EA: “Drop the Wii’s price to $99, and it will explode”

IndustryGamers sat down with the CEO of Electronic Arts, John Riccitello, to interview him about a variety of things, one of which included the Wii’s position in the marketplace.

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. I think they’ve now got competition, in the form of gesture-based gaming from Sony and Microsoft. 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.

EA logo on an iPhone iPod Touch iOS

Other hardware vendors like Apple, Sony, and Microsoft offer greener, more profitable pastures for third-party developers.

Whether the Wii really is slowing down or not is open for debate, but Riccitello thinks that Nintendo could potentially drive their sales through the roof if they got the Wii to regain its position as the cheapest console of the bunch – many consumers now consider getting an HD-capable Xbox 360 instead of a Wii, for the same $199.99 price. Of course, Microsoft takes a loss on every sale while Nintendo still profit off of every Wii they sell, but such a move may be necessary if Reggie is serious about selling 45 million Wiis in the US. Well, $99 may actually be a little too drastic, as it would bring it below the price of even the antiquated Nintendo DS Lite; but a small price cut – say, to $180 – may help to give the Wii that extra edge it may need if no “big” system-selling games are announced after The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in 2011.

In the same interview, Riccitello also stated his thoughts on Nintendo’s stance towards third-party support. He sees that Nintendo do very little to promote the games of third-party developers, making the platform potentially less profitable than Microsoft’s, Sony’s, or even Apple’s (talking iOS here, which has become all the rage among many segments). It may be another reason, in addition to lack of grunt, for why more and more developers are slowly losing interest in the Wii, even though it is a highly marketable platform with a ridiculous install base.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. Wertville

    I agree on the price cut, for sure. Mostly because I see the Wii as being in it’s final stage, with most of the interested people probably just waiting to see if the price will drop- and if you want the same experience on Xbox, you have to shell out an extra $100+, with very few games released so far. It’s hardly a good comparison.

    On the other hand… I think it’s a bit late to push 3rd party. If they started doing that now, it would detract from the 3DS, if they did it in a year from now… Chances are it would be better spent getting 3rd party on the next Nin-Console.

  2. Wolvesgod

    I agree with wertville, on what he said.

    Also, I can see the “Wii-Channels” becoming part of an iOS, Since it’s a real easy menu, or hell it even fits to be a simple iOS today. It’s not hightech as the PS3’s Xcross bar, but it is kinda the same thing. A menu with different media access. There’s no true definition of a iOS’s power needing, or even a true definition, of a consoles power.

  3. wiiboy101

    EA DROP TO 99.99 Wii shall explode!!!! now lets pretend they did drop to 99.99 U.S

    EA the wii is now at the end of its life this is reflected in thr sub 100 dollar price as wii is now finished we no longer support the platform EA i can see what your real intentions are SO SHUT UP your trying to CHEAPEN the wii image

  4. wiiboy101

    wii and wii successor will be wii channel based its a tv like interface on a tv why bpther with a computer like set up or that treadfull ps3/psp crappy os …point and click via fast loading app TV channels is the perfect way to do this how apple tv/xbox/sony didnt see this is shocking MAKE A TV CONSOLE ACT LIKE A TV SIMPLE’S YES

    the greatness of tv is its simplicity so why complicate it KINECT DASH COPYS Wii

    i dont see wii copying xbox live SO WHO GOT IT RIGHT !!???

  5. wiiboy101

    @wolvesgod exactly right tight fast easy efficent tv like channels and minimum multi-task apps makes it both faster and the op os less of a strain on cpu/gpu/ram=better power for games less patching and a smaller cooler faster loading console they dont need computer rubbish on them they need ease of use and fast application not a bulky in the way os YOUR THINKING LIKE A GAMER NOT A HARDCORE YOUR THINKING LIKE NINTENDO AND I LIKE IT…

    sorry to post 3 times

    • Wolvesgod

      thank you.

      why not, let the Wii channels, be a basic simple iOS, just because it’s not high-tech, doesn’t mean it can’t do anything. you could do a lot with a small progam, if done right. here’s an example of a small program, that does more then the PS3: http://www.gofree.com/vlcmediaplayer.php?gclid=CM2Vr77EhKYCFS9e7AodTGAMpQ

      (it’s a simple media player, and plays everything from pics Mpeg, to videos Aiv/Avi.)

      I really do stand by, power isn’t everything, and I do agree with Nintendo. that’s why I’ve been a Nintendo supporter, since I started playing the NES, in 1993 (when I was 2). hell how many high tech consoles, even still run? or will run as far/long as the lower tech consoles?

  6. wiiboy101

    does your tv have a stupid in the way longgggg loading crashing OS of course not it has easy to choose channels

    right here is a example……

    tv vs hardcore tv

    tv press a button presto it switches on press another button and jump channels press another button and change inputs say hdmi and scart and svideo

    hardcore tv
    press a number of buttons in a order switch switches to power up tv wait ten minutes for tv to come on

    to select a channel tune in the resever every time untill you find a channel,, then adjust colour contrast and brightness,, go thru hoops and use a computer languge to comunicate with tv take about 20 minutes to select a tv station then live with it crashing every 10 minutes and the loud fan

    lol a silly but truthful look at the haRD coRE wiis channels is like tv crossed with a touch screen with apps on it i mean isnt that how life should be

    d-pad around a cumber-sum menu like ps3 I THINK NOT