft and Sony need to upsell their existing customer base in order to succeed, just like the last time around.

  • ... is run by morons anyway, and a lot of the developers are just as stupid. Game development costs from the late 90's onwards have just been going up exponentially and killed a lot of smaller B and C level game developers so now we're stuck with game companies that are risk averse because the costs to make a game who's graphics are at the current GPU level is just too costly. Yet a 2D game like New super mario bros. Wii sells millions. Publishers/developers were too quick to kill 2D games when 3D arr

  • by tgd (2822) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @11:17AM (#39571915)

    I may be odd-man out on here, but I don't find $60 a particularly large amount of money to spend on something I get 10-20 hours of enjoyment out of. And there are plenty of games that I've gotten 10x that out of for the same $60. I happen to like the big, detailed, long games that require teams of 250 people a couple of years to make. I don't expect to pay $5 for a game like that, nor do I feel its right to thank them for their hard work by buying the game from someone else used.

    Hell, I even like having authors of books I happen to like actually being paid for the work they did for me.

    Here's the reality: If you don't value your entertainment to that level, don't buy it. The game makers will get the hint. Maybe the market really has shifted to $5 throw-away casual games, with companies like Zynga shooting for quantity, not quality. Maybe the market can only really sustain a dozen or two games with mid-eight-figure development budgets a year.

    I do find it baffling how little people value the efforts of those who are providing entertainment to them. I'm not so poor that paying $10 to see a movie I'm excited about is a problem, nor am I so poor or easily amused that I value my entertainment at $1 an hour.

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @12:54PM (#39573155) Homepage

    What this sounds like to me is a combination of two things: fighting the impending irrelevancy and threat of the iPhone and Android, and trying to lock in another profit center to deal with the fact that they're not the only game in town anymore (literally).

    Irrelevancy: Look, what these next gen consoles are up against is the cheapest of the cheap: we're at a point where you can get a $100 device running Android, hook it to your TV, and play any number of games off Google Play for free or near free. They're not up against their old consoles, particularly with how mature and well featured some of the Android games are getting. (There are FPS games on Play which rival the original Counterstrike in features and surpass it on graphics by quite a bit, all playable on your phone...)

    Profit center: Again, $50-60 games which might suck on a $400 console you might buy if there are a couple games on it you like does not hold a candle to the $4 and under games. Since most people probably buy a console (due to the cost) once there are games they want to play available, and only buy a handful of games (what parent wants to regularly 'feed' their kids' console at $50/game or who wants to risk $50 on something that's horrible?).

    Hollywood accounting: I suspect that the game industry has succumbed to Hollywood accounting. They claim a loss on the games or that they're not making a profit for accounting reasons, making it look like everyone's "losing" money. I'm sorry, but as popular as even the worst games are, they're selling them for $50+ each. I understand development costs are higher now than they used to be due to the epic nature of many movies, but there's little reason (IMO) for the disproportionate claims.

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @02:12PM (#39574337)

    Economic Theory tells us that it's better to be a monopolist than to compete in a free market. The only thing better than a monopolist is to be able to exercise price discrimination. That means you can charge lower prices for the same goods to capture more revenue. Video game companies are among the few who can do that. They charge more for pre-release, full-price at release, and then scale it down afterward depending on the sales volume and time from release. In mathematical terms, they capture more of the demand curve, and thus, higher profits.

    So they're already sitting in the catbird seat, yet still grasping for more.

    Greed knows no limits.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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