Game Exec Calls for Cheaper Consoles

Dennis Faas's picture

Scared off video game consoles because of their price? Many casual fans are, and until Microsoft and Sony can knock some buckaroos off the bottom line, many critics believe the industry will only play a tertiary media role.

But, is that about to change?

According to Activision executive Bobby Kotick, it just might. Kotick, a key player for one of the video game industry's most prominent and long-standing publishers, recently stated that he expects consoles to sell for under $200 before Christmas, 2009. (Source:

Why? To bring in the mass-market. Hey, it's worked for Nintendo; although anything but a hardcore video game system or media centerpiece, the Wii's price has won over many casual and even non-gamers.

"The Wii at its price point is now setting a standard and an expectation, and people say, well, the Wii is less complex technically. I don't think that really matters as much to the consumer," Kotick said. "In the next 24 months they all will need to be at that $199 price point, and you can imagine Nintendo will be down to the $129 price point over the next few years," he continued. (Source:

Of course Activision would love to see bargain-basement prices on next-gen video game systems. The cheaper the hardware, the easier it is for software publishers like Activision, Electronic Arts, or Bungie to get their products into the sweaty, desperate hands of the average gamer.

Clearly, Kotick has a soft spot for Nintendo's Wii. "We realized that, much like Nintendo, the pathway for success and the highest operating margin leverage on the Wii is a relatively small number of titles that really capitalize on capabilities of the hardware," he said. That could mean a flood of Activision titles for an otherwise barren Wii library over the next two or three years.

However, this kind of reasoning certainly seems flawed. Should gamers have to still pay $60-$70 for a game when the console costs less than three times that price?

No one seems to have asked Kotick that.

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