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Activision Talks $199 Console Sweet Spot, Discovery Partnership

Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick expressed his firm belief that the PS3 and Xbox 360 must hit a mass-market price of U.S.$199.99 to be successful in the wider marketplace, while another speaker reveals a Discov
Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick expressed his firm belief that the PS3 and Xbox 360 must hit a mass-market price of U.S.$199.99 to be successful in the wider marketplace, pointing to the Wii's $250 price point as an example to follow, while also discussing the company's wider plans. According to the Reuters report, "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... In the next 24 months they all will need to be at that $199 price point," Kotick said. Given that the sales of a console historically increase dramatically at the mid-range price point, Kotick's comments are unsurprising. Kotick expressed skepticism at other publishers' plans for making games on Wii while vaguely outlining Activision's strategy. "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." Kotick warned that publishers who want to see success on Wii "are going to have to step up to the level of innovation that Nintendo has proven themselves capable of." Finally, Kotick alluded to the possibility of delivering Guitar Hero over Asian online networks in China and Korea, citing the game's potential appeal in these markets. In a separate Reuters report, Discovery Communications has revealed it is partnering with Activision to release games based on its Animal Planet television channel. No real details, including financials, platforms, or potential sale dates were released. The games will come for "several" systems, according to the report, which quotes Discovery CEO David Zaslav's new strategy for the company -- "We are really trying to get away from being a cable company and into being a content company."

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