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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."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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