Monday, October 30, 2006

Is the price of the Wii TOO low?

The Nintendo Wii's low price of $250.00 is arguably the greatest reason to buy a Wii over a PS3, which will cost approximately $600.00. Many have said that it is a great move by Nintendo to make a less expensive system with more emphasis on innovative gameplay and less emphasis on graphics and processing power.

No matter how you slice it, the Wii is the more practical buy, but this doesn't necessarily make it the better buy, and it especially does not mean that more people will buy it. Consider this situation under different circumstances.

When people buy cars, do they always buy the ones that can go from point A to point B? No, they buy cars that get from A to B, but also have flash and a stigma of superiorority. "I drive a Mercedes, therefore I am rich and important. You drive a Honda, so you must be less rich and less important." People buy expensive cars because they're expensive. People just naturally like to show off. Of course, not all people are like this, but many are.

When people buy beer, do they buy whatever gets them drunk? Whatever tastes good? Whatever is the cheapest? Sometimes, but there are also many who buy beer that is expensive because it's expensive. I'm reminded of an advertisement by Stella Artois, "Reassuringly Expensive." Especially people that want to impress others will buy expensive beer just to be seen drinking an expensive beer. Practical? I think not.

What does this mean for the Wii? Well it means that some people are going to overlook it because it's inexpensive and practical. It's like the Honda of cars or the Bud Light of beers. It's something that is affordable and therefore non-exclusive. It may not make a great deal of sense, in fact it might be downright stupid, but people will buy the PS3 over the Wii just because the PS3 is the more expensive unit. The PS3 will attract the crowd that likes to show off and spend lots of money on the impractical. The Wii will attract the crowd that likes games for their content and buys things that are practical. Which would you rather have as a customer?

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with you on this. I can see the point with cars or beer, but this example fails to remind the reader of one important thing. Up till the PS3 and Xbox 360 new systems retailed for $200 to $300, thus when a person looks at the $600 price tag they will be compairing it to all the systems that came before and ask why the price is so high.

10/30/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Rasmus said...

Very nice!

With Wii at 250$ I would consider getting one as opposed getting none of the consoles.

And after all Nintendo has a great console-history.

NB. I hope consoles translates into "Playstation, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Xbox, etc" and not something else

10/31/2006 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as Toyota cars are popular, I think the Wii will be in a happy place.

The Wii isn't primarily targeting hardcore gamers, just like Toyota doesn't target hardcore race car drivers.

11/18/2006 3:52 PM  
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