Can Portables Be More Expensive Than Consoles?

By Ishaan . November 15, 2009 . 1:02am

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"Can portable gaming devices be more expensive than home console gaming machines?" That was a question Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said his company was contemplating the answer to, at Nintendo’s investor Q&A last week.

 

Late into the conference, the subject of competing with the iPhone was brought up once again when an investor inquired if Nintendo were interested in increased connectivity with their portable devices, going forward. To this, Iwata replied that, while he wasn’t a fan of services where consumers would have to shoulder a monthly fee, he was interested in a [Amazon] Kindle-like service and touched upon the subject of pricing portable hardware.

 

"On the other hand, I find the business model of Kindle rather interesting. Once you buy the hardware, the 3G communication functions are already inside, so you are able to do a sort of the cell phone’s packet communications. However, the customers do not pay money (directly for the communications.) When the customers make the download purchase of a book, that packet fees are included in the charge of the book. On the other hand, I read somewhere that they are yet to make a profit. Nevertheless, in this business model, customers are not required to shoulder the cost. And the service is now being expanded beyond the U.S. to the world. I do not know if the Japanese companies, say, telephone carriers, are happy about the business model. Probably, they are unhappy. Still, I think they were able to come up with a business model which is not bad.

 

"We have to set the price of portable game machines that are affordable to the customers. Today, some people are already starting to criticize by saying that Nintendo, whenever it launches new model, is increasing the suggested retail price. Including the need to assess such questions as, "can portable gaming devices be more expensive than home console gaming machine?," as one of the future possibilities, we would like to review the possibility of being able to be connected wirelessly and how the trend in the technologies evolve in order for us to come up with our own solutions that can smartly take advantage of new technologies but does not require monthly payments by the customers. Wireless communications and portable game devices go hand in hand very well. We would like to continuously think about that in this fashion and hope to have our answer."

 

Iwata concluded by stating, "Whenever I received the question, ‘Won’t Nintendo integrate cell-phone functions to its portable game devices?’, I always answered, ‘It will be OK if our customers do not have to make monthly payments.’ Basically, I have not changed that answer."

 

Readers might want to note that the DSi LL already costs as much as a Wii in Japan at 20,000 yen.


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  • http://twitter.com/atmey Atmey

    Yeah, yesterday when I got out of my friend’s car I realized my laptop was the most expensive thing left in the car, his new 42″ tv was in the back.

  • malek86

    Portables are already more expensive than consoles, look at the PSP Go.

    The problem is, while home consoles do tend to decrease in price with time, the same can’t be said for portables, because there are too many revisions that keep the price up.

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    answer: no

  • http://twitter.com/samielo Sami Elo

    The price of handhelds seems to be on an upward curve thanks to the prevalence of mobile phones, PDAs, subnotebooks, MP3 players, and devices combining existing functionality, including the DSi which has a camera, internet browser and more in addition to DS features like microphone and touch screen. The technology has proceeded to the point where these features are valuable in a portable instead of add-on oddities like the GameBoy camera & printer. As the value of portability rises, that affects portable consoles as well.

  • Saint_Tibulus

    No. They will always have to be cheaper to succeed. Unless all consoles eventually become portable, but that’s a ways off yet.

    • http://twitter.com/argentinaboy101 addy bowler

      ARM A9 1 TO 4 CORES UPTO 2GHZ BY EARLY 2010

      ARM CONFIRM DESK TOP PC GAMING AND HD POWER IN NET-BOOKS BY 2010

      NINTENDO TEGRA RUMORS

      NINTENDO NEW DS RUMORS

      NINTENDO Wii HD RUMORS

      TEGRA 2 4 X POWER OF TEGRA 1 BY 2010

      TEGRA USING SINGLE TO 4X CORE A9 CPUS BY 2010

      NINTENDO CLEARLY STATED NEW Wii WILL BE SMALL COMPACT AND EFFICIENT

      ARE YOU SURE THE HYBRID CONSOLE HANDHELD IS SO FAR AWAY

      I WOULDN’T BE SO SURE

      MINI WII HD AND TEGRA DS MOST LIKELY

      BUT IF A 2010/11 HYBRID COMES SOON DONT BE SURPRISED

      MATEY-POO’S

      • Saint_Tibulus

        Is your caps lock key stuck….
        Also the complete lack of punctuation made your post hard to read….

        • http://twitter.com/argentinaboy101 addy bowler

          buhu boo hoo BU HU BOO HOO

          im getting vibs someones jealous of my ability to KNOW THE FUTURE and make a informed prediction and speculate

          funny how the SUBJECT WAS CHANGED TO MY GRAMMAR im seriously thinking my grammar has nothing to do with your insult

          MY PREDICTIONS SCARE YOU YOUNG SONY F~~KING FAN BOY

          • Saint_Tibulus

            Sony fan boy? Young?
            Give me a break.

        • http://twitter.com/dynamicIPBOY101 dynamicIPBOY101

          shut up this threads about portables not your internet grammar policing

          the guys on to something im guessing thats your real issue

  • bugmeknot

    For me a portable is a better deal. Even if it costs more than a home console you don’t need to pay hidden costs for a TV, comfortable chair/sofa and a large enough room. Plus the games cost less.

    • Joanna

      yeah I agree. portable games do cost less, but if the console-portable line were to merge as some rumors hint at, then this would no longer be the case. :(

  • http://twitter.com/argentinaboy101 addy bowler

    YES AS IT WILL BE A CONSOLE ALSO

  • Plethora22

    No one focuses on this, but I am always so happy to hear nintendo talk about how they are not interested in Monthly fees. I hate monthly fees and at this point do not sign up for any new ones ever even if its a product/service I want. I do have a cell phone plan and a monthly internet bill, but thats about it.

  • http://twitter.com/argentinaboy101 addy bowler

    4xcore ARM A9 2ghz and a above ge-force 9 cuda ready gpu at say 500+ mhz packed with stream procesors

    easy in a dsi XL sized device by end 2010 BRING IT NINTENDO end this war for good

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