Nintendo is in a world of hurt these days as it has fallen to the number three spot in the console wars awhile back and hasn’t been able to get consumer’s attention since. Between April and June of this year they only managed to sell 80,000 GCs and have quite a way to go to reach their goal of selling 6 million units this year. As a result industry watchers are betting that Nintendo will drop the price on the GC by $50 as early as next week to try and stimulate more sales.
“We’re expecting the GameCube price to drop to $99 sometime in September,” said Mike Wallace of UBS Warburg. “We’re also expecting the Xbox and PlayStation 2 to fall to $149 by the end of September.”
Most industry eyes are on Sony when it comes to price cuts—and that’s logical enough, given the company’s gargantuan sales lead over Microsoft and Nintendo. Heck, Sony itself said last month that its games division saw across-the-board declines last quarter, with nearly 2 million fewer PS2s sold. That alone would suggest Sony is giving some hard thought to price reductions.
Here’s the wildcard, though. Nintendo, in May, admitted it had fallen short in this console cycle and needed to become more competitive in the market. Its follow-up to that comment at E3 (the industry’s annual trade show) wasn’t too spectacular, though. In fact, it was run of the mill—a few mid-level franchise extensions, some third party games and a prototype of a revamped Pac Man game—which the company hasn’t mentioned since, incidentally.
Want to see competitive? Watch Nintendo start a price war.
Sony still has a massive lead with the PS2, but they’ve seen sales fall off as of late as well while Microsoft’s Xbox has managed to actually gain some ground as the number 2 console. If Nintendo drops their price soon then Sony may very well follow suit in short order. If you’re thinking of picking up a console sometime soon you may want to want a few weeks to see how this plays out. Either way, the consensus seems to be that this holiday season will see cheaper consoles across the board.