Another price cut for the Cube?

http://money.cnn.com/2003/08/05/commentary/game_over/column_gaming/index.htm

Speaking of the Cube, I picked up WW this weekend and it’s a great game. I am really loving it. My only 2 complaints so far are camera and the music gets a little to NES-ish for me at times. Otherwise it’s a good looking and fun game.

I’ve been thinking about getting a second Cube for my room. I’ve got one of those VGA adapters from Hong Kong and Metroid Prime looks unreal on the 900NF.

I wonder if they’d still be running the free game deal after that. Gamecube for fifty bucks? I’m there.

Just started playing Wind Waker again last week. I love what they did with the boomerang. You can aim Rez-style at up to five targets by holding the button down and sweeping the reticle over them. Plus the trail on it looks great (like the rest of the game).

Then again, a price cut might not make much sense. First off, Nintendo isn’t doing that poorly. So yeah the PS2 is slaughtering everyone and the XBox is ahead in North America, but they’ve got the cash flowing in and they have a healthy reserve. The big problem here is the GBA SP. Right now it sells a 99.99, so are you going to sell your home system and your portable for the same price? You’d have to drop the SP, right? But why would you want to do that if it’s selling so well? Especially before it’s first Christmas season.

Probably not gonna happen till after Christmas :cry:

You can sell the GBSP and GC for the same price. They’re different animals. I have a GBA (need to get that thing up on eBay already…) and a GBA SP, but I’d never buy a GC. I’d pay more for a GBA SP than I’d pay for a GC, in fact.

Yeah, but you’re insane. Still, I know they’re different, and you know they’re different, but there’s that whole consumer perception thing. Like with Linux, you can’t even give that stuff away, nobody believes that it can be as good as a name brand if it’s free. What is Ma Casual Gamer gonna say if the PS2 is 150 or 200 and the Cube is 100, same as a handheld system that only plays 2D games? The GameCube must not be any better than it, right? So PS2 it is because that, apparently, is a real gaming machine. Or something.

Look it’s after 5 and I’m tired but there’s a point in there somewhere. Finding it is left as an exercise for the reader.

I understand your point Cathcart, but the GC at $100 makes it an ideal second console (or third, for obsessives). If you have an Xbox or PS2 and the idea of playing Zelda, Metroid, or MarioGolf sounds appealing to you… $100 is, for some, an easy purchase. Another price cut might not only spur sales from mainstream mommys, but also from PS2 or Xbox owners.

(and one I’d recommend personally)

I think there’s a very real possibility that Nintendo will respond to a price cut on the PS2 or Xbox with a bundle that contains a GBA SP and a Gamecube for $150, or possibly a Gamecube with a Game Boy Player…but the GBA deal would be even more enticing because if you already have a GBA but don’t have a Gamecube, getting a second GBA only makes something like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle and games like it more enticing.

Maybe they’ll even throw in Pac-Man as a pack in or Pac In in this case. ;)

–Dave

My bet is that they sell the Cube for $99 and drop the GBA to $89, maybe in 6 weeks. I don’t think they’ll get a huge boost in market share, but it should be enough to keep the game publishers happy until the next console war.

I actually agree with what you and Denny are saying, but I just don’t think the stuff that makes sense to marketers is what makes sense to, you know, the rest of the world. Plus, I don’t think Nintendo wants their new campaign to be “Nintendo Gamecube: Buy one after you get a PS2 or XBox if the idea of playing Zelda, Metroid, or MarioGolf sounds appealing to you”. So that’s why I don’t think the Cube and SP each at $100 will happen, even if it does make sense.

I like Dave’s idea. Especially because I want a Platinum Cube and an Onyx SP, so let’s hope they go with that one.

The key thing to remember is that both Microsoft and Nintendo are already beaten. Whatever they do is only going to be in hopes of expanding their base enough to continue support until the next system comes around. Nintendo is still ahead of Microsoft worldwide by a small margin and both aren’t poised for any kind of major increase this Fall.

Nintendo is lucky they’ve got the GBA. They’re maintaining profitability in the face of adversity. There’s nothing that says they can’t continue to do so for years. No one has ever come close to overthrowing the Game Boy and Sony’s machine doesn’t look like a direct competitor in any way to that dominance. That’s why a GBA/GC bundle makes a lot of sense. The more folks you get buying GBA and GC games now, the better the chance they’ll continue to do so on whatever new platforms appear down the road. I really don’t think we’ll see new consoles until 2005 at the absolute earliest now. It’s even looking more like 2006 will be the real showdown. I can’t imagine Sony wants to have two major game system launches within a year of one another.

–Dave

Not trying to be difficult, but you keep stating this and yet I have seen numbers to the contrary. Where have you read that the GC is ahead of Xbox overall?

Not trying to be difficult, but you keep stating this and yet I have seen numbers to the contrary. Where have you read that the GC is ahead of Xbox overall?

Catcher in the Rye, page 97.

Here’s a comparison of units shipped as reported by the manufacturers themselves. At first I thought units shipped was a pretty pointless statistic, but the first post on the second page of that thread gives a good explanation about how it’s a decent gauge of sales performance.

Anyway, the two are so close that you can really call it a tie. The “race” for second is kind of silly.

What Mike said. Microsoft has never, ever stated that they are the second place console worldwide, because they’re not. Their presentations always skirt around the issue. They always focus on the US and European numbers.

The problem Nintendo faces in this country with the analysts is one of perception. Microsoft is a US company traded on the US market. Nintendo is Japanese and doesn’t trade on Wall Street. The analysts focus on the US market because that’s either all they know, care to know or are obliged to cover so the perception that Xbox is in second is skewed by that. Second in the US, yes, but by maybe a million consoles at most which isn’t worth bragging about considering Sony’s enormous lead.

They both blew it. Sony has won again. Nintendo has a stronger overall lineup for the Holidays than Microsoft IMO because Microsoft has delayed just about everything people cared about into 2004. They’ve also lined up some of the big name publishers with exclusive games. But neither of them will make a big dent this Fall. Sony will just sell more units, build a larger base and get that much closer to sending both of them packing one day (if they can figure out how to transition their money losing consumer electronics business to something that makes money). Nintendo’s lucky because they have GBA and they can count on their niche in the marketplace to stay lucrative. If Microsoft continues to try to compete directly with Sony, they’ll continue to fail to capture Sony’s consumers.

When the dust settles, I think all three will be here through at least one more generation. If Microsoft doesn’t make any more inroads on Sony’s hold in the next generation, I can easily see them abandoning game consoles altogether for something more like a PC for the living room with games greatly reduced or eliminated from the equation. Nintendo will probably continue making games-only machines and continue packing away profits. I believe Iwata when he says the day Nintendo stops making a console is the day they quit the business entirely. Nintendo also has a very strong partnership with Matsushita (Panasonic) and the possibility of them selling a Q-like device that plays Nintendo games in the US next generation is also high.

–Dave

Here’s a comparison of units shipped as reported by the manufacturers themselves. At first I thought units shipped was a pretty pointless statistic, but the first post on the second page of that thread gives a good explanation about how it’s a decent gauge of sales performance.

Anyway, the two are so close that you can really call it a tie. The “race” for second is kind of silly.[/quote]

100,000 units one way or another could easily be wiped out by a good holiday season. It’s quite a horse race for 2nd place. Is there any data showing the breakdowns by region?

P.S. - Despite all of our specualtion, there is no certain winner in the next round I’d say.

“Nintendo will probably continue making games-only machines and continue packing away profits.”

Those profits are pretty much because of the GBA/SP. If Nintendo’s next console has the same problems in teh market the GC has why would they continue? I think they could go all devloper in the home console area and make a killing off of Sony and MS fighting over their games, while continuing with handhleds.

That’s just not true. Nintendo going third party wouldn’t guarantee them anything. Just take a look at Sega. Everyone wanted their games. “Please go third party!” was all you heard at the end of Dreamcast’s lifetime. Ultimately, they’re just another publisher now with a pile of games that don’t sell. It just doesn’t work that way.

I wonder if they drop the price to $100 if they are still making money on the Cube? I kind of doubt it.

I thought I heard somewhere that Nintendo can make the cubes for a price somewhere between 50$ to 75$. Not sure exactly what it was. I’ll see if I can find the info again.

I wonder if they drop the price to $100 if they are still making money on the Cube? I kind of doubt it.[/quote]

Hard to say, because these companies don’t really detail manufacturing costs. I saw a couple articles by outside analysts… that’s where those “MS is losing $50-$100 on every Xbox” guesses come from. They also said that Nintendo was still profiting slightly at $150 per Cube.

And the costs go down over time… but Sony is the only one with economies of scale really in their favor.

So I dunno. My completely uninformed opinion is that the Cube would lose money for Nintendo at $99, but not all that much.