Dear Nintendo: Drop the Wii to $100

Don Reisinger - May 6, 2011
Dear Nintendo: Drop the Wii to $100

Nintendo has dropped the price of its Wii console to $150. The move is yet another in a long line of strategies on Nintendo’s part to try and ramp up the once-astronomical demand for its console.

The only issue is, I don’t see a $150 price tag on the Wii helping out all that much. The console will undoubtedly see a short-term boost in sales, but this is a long-term game. And over the long-term, I simply don’t see any way for Nintendo to maintain high demand for its console.

But luckily for the game company, I have a solution. Rather than waste time at the $150 price tag, why not just drop the price of the console to $100? At that price, just about everyone in the marketplace who doesn’t already own a Wii would be more than likely to pick one up. Even better, Nintendo could go a long way in making the market start to think twice about its high-priced alternatives.

See, we need to remember that buying a video game console today doesn’t simply end with picking up the hardware. Consumers buy an extra controller, some games, and other accessories to get them up to speed. When it’s all said and done, consumers are spending hundreds of dollars on the device.

For Nintendo, revenue isn’t solely generated off the hardware. The company is making boatloads of cash on the accessories that people buy in addition to the Wii. And considering the company’s first-party games continue to be must-have titles, Nintendo could conceivably make up for the $50 it would lose on each sale of the console (and then some), thanks to an even greater number of people who opt for its hardware buying more games with the money they save.

But Nintendo dropping the price of the Wii to $100 goes beyond its own finances. The Wii just doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did. And as time goes on, its graphics are looking more and more outdated. Moreover, it’s clearer now than ever that the Wii is a casual-gaming device.

A $100 price tag fits in line with all those factors.

Nintendo’s decision to offer Selects, a bundle of four top games for $19.99, tells me that the company is committed to bringing affordability back to gaming. So, if it can offer four top games for such a cheap price, why can’t it go the extra mile with its hardware?

Although Nintendo fans won’t want to hear it, the Wii didn’t necessarily justify its $200 price tag, and it’s debatable whether $150 is the right price for the console.

At $100, the Wii would hit the sweet spot that would help it reclaim its past glory and potentially make it the most successful console ever released.

Shouldn’t that be Nintendo’s goal as it prepares to unveil its next console — a device that will undoubtedly overshadow the Wii as soon as it’s announced?

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