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Pachter: Nintendo Should Unbundle Wii Sports, Offer $199 Hardware?

As part of an in-depth Gamasutra feature analyzing Wii prospects in 2008, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has suggested a $199 Wii without Wii Sports woul
As part of an in-depth Gamasutra feature analyzing Wii prospects in 2008, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has suggested a $199 Wii without Wii Sports would give Nintendo its best chance of success this year. While the full feature asks the analysts from The SimExchange, Wedbush Morgan, and Screen Digest multiple questions about the 'Wii Seal Of Quality' and prospects for 2008, Pachter's response concentrated on the Wii's 2008 chances. In particular, the analyst commented of initial possibilities: "The console has a price advantage over the Xbox 360 and PS3 that can be maintained if Nintendo chooses to un-bundle Wii Sports from the console. I think that if Nintendo were to do so and cut the price to $199, it would still sell a piece of Nintendo software to 80% of new Wii purchasers, and would end up effectively lowering revenues per console by only around $10. At that price point, the Wii should be strong again in 2009." Continuing, Pachter added pointedly of the longer-term prospects for Nintendo's current market-leading console: "The long-term health of the Wii should not be impacted until Wii households decide to buy one of the other consoles as a second console. Because of the high-definition video features offered by the Xbox 360 and PS3, those consoles are more likely to end up in the living room, which could relegate the Wii to the playroom. If the Wii is not at the center of the home entertainment system, software sales could suffer as a result." The full Gamasutra feature on the subject asks SimExchange, Wedbush Morgan, and Screen Digest analysts both about the prospects for Nintendo's Wii in 2008, and whether Nintendo should enforce more stringent quality standards for the current flood of third-party titles.

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