Gaming industry analyst Mike Hickey, as posted on IGN, is calling for a price cut on the Nintendo Wii to hold off Microsoft and Sony’s release of their new motion controllers. Naturally I have a few thoughts on that.
First, the Wii is already the cheapest of the three systems. A further price cut could put the ‘budget item’ thought in consumers minds. They could see it – accurately or not – as an inferior product to it’s competitors simply because it’s so much cheaper, similar to what happened to the Gamecube.
Secondly, these new motion controllers worry me. Lord knows I want them to work, and I love the concept behind Project Natal in particular. However, these controllers will not be standard. Even if they were to bundle these new products with their systems going forward –and they won’t - there would still be thousands of consoles out there without a motion controller. Think about what’s happened to the Xbox 360 and the uncertainty of their hard drive. Developers can’t assume a player will have a hard drive on their 360, so you can’t plan for it and you can’t take full advantage of it. That’s going to be the fate of these new controllers, I feel. Game companies are going to either have to design two control setups for one game or focus solely on these new motion controllers if they want to take advantage of Microsoft and Sony’s new toys, and I don’t think either would work well (half-assed control for the former, limiting their market for the latter).
I think this is going to be a rough going when these new forms of control launch for all three companies, but I hope that we as gamers will get some great new experiences out of it and that the Big Three know what their doing. Alphasim out.