Friday, May 26, 2006

Nintendo Hangs On... By A Thrifty Thread

Nintendo is by far my favorite console gaming company. The Super Mario and Zelda franchises are rivaled by no other character specific gaming genre. Ever single time I've played a game from either franchise it has always been a thoroughly excellent experience, from when I was 12 until now. The Gamecube is the least powerful console of that generation, but the games look great and are more fun than any others on the market.

Now that I've given the appropriate well deserved props to the big N, onward to the main point of this post. Nintendo will once again barely survive a console battle through pricing. The GCN was priced lower than the PS2 and the Xbox when it came out by about $50. It has continued to drop in price, and now stands at an incredible $99 for what is, in my opinion, the best gaming console on the market currently (including the Xbox 360). I own a PS2 and a GCN, and play the cube much more frequently.

The next console war was launched with the Xbox 360 during the last holiday season. Spurred by an intentionally short supply, demand increased for this system to the point of insane frenzy. Now that the holidays have passed, I barely hear it mentioned which is pretty much what I expected. The starting price for this game console? $299 to $399. That's WAY out of the range of what I'd like to pay for such a device. WAY OUT. Having made that point, the estimated starting price for the PS3 is $499 to $599. This would be laughable except it appears Sony is going for an entirely different market. Instead of buying a receiver, dvd player, cd player, TV, VCR, and DVR, why not buy our system, which does half of these tasks for twice the price? As an added bonus, there are rumors that Sony will implement a new technology to make games console-specific, thus taking away your ability to sell games you have stopped playing to resellers such as Gamestop and EBGames (which I've just remembered are now one company, thus their websites look nearly identical). I don't sell my games back, typically I hang onto them or give them to my niece and nephew but just the thought of this offends me.

Then you have the Nintendo Revolution (I refuse to call it by its new moniker yet, and will refuse to do so until it stops sounding stupid). Priced at $250, this system will give you exactly what you intend to pay for: a game console. You'll have wifi access to every single game Nintendo has released since the first NES. Backward compatibility with the GCN is included. All this, and it has a very small shelf footprint. This will be the only system I buy on release. M$ and $ony, give me a call when your systems drop below $200 and we'll talk. Until then, I'll be happy playing the most fun games on the market at a much lower price.

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