Topic: Wii's lauch price in retrospect

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I was looking at the thread "Man, why don't they port this to Wii" and started to think about when the Wii first came out. Everyone knew the Wii wasn't as powerful as the other systems but in the end it still outsold them due to it tapping into the "casual" market. One has to wonder how much the Wii's price point contributed to that. The Wii debuted at $249.99, much cheaper than it's competitors. Is a major reason the Wii won the console war in terms of worldwide sales simply due to it being the cheapest system. If your a "casual" consumer, I would assume that other than the innovative controls you might have been drawn to the Wii because it was cheap. That's probably why the Wii was so under powered, to make the system cheaper. I doubt the average "casual" consumer is going to be a power hound. Do you guys think that Wii being much cheaper than the other consoles was a MAJOR factor in the Wii selling more units? When I say major I mean that the Wii may have not won so handily or even won at all if it wasn't for the fact that it was cheaper.

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I don't think it was the price point at all; otherwise, people wouldn't have been paying $500+ for it when it came out the year of its release. It was because it was something different and it was easy to get an idea of how things work. The casual market was why it did so well.

That's not necessarily a good thing, though.

You see, casual gamers didn't exactly buy games at the same rate and quantity that hardcore gamers buy games at. A lot of people with Wiis use them to play Wii Sports, Just Dance, and maybe Mario Kart. That's it. Nintendo made huge profits off of the device, but 3rd parties, for the most part, ended up just not making in the kind of profit that other consoles gave them, or they ended up losing money due to not enough people really caring enough about their system to buy tons of games for it.

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When I first got a Wii, the price difference for PS3 or 360 was huge. Price wasn't the deciding factor per se... but it definitely was a contributing factor. (Seriously, what were Sony thinking with PS3 pricing? Even now the console is a pretty serious investment decision, and that's more than a half decade after release.)

When you think about casual gamers or parents buying for kids, there is no way that market would be open to spending $500+ for a video game console. Throw in approachable controls, tremendous word-of-mouth and "buzz", and it's no surprise that Wii ran away with the generation. Shame that more developers weren't ready to capitalize, choosing to back the "bigger is better" horse instead of what would appeal to the most people... but hey, can't get enough of that low effort shovelware!


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I think the lower price point helped, but I think good marketing was the biggest factor.

Nintendo knew its audience and marketed heavily toward them. The fact that the Wii was reasonably cheap would certainly have helped - people who didn't traditionally buy consoles would not be likely to fork out hundreds of dollars for their first console - but Nintendo did a fantastic job of making sure those demographics knew that the Wii existed and knew that it was fun and a good social experience.

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Wheels2050 wrote:

I think the lower price point helped, but I think good marketing was the biggest factor...

This is exactly what I was going to say.

The price point was appealing and it really got the attention of potential buyers (be them parents, video games fans, or whoever), but it was the way it was marketed that lead it to success. Wii did something different from the other guys at the time and Nintendo ran with it! Not only did they give us motion control, but it put an emphasis on local multiplayer and selling a console because it just looks like fun to play!

Then again, this is just my point of view.

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It's all about the price and games. The reason the Wii sold so well was because it was $249.99 and had games like Wii Sports, Mario and Carnival Games all over the place .

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