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Stavros StevieGreek Dimou's blog

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Stavros StevieGreek Dimou avatar 10:46 AM on 09.19.2012  (server time)
European WiiU prices and how my motivation for buying this console died.

I have been a Nintendo fan for as long as I can remember playing video games. My first console was a SNES,and since then I got all of Nintendo's home consoles except the Virtual Boy. Personally I preferred the old Nintendo,the one who focused on providing beefier hardware,but that's just me.
So I wasn't so satisfied for the Wii,but so many years later it matured,and my view for it matured too.
Up until recently I was excited and I could say interested in WiiU,but now I don't think I'll be buying.
Or at least until later on,after the other new consoles have come out and I've seen what they can do, their prices,and a possible price drop on WiiU.

You see while I always liked Nintendo's own games like Mario and Zelda,and Metroid,and I'm their fan, Wii couldn't fulfill my gaming desires,because there where so many inventive and cool games coming out that weren't on that system. Actually the gaming platform I decided to have for all these multiplatform games became my PC. I added a graphics card to my general use PC to make it just able to play multiplatform games,but once I got in to PC gaming I came to try out PC exclusives too like Crysis,S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and many other series that I came to like as much as Mario and Zelda.
Right now my computer is in the wonderful position of being able to play all games that are coming out, and most of them in the highest settings. Note that I already had bought a computer because I needed it for general use,as I believe most modern houses need a computer,it's something so mainstream as TVs and Ovens by now. So the only thing I had to do to turn this general purpose machine I had to a gaming platform that could also depict better visuals than others,was to buy a 150 Graphics Card. So to me jumping to PC gaming was a rather inexpensive move.

But while my primary platform now is a PC,I don't turn my back completely to consoles. So I saw the WiiU and what it can do,and what it can offer to me is something different than what my computer can. WiiU's philosophy isn't based on progressing graphics,but machine-human interaction by showcasing a new input device. And I thought that perhaps the kind of different experience I could get could justify me spending some money for it.

Now let's talk about games,the most powerful and solid reason for me to buy a new Nintendo console is so I can play Nintendo's first party games,the Marios and Zeldas. Good third party games perhaps will come out too,but I have many reasons to believe that as bad as games usually get ported from xbox360 to ps3 or from xbox360 to PC,that will also be the case for many games that will get ported from xbox360 to WiiU. Meaning,that most multiplatform games probably won't make proper and decent uses of the possibilities presented by each different platform,but instead usually ports come with platform-specific problems that doesn't exist on the base platform the developer developed the game for. Considering that being the rule,I doubt any multi-platform games will make as good use of WiiU's extra features as they should,so probably if I actually get a WiiU I will end up still buying multiplatform games for my PC,as this is more convenient for me,usually offers me more options and better visuals, and usually purchasing a PC game is less expensive than purchasing a console game.

So after we cleared that out, the only motivation that remains to me for buying WiiU is just so I can play the new Mario and Zelda games. Actually the new Mario and Zelda games that couldn't have come out on an older console like the Wii. And I'm saying that because there will be Mario game available for WiiU on launch day,but I really haven't seen something groundbreaking about it,having something unique that a new Mario game on Wii couldn't have. Well you might say that New Super Mario Bros U will be playable at 1080p,and this is enough of a selling point,but it isn't. Because NSMBU except from the screen resolution change doesn't look any better than New Super Mario Bross Wii. And I can testify to that,because I tried out this Wii game on an emulator on PC,where it played at 1080p,with also ridiculous amounts of Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering, and this game looked as good as NSMBU looks if not better already. The thing is that while everything with this new game will be displayed on higher resolution,most of the models,animations,and the rest of the assets of this game are straightly ported from the Wii game. Perhaps you can't realize that if you played NSMBWII on a blurry Standard Definition TV,but someone who have played it on 1080p and have also seen NSMBU,can clearly see it. Of course other Mario games will come later on,and surely there will be some 3D ones too that hopefully will feature new models,appropriate for the new generation of Nintendo hardware.So,the point of this paragraph is that there won't be games for me to buy for this console at Day 1. But hey,this can still turn up to be a wonderful console with fabulous games,right ?

Except from already having a gaming platform that can play all multiplatform games and perhaps at better visuals than the other platform's versions,and perhaps even more than that,and beside that there are not really games that I'd like to play for this console at launch,could there be something else that hinders my motivation for buying this console ? Well there is. And that is its price. You see eventually the local shop price of WiiU for my country was revealed today,and I had a not so pleasant surprise. I live in a European country,and specifically Greece,and the local prices for the console turned up to be 320 for the Basic Pack,and 370 for the Premium Pack.
That's higher than what I had calculated on a past blog I wrote about what would be the worst case scenario for European Union prices. You see,the Basic version of the console in Japan costs 26,250 which is the equivalent of 335 US dollars. The American price for the same version is 300 US dollars. Which means that the difference between these 2 markets is 35 dollars. On my old blog entry I analyzed two possible pricing scenarios that could be true for the European prices of the console. The best case scenario would be,that the worth of money that the console would cost would be somewhere in between the Japanese and the American price,basically the closest rounded price to these two prices. The worst case scenario though,would be that European prices would feature the exact same numbers of the American price,without taking in to consideration the exchange value. Reality though proved me wrong,and the actual price for WiiU in my country is even higher numbers than the American price. The actual price of 320 for my country is the equivalent to 417 US Dollars,and that's just for the Basic pack. It staggers me that only the Basic package in Europe costs more money than what the Premium package plus another game cost in America, because the Basic pack in Europe is priced the equivalent of 116 dollars more than it is priced in America.

Paying about 35% more than the other guy for the same product does feel a bit like a rip-off, and while I'm annoyed that this happens,it isn't the major factor that acted negatively on my motivation. I mean I wouldn't mind if I paid 35% more for a sandwich. But when it comes to more expensive things that happen to cost hundreds of currency units,things get more serious. To be honest I never cared for the Basic version from the beginning,so if I ever buy this console I'll buy the complete 'Premium' package and not the one that will make you to spend even more money later on to acquire the things you missed. But with this version costing 370... It's hard for me to justify this purchase,as this would be the most expensive console I ever bought,and at the same time the only one that doesn't have games I feel that I must play. If I think more general what I could do with 370 euros,I could buy a complete new PC,well perhaps not a beefy one,but I could. Or I could just invest these money on upgrading my current rig,and making sure it will be able to play all games that will come out in the next 5-6 years,and it will take long until I can't play a game on its highest settings. And don't get me started with how I could spend this money for non-gaming things. From my standpoint it's really hard to justify this purchase. Sure I'll be missing a couple of good Mario and Zelda games,but if I don't miss them,then I guess my rig won't be able to play games that will come out in 2017 at good settings.Well except if I pay about that amount of money once more. I really want to play the new proper Mario and Zelda games,I really do,but if they all have graphics that are already considered old for PC,and the new WiiU based features are nothing more than replacing plastic buttons with digital buttons on a touch-screen,it is hard to me justify paying that price,while with that money I could make sure that I will be able to play more games that I like in the future,which they will also look better.

Closing this long blog,the main message I'd like to share is that first of all Nintendo should make better tries to raise up the motivation for someone to buy their system and justify the investment of buying WiiU,and secondly that charging specific costumers with considerably higher prices doesn't make these costumers feel so nice. I read on Wikipedia that the average monthly income of an American is 2000 dollars,and since the American WiiU price there is 300 dollars, it means WiiU costs Americans about 1/6 of the money they are making in a month. Yet in countries of Europe like Slovakia,Portugal,Greece,Lithuania,Estonia,Hungary and others where the average monthly income is 700 euros,it means that a WiiU ends up costing to them about 1/2 of the money they make in a month.And if the difference between salaries wasn't enough you just inflate the price you sell your product in countries like these and ask them to pay 35% more than what an American pays.

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