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How the low-powered Wii moved aside the big boys

Coming up to its second Christmas, the Nintendo Wii is still in short supply in some markets, including the US and the UK. And while electronics products are supposed to fall in price - like Apple's iPhone and Sony's PlayStation 3 - the Wii has got more expensive.

"According to website and online retailer I4U, the best price for a Wii last December was US $476.11 (£230). This year it's $538.80 ," reports the games blog, Kotaku. "Third-party Amazon sellers are asking $548, and it's possible to get a Wii on eBay for around $400. Of course, if you can find one in stores, the machine costs $249."

In hardware terms, the Wii is little more than a souped-up GameCube, plus its revolutionary motion-sensitive controller. It could be sold for about £150 in the UK, but Nintendo charges £180. Go to Amazon.co.uk for a deal, however, and you'll find that new prices from resellers are between £285 and £300. Worse, there are used consoles at £388.50 to £399.99.

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guardian.co.uk
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I Call 9MM3334d ago

how can people be willing to pay those prices just to get one? I mean, for those prices, you could get a 360 or PS3. And both of those systems have a very decent roster of games (which right now, I would give the advantage to the 360, next year, who knows). The Wii has some great titles, like Mario Galaxy, Zelda, Metroid Prime 3, RE4 Wii, Wii sports and uhhhh..... hmm......uh......hmm.... Yeah, right now, that's about it. Smash brothers will be great but it isn't even out right now. I just don't see the value in the purchase right now. The system is a gimmick right now. More games, then we'll talk, but never at those crazy prices.

Wiitard3334d ago (Edited 3334d ago )

I sold my 360 to get one right around launch. I just kept seeing less and less of things I wanted on 360 and wasn't sold on the just released PS3 yet. Put me down as someone who just doesn't play games enough. And when I do I am more likely to bust out my SNES than play a 360 or PS3 game. I have been gaming so long that most modern games and the glut of FPS and uber-violent games bore me. Nintendo has never steered me wrong and for that I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope to eventually own all three systems, but for right now with the amount of games I play, I am happy with the investment I put into my Wii.

And in the response to the gimmick thing, how is a well thought out and made piece of electronic equipment a bad gimmick (that is the connotation you gave it)? It is just a different way to play games. And a gimmick is not a bad thing if it catches on and people like doing it. did you consider DVDs a gimmick when they first came out? I am sure people at one point considered the Game Boy and the DS a gimmick. Those kinda proved that a gimmick when done well can become very popular and successful.

I Call 9MM3334d ago

I'm saying, for me, right now the Wii is a gimmick. Do I want one? Yeah, sure I do. I've always liked Nintendo's games (for the most part). Last generation, I went solely with the gamecube as my console of choice (PC was still the main platform for me though) and I enjoyed it for the most part. But I wasn't convinced by the Wii, and bought the Gamecube version of the newest Zelda. The game roster of the Wii, right now, just does not appeal to me. That of the 360 does though. And I like some of the stuff the PS3 is and will be offering as well.

The Wii definately appeals to a different audience though. People like yourself who aren't really into games anymore. Something you can pick up, play for a while, and put down just as easily. Nintendo was smart with the hardware, since they are always making a profit off of every Wii they sell. They could never sell a single game a turn a profit, like the Gamecube did last generation while sony and microsoft lost money on each console sold (sony rectified that now though with the low production cost slim units) (I've got 30 Gamecube games, so I never meant the never sold games).

Wiitard3334d ago

I just don't play enough. But I can tell you this. For many many years, I was the only one in my family (and of most of my friends) who played video games. Now that I have the Wii I am required to bring it to every family gathering so people can bowl and play Guitar Hero. Friends who never thought about buying a video game system before are now asking me where they should look to get one. And if this leads more people into gaming, I don't see how it is a bad thing.

So many people who consider themselves "real gamers" bad mouth Nintendo on a daily basis. What has that company ever done except try to provide people with fun, affordable entertainment. They have done a damn good job of keeping me entertained for the past 20 years and for that I am quite happy.

I Call 9MM3334d ago

But then it comes down to the main argument the article has: the price. The Wii is supposed to be a low cost system, yet stores and ebay scalpers are charging 400-500 dollars and upwards for the system. That is just too much for a low cost form of entertainment. Oh well, I know what I'm willing to pay.

Wiitard3334d ago

Oh, 100% agreed. I Paying that much for one is just stupid. I got mine for retail because I worked at Gamestop at the time. I have been able to help plenty of people find them. You just gotta know where to look.

games4fun3334d ago

because the casual market and people in general are stupid lemmings.

ChickeyCantor3334d ago (Edited 3334d ago )

" I have been gaming so long that most modern games and the glut of FPS and uber-violent games bore me."

this simple phrase....i was looking for so long and here it is, this is exactly how i feel.

" So many people who consider themselves "real gamers" bad mouth Nintendo on a daily basis. What has that company ever done except try to provide people with fun, affordable entertainment. They have done a damn good job of keeping me entertained for the past 20 years and for that I am quite happy"

18 for me , but AMEN.

@games4fun
you do realize that way back when Gaming wasn't really a hot thing, We alls started as CASUAL gamers. There is a big chance these"casual" gamers will get their interest deeper into the gaming world.
you have to start somewhere otherwise you wont get anywhere.
Don't expect them to be CORE gamers all of a sudden.

o btw stupid lemmings?
Lets have it your way and keep the market for the same people, that market will collapse one day, and you know it.

Wiitard3334d ago

And people like you are the reason I distance myself farther and farther daily from so called "gamers."

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3334d ago
PS360WII3334d ago

Mario Galaxy, Zak & Wiki, Lego Star Wars, Fire Emblem, Medal of Honor 2, Metriod 3, Tomb Raider, Paper Mario, Ghost Squad, Battalion Wars 2, Zelda, Super Monkey Ball, Rayman Ravin Rabbits, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Guitar Hero 3, and sure why not Wii Sports.

Those are only half the titles I own just for the Wii. Sure some of them can be found on the other systems but that's the way 3rd parties go. No one can say the Wii doesn't have games just like no one can say the PS3 doesn't have games.

Oh just so you know I hate lists ^^ but I just had to.

Dragonopolis3333d ago (Edited 3333d ago )

Developer and gaming community is still strong. Sony really doesn't have to prove anything to anybody. They have done what no console company has done. Sony could only have have their consumer base buy a PS3 and still have more units sold than Xbox or Gamecube combine. Microsoft was still rolling with the xbox and I believe they probably could have pushed another 15 million xbox units had they went the full 5 years but gamecube was dying at that time. You have 25 million Gamecube users itching to for a new updated system that gave will them a bit more for their money.

So its not a shocker that these loyal fans went rushing to get a Wii - especially since gamecube backwards compatibility was pretty good. However, not all of the 25 mil gamecube owners were happy with how Nintendo handled the system especially in the third party category and so they didn't return to the Wii so Nintendo has to makeup for that loss. Luckily for Nintendo, their marketing genius works and they are drawing new
casual gamers but I just don't think it will be much more than what they did in with the Gamecube maybe 35 million gamers in 5 years. By then both PS3 and Xbox will have already surpassed that and will also be in a more managable price range which should bring those lingering on older xbox/ps2 over.

Another problem Nintendo has with their casual gamer market strategy is that they already have one with the DS. Lots of People will surpass the Wii and just get their Kid/Kids a DS instead (thats what we did and I found out I'm not alone). At least Nintendo is still getting some profit but it does hurt Wii support wise. I believe this will get worse if Nintendo releases a new more advance DS in the next couple years.

Nope, I don't see Wii going anywhere special this time. Does Nintendo really care. No. The were making a profit on each unit shortly after launch (they could walk away and have made a profit). Which is why I, as a consumer, like Sony and Microsoft's way of making money off the games and sell the console below cost as it makes those companies invest the time to and dollars to make sure they do come out in the green plus we get hardware that is more advance for a fraction of what it would have cost us as gamers to get such powerful systems.

Of course I do have a conspiracy theory as to why Nintendo did this. This is all a ploy. Nintendo is for innovation in hardware graphics as well as gameplay but they weren't totally ready and don't believe in rushing products. So they introduced part of their Next Gen hardware (the controllers that were originally going to be on a much more powerful system) on to a beef up gamecube that they could make money quickly on and will probably introduce their real system in 2 or 3 years (the Wii has been out for a year so that will be 3 or 4 years). We will then see what Nintendo has been working on for nearly 5 years and will be very powerful and very polished machine and will still be around the $300 to $400 price range. A good bet that consoles won't be pushing more than 1080p so physics and polygon count will be back in over resolution with the possibility of 120 fps game play to match TVs that will be 120hz standard in 2-3 years.

But that is just a theory. Anyways, the Wii is not main meal but the appetizer for things to come. I was never much of an appetizer kind of guy but prefered to save that room for desert after the Main Meal.

wiizy3333d ago

its call innovation my friends.....while xbox 360 and ps3 was shooting themselves in the foot.. the wii brought innovation and universal appeal and will soon have the best games.. here wii go

BrotherNick3333d ago

It'll get better...3rd parties need to create more hype imo for wii games...No More Heroes better get a lot of advertising.