updated 01:55 pm EST, Fri December 17, 2010
EA calls on Nintendo to cut Wii price in half
EA chief John Riccitiello in a new interview called on Nintendo to cut the price of the Wii in half. The launches of Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move meant that Nintendo could no longer count on motion gaming and its own games to sell systems anymore. A drop to $99 would reverse the recent slump, Riccitello said in the Industry Gamers chat.
"I would say they did exceptionally well in ‘07 and ‘08, started tapering in ‘09 and ‘10, and... I think if they were to price down to $99, they would explode," he said. "If they were to find ways to promote third-party content better, as opposed to first-party content, and would hit pricing, I think the platform would see new life."
The CEO had a self-interest in getting support but drew attention to how much Nintendo was dependent on its own games for success. Nintendo rarely promotes other companies' games nearly as well as its own, he said. The approach has led to frequent instances of Wii and DS sales increases being timed primarily around major game releases. Much of the 2010 drop has been blamed on a lack of major Nintendo-made games, but the behavior has been exhibited worldwide. "I can come up with a dozen titles in the last decade, but it’s really tough to come up with a dozen great titles that have been platform defining for them that weren’t their own," Riccitello said.
Nintendo saw a healthy increase in its sales in the past weeks but has been outsold by the Xbox 360 again despite Microsoft's console costing at least $100 more with the Kinect hardware.