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EEDAR: Game pricing is "healthier" than last gen, despite recession

PS3 and 360 games maintain prices for longer, says analysis firm

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games are holding their prices for longer than last generation console games managed, despite the economic recession, according to analysis carried out by EEDAR.

And the company's data also concluded that price points can remain at the level they currently are, despite the global recession and likelihood of a longer-than-average console cycle.

The report showed that an average game on 360 and PS3 has held its initial price point for a year longer than the average game in the last generation, while it predicted that high-quality games - those achieving an aggregate score of over 80 - are likely to remain at a premium USD 59.99 price for the foreseeable future.

However the releases of Sony's motion controller and Project Natal would play their part in driving the overall median price down to USD 49.99 as an increased number of casual titles came onto the market, it said, while an additional factor to the price drop would be a decrease in development costs and rise in the mainstream audience.

But it was noted that pricing for Wii games is "in a category of its own", due to its unique demographic - initial retail pricing was comparable to the last generation at USD 49.99, while those prices began to drop by year two - one year sooner than seen in the previous generation. The erosion is occurring, said the report, because of its more casual audience, although EEDAR doesn't foresee the phenomenon negatively affecting the industry overall.

"While many view these lower price points as a slippery slope for the entire industry, EEDAR believes differently. Nintendo, the company and its console operate in a vacuum; its sales trends, formulae for success and even its technology, run perpendicular to the rest of the industry."

High quality Wii titles are able to hold their price, said the report, and those are likely to remain at USD 49.99 for the remainder of the hardware cycle.

You can read the full (PDF) report here.

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