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Nintendo makes Wii price drop official, raises stakes in 2009 Holiday battle

September 24, 2009

Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 9.51.59 AMIf you’ve been on a hunger strike waiting for a Wii price drop the last three years, you can finally eat that cheesebuger. Nintendo will drop the price of the Wii to $219 CDN/$199 US on Sunday.

The $50 price drop comes after the recent $100 drop and complete redesign of the PS3 by Sony to cut costs (and make it ugly). Microsoft followed with a similar cut on its Elite XBOX 360.

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All this makes for a very interesting holiday battle between the big three. There’s no question that this is a make or break Christmas for the PS3. The console, by far the greatest machine ever produced for watching pirated television and movies, has never sold well, primarily because Sony saw it fit to sell the device for as much as $700 in Canada. I could go over all the other bad decisions made by Sony with the PS3, including marketing the console with chicks on toilets, but I’d fill a novel.

Should Sony’s new $299 PS3 be a huge hit this winter, there’s no doubt it will be at the expense of Microsoft. The 360 has been a success and an online gaming powerhouse, but like the PS3, has failed to make a dent in the casual gaming market that Nintendo owns.

And remember, everyone buying a PS3 or XBOX 360 will have to shell out more cash next year, when both consoles launch motion controllers to better compete with the Wii. Unfortunately, 3-4 years too late.

For Nintendo, this year’s holiday shopping season and price drop is all about remaining on top. This should be a piece of cake, especially with New Super Mario Bros. Wii coming out in November, which will sucker every 20 and 30-something longing for the NES years to buy it.

What’s so frustrating is that none of these consoles is even remotely close to perfect. They each have their fair share of faults. The 360 has a great online system but doesn’t come ready for WiFi, forcing you to buy an expensive accessory or run ethernet cables to your living room. The Wii has incredibly fun gameplay but an online system that makes its so hard to connect with your friends. The PS3, in all it’s Blu-ray glory, is a pretty weak gaming machine, with tired controllers and a well-deserved reputation of being too difficult to design games for.

Look for the Wii to sell like hotcakes over the holidays, Sony to finally become respectable in the next-gen console wars, and for Microsoft to disappoint slightly barring any product shortages from the competition.

Then in 2010, Nintendo will release the Wii in a new colour, and people will buy it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tyler Kipps permalink
    September 25, 2009 2:30 PM

    If I can add to the above, PS3 also lacks a killer app – that one game consumers must have that it requires them to buy a PS3 to play it. Each of the last three fall seasons has seen MS launch a major game (Halo 3 in ’07, Gears of War 2 in ’08, ODST – this past week).
    Moreover, Xbox has replaced PlayStation as the general term popular media uses to exemplifyconsoles. What I mean is, Time magazine will refer to the “29-year old man who still lives in his parents’ basement and plays Xbox” or “what kid isn’t asking for the latest Xbox game for Christmas this year.” It’s something small but I believe it matters.

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