Riccitiello: Wii "would see new life" at $99
Budget price would distinguish system from Move and Kinect competition
If Nintendo dropped the price of the Wii hardware to $99 the system would "explode" at retail, according to Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello.
The outspoken boss said that with competition in motion control systems from Kinect and Move, a more budget conscious price point - coupled with better third-party promotion - would boost the console after a year of flagging sales.
"I would say they did exceptionally well in '07 and '08, started tapering in '09 and '10, and... I think if they were to price down to $99, they would explode," he told IndustryGamers.
"I think they've now got competition, in the form of gesture-based gaming from Sony and Microsoft. If they were to find ways to promote third-party content better, as opposed to first-party content, and would hit pricing, I think the platform would see new life."
Riccitiello said that third-party publishers found it frustrating that first-party product achieved such success, and the company could look to Apple as inspiration in promoting and working with partners.
"I think it's a frustration for all third-party publishers, when a platform holder does less to promote third-party content. A great third-party company is Apple, a company that's all third-party content.
"There's often tension in a company between first- and third-party content. Nintendo's unique in the world. They're a great company because of the blend of first- and third-party content. First-party hardware, first-party content is what makes them great, but it's actually pretty tough. I can come up with a dozen titles in the last decade, but it's really tough to come up with a dozen great titles that have been platform defining for them that weren't their own.
"I don't care whether it's Mario or Twilight Princess or GoldenEye; it was their own content. I'm going back to N64, and I can go back to SNES if you want, but they've never really been a heavy third-party supporting system. It's not lack of trying; they start the morning thinking what's best for their own intellectual property."