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Nintendo won’t drop their prices anytime soon

If you’re waiting around for a price cut on that Wii you’ve been looking at through the window of your local Game or that DS you’ve bookmarked on Amazon, then I’m afraid you’re in for bad news, according to the man who is setting the prices: Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

He has recently said, “This is my personal thinking, but when the model’s price-tag drops over time, manufacturers are telling consumers it’s better to wait, and I’ve always thought that was a mistake.”  In other words, get saving…

Everyone is aware that products, and in this case consoles, get cheaper over time.  It’s what we’ve come to expect, certainly here in Britain, where we can all be caught flipping through the discount catalogue in Argos at least once in our lives.  Consoles reduce their costs over the lifetime for the simple fact that over time it becomes cheaper to make the consoles as the manufacturing costs reduce.  Some companies, like Microsoft whose Xbox can now be seen going for as little as £119.98, like to pass these price cuts down through the chain to the consumer.  Apparently Satoru Iwata is just not interested in helping John from Hounslow save £4.99 when he buys a brand new DS, in fact he’s dead against it…but with reason.

Satoru Iwata claims that it is important that the first people who go out and spend full price on the console don’t feel as though they have been duped and simply bought a product at a loss and if they had waited that week or so they would have eventually seen the console in that discount catalogue in Argos at a reduced price.  So am I right in thinking that Nintendo’s excuse for apparently not even bothering to drop their prices in the near, or far, future is that they want everyone to be happy?  Interesting…

If I was in Satoru Iwata’s position though, I think I would be feeling, and saying, the exact same things.  Xbox, unfortunately for them, can drop their prices, because sales of the Xbox’s are struggling against the competition of the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii.  Arguable it could be said, using Satoru Iwata’s argument, that the Xbox is slowly falling out of grace is because its prices have dropped and it is now seen as the ‘value console’.  The Nintendo Wii and the DS however, won’t stop shooting off the shelves and although we, the consumer, feel it’s time for a price cut (I mean, come on, it’s been £179.99 for what feels like forever), why should Nintendo suddenly drop their prices when they’re doing so well.  My girlfriend has a saying, particularly when it comes to fixing my car: “if it ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and I think that pretty much sums up the Nintendo mentality here.

So I think the next time you do find yourself perusing through that Argos discount catalogue, looking for the glimmer of a Nintendo product with a ‘was’ next to its price and a ‘now’ just underneath it, and you don’t find what your looking for, think back to Satoru Iwata: if everyone just stopped buying Nintendo consoles then surely the price would have to drop…but would you still want one.

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