(Is that my first blog post title that’s also a Simpsons reference? I wouldn’t have believed I could last that long!)
Given all the buildup and hints and all from Nintendo, I’m still disappointed the system won’t be cheaper than $250. But I’m also still really excited to try the Wii. I was telling a colleague about the system yesterday and explaining how it was going to be different, and I realized mostly I just want it nooooowwwwww.
I also still think the pricing is off for the old-school games. But I have to remind myself that Nintendo isn’t altruistic. They want to make money (and apparently, unlike Sony and Microsoft, they will be making money from Day 1). I think there’s lots of money to be made with lower pricing and more variable pricing and by making many more games available, but for whatever reason none of the online services — whether music, games, TV shows, or movies — have gone that route.
I think $8 SNES games will turn off a lot of the hardcore gamers and serious Nintendo fans, who will just go back to playing Zelda on emulators (as a commenter notes here), but the average person will probably pay up. And to be honest, I’ll end up springing for some of them. I played around with emulators for awhile, but always got fed up pretty quickly with the small screen size. I still want someone to answer the million-dollar iTunes question: If I already own Ziggy Stardust on CD, or the original Zelda NES cartridge, why do I have to pay again to download a digital file of either of those — it’s the same exact information I already own. But since no company wants to answer that, I can’t fault Nintendo for going along with it.
Brian Crecente has some good thoughts here, and reminds us that Nintendo isn’t an also-ran in this situation. They’re taking full advantage of Sony’s stumbling and pushing hard to regain what they lost with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube. And also trying to hurt Sony as much as possible.
As for me, I really want to play the Wii. $250 doesn’t change that. And after seeing yet another preview for Resistance: Fall of Man, in the new Electronic Gaming Monthly, that gives no reason to think PS3 games will be better than Xbox 360 games at first, I’m still indifferent to the PlayStation 3 and have no interest in shelling out $600 for it. If Nintendo can capitalize on that sentiment and really get the word out about Wii — most people have still never heard of it when I mention the Wii — they’re going to do very well.
— September 15, 2006