We’re looking just over a month for the release of the Wii. Lots of people have been enthusiastic over its release, and competitors have been encouraging their customers to subsidize the lack of material of their own consoles with the Wii.
And then it was announced to be released at $250 instead of $200.
Here’s why $250 is a fine price point.
Pack-in Game The Wii is the first system this decade to launch with a game included.
Is Wii Sports worth another $50? Maybe not to most gamers, but to the audience that Nintendo is going for, it is. This is the title that’s going to help them get comfortable with the console.
There’s also the issue of people going “Well, I don’t WANT Wii Sports!” Yeah, you do. You just don’t understand why.
Paradigm Shift The Wii represents an entirely new way of playing games. It’s naiive to think that you’re going to get your Wii, bring it home, connect it all together and start playing the new Madden like you have for years.
Wii Sports is more like the tutorial game for the Wii. It’s natural move, because a variety sports game is going to literally take you through the motions and quickly raise your from a Wii Rookie to a Pro. It’s the game that goes “Alright, this is how things are going to work. Here’s how you use the Wiimote. Here’s how you compensate for any weird quirks I might have.” Madden and Twilight Princess are not going to hold your hand.
Nintendo did this with the Virtual Boy too by including Mario Tennis, and it was all about the depth perception. The only reason to include a pack-in these days at launch is to teach gamers about the shift in play methods that comes with the console.
What’s another $50, anyway? It’s pretty much what you paid for an N64 with Mario 64.
They Know You’re Going To Buy One And if you aren’t planning on getting one, aren’t you at least curious about it? Don’t you want to see what all the hype is about? Is another $50 really going to stop you?
Nintendo already has your interest. Their challenge now is going to be proving that what they are doing with the Wii is how you’ll want to play games from now on. They are not interested in the Wii60 platform as much as they are in really wowing its audience with the Wii so much that they’ll want their games no other way.
I will probably not be buying one on launch day. I still have some DS and Gamecube games I want to finish up before going ahead and getting one. Plus, I’d like to try one first. Not to say that I’m skeptical, but the last motion-sensing controller I got was not fun and all it really did was make me die a lot and make Mario walk backwards.
Since the Wii is built with this in mind it should shed some of the gimmicky skepticism.