Welcome to Fanboy Weekly: Once More With Feeling Edition. For those that haven't checked it out yet I have been writing a new weekly feature for Game Observer
. I thought I would repost the older issues so that those that haven't scoped it out yet can enjoy them and that hopefully you will all like it enough to head over to Game Observer
to check the newer and current issues of Fanboy Weekly.
Welcome back to Fanboy Weekly. This week I would like to stop and say thank you to my favorite company, Nintendo. Thank you for what, you might ask. Pricing. In a generation of gaming that has seen a marked rise in cost, and therefore prices, Nintendo has managed to stay reasonable and I feel I should stop and thank them for the courtesy, and so should you.
Let’s start with the obvious: retail games. In a market where sixty bucks a pop is the norm Nintendo has kept their games to a max of fifty smackers. Now every once in a while I wouldn’t mind paying an extra ten dollars for a special edition, but that occasion hasn’t come up yet. It means a lot to me when a company respects the restrictions of my wallet. It also impresses me that Nintendo has even managed to encourage the release of retail games at budget prices as well. Seeing new games hitting shelves for forty or even thirty dollars thrills me to death.
What’s become a little less obvious is the fact that Nintendo also respects our digital dollar as well. Look at the Virtual Console; while I still think that five dollars is a little too much for NES games, on the whole there is still a lot of value to be had. I even think that there are enough fantastic deals and finds on the Virtual console that I’m willing to pay what they ask. That is both the downside and the upshot to a flat pricing system.
More importantly though, Nintendo doesn’t seem to overly-abuse their right to set prices on WiiWare like Microsoft has been doing in the last year or so. In fact I watched it happen on the 360 with great sadness. What’s worse is that I can pinpoint what made Microsoft think it was ok to start hiking prices on XBLA. It was Castle Crashers and Braid that did 360 owners in. Microsoft was just getting to the point where they thought, “Let’s see how far we can push our luck with pricing,” and it sadly coincided with those two releases. Castle Crashers and Braid were actually worth the extra cash, which resulted in being misread by Microsoft as willingness to suck it up for any and every game, so they made ten bucks a pop the standard.
Back to my point though, it thrills me to see major releases coming out on WiiWare and not using the ten dollar mark as a base line and keep getting more expensive from there. To see “must have” WiiWare releases like Bit.Trip Beat and the Art Style games popping out at only six dollars a piece is the best incentive anyone could give me to buy a download-only game. I have an easier time justifying paying the cash for these then I do ten-to-fifteen dollar games on XBLA, whether or not they are worth the money or not.
In conclusion, my wallet would like to take a minute to say “thank you” to Nintendo for showing it some respect, and would like to encourage all of your wallets to crawl out of your back pockets and say “thank you” to Nintendo as well. Until next week.
The Fanboy has spoken.