EA calls on Nintendo for a Wii price drop

Could $50 make that big of a difference?

EA CEO John Riccitiello has a solution to the problem of slowing Wii sales - drop the price to $99. After all, the PS3 and Xbox 360 steeply cut their costs down since they first launched, but Nintendo is stubbornly clinging onto a $200 price point.

That's still very close to the original price of $250, which the Wii launched for way back in 2006. It was September of last year when Nintendo finally decided to slash the price, down to $199.

But that's the same price as a more feature-rich Xbox 360, and just $100 less than the Blu-ray-included PS3. With every passing day, the Wii looks more outdated than its competitors, and without any sort of price advantage, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which system money-conscious consumers will buy.

"I think if they were to price down to $99, [Nintendo] would explode," said Riccitiello in a recent interview. No kidding. If you cut down the price of anything by one half, people will jump on it.

But at $99, specifically, it breaks the $100 psychological barrier, which would make it a total impulse buy. It would no longer need to be something that you research, study, and then commit to buy.

Riccitiello said that even though Nintendo may be okay with its sales levels at $200, third-party publishers are becoming increasingly frustrated that the Wii is turning stale. He said the company has "never really been a heavy third-party supporting system."

EA is a strong supporter of the Wii, just as it is with every game system, so Nintendo should listen to its input. After all, a $200 Mario box can only last so long.


Dec 17, 2010


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