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Pachter: Industry is suffering from price fatigue

Friday, 17th July 2009 21:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Wedbush Morgan analyst, Michael Pachter, has weighed in on the June NPDs and feels that the industry is suffering from price fatigue.

“It appears to us that the weak results in March through June signify a weak trend that will continue at least one more month. It is easy to defend the poor results by pointing to a generally lackluster release schedule (especially in April), and to an inordinately successful release schedule last year.

“Compounding this is the continuing drag from the economy, the fact that Wiis are in plentiful supply (meaning that consumers no longer feel compelled to rush out and buy one whenever available), and a likely trend of the Wii audience to be more casual and more seasonal in purchase habits.

“Interestingly, the immensely successful DSi, with 1.7 million units sold in its first three months of release, could not drive a positive bump in DS software sales (-28% June year-overyear). We are most troubled by the decline in sales of the three major consoles. On a year-over-year basis in June, combined console sales were down 30%, with consoles down 41% and handhelds down 17%.

“We don’t think that a weak software lineup is enough to explain what happened, and can only conclude that consumers aren’t sufficiently interested in buying consoles to drive sales higher each month.

“We attribute this lack of interest to price fatigue, and note that the Wii has gone longer than any console in history without a cut of its launch price, while the PS3 has gone more than 18 months without a cut. As there has not been a console price cut so far this month, we expect a similar result in July.”

Thanks, GoNintendo.

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16 Comments

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  1. DarkElfa

    Dear Games Industry,

    You are wasting your time, effort and money and ours using DRM that is completely ineffective while making pirates laugh. Find a different way to fight these guys without abusing your buyers. Oh, and put some common sense into your game development along with all that effort because your recent game have been 90% ass.

    Oh, and look up the word “originality”, you unoriginal bastards…

    Dear Microsoft,

    Please stop charging for every single damned thing people have to do on your console. You gave us an amazing achievement system that awards us useless points while you could have at least made them worth MS points towards Live purchases and at the same time you charge players just to play online and then only give us one lousy profile per gold account. You are one of the wealthiest companies in the world and yet you are still the cheapest and stingiest.

    Oh, and you cheaped out on the quality of the damned console too which is why is breaks down more than a Daiwoo, you cheap bastards…

    Dear Sony,

    You sir, are an arrogant A-hole. You think you’re awesome and that you can swing your tech penis in everyone’s face because you had 2 great consoles before your latest debacle. You know the one I mean, the one you stuck the Blu-Ray drive in just so you could finally win a lousy format war that is nearly irrelevant and you screwed your fans and developers to do it by making your stupid console overtly expensive. But hey, at least you won the HD disk war, right?

    Oh, and I threw my PS3 in a lake and no, it doesn’t walk on water, you arrogant bastards…

    Dear Nintendo,

    Are you F***ing kidding me?! You renamed your crappy Game Cube a Wii and added a motion sensor remote and sold like hotcakes to the young, the elderly and the stupid. You are not clever, you’re short sighted and the crap you’re pulling could cripple the games industry for all hard core gamers.

    Oh, and when you get done rolling in money, f*** you…

    …bastards.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. The_Deleted

    Surely everyone is suffering from price fatigue. The games medium is not the be all and end all, despite what those in the industry seem to think. It’s not just you guys who are feeling a pinch. But it doesn’t help when that twat who runs Activision decides to push up a games price while spitting piss at SONY for not dropping prices.
    You’d be better dropping the price and encouraging more sales that way, rather than giving yet more ammunition to the Pre-owned market and pirates.
    It’s yet more ‘woe is us’ type arrogance from an industry that thinks all it does should be deified and worshipped.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    ANother reason is there has been no big name games like there was last year with MGS 4 all we games have to really look forward to is next month which is Batman. Its probably going to go through this phase til the Fall season kicks in and bigger names will be coming out…

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Stephany Nunneley

    @ DarkElfa- :-D :-D

    #4 5 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    Well, damn Stephany, these people just rub me the wrong damned way. I mean the developers complain about sales yet they sell us garbage, MS nickel and dimes us to death and Sony just doesn’t care about what anyone thinks because they’re “untouchable”. Bah!.

    Ninty on the other hand lost touch with gaming reality circa N64.

    The fact is that these yahoos keep giving gamers what they think we want instead of what we’re asking for and then shake their collective heads in disbelief when it all goes south.

    They can all get stuffed as far as I’m concerned. If they want to understand why they’re losing money they can go look in a mirror. They’re all a bunch of unimaginative, cheap, arrogant and out of touch bastards and this is their legacy.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. SunKing

    It’s weird. I’m not sure if I respect Activision for the balls they’ve shown in raising the RRP of MW2 in this economic climate, or whether I’m pissed off at their arrogance. Strangely, I think it’s the former rather than the latter.

    I simply cannot get angry at companies for trying to make as much profit as possible at the expense of the consumer, especially if the consumer then buys into it anyway. It would be like getting pissed off at a mosquito for biting me – it’s just what they do. As a consumer I can always hope for the best, but, at the end of the day, you vote with your wallet. And that is exactly what I’m going to do.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. No_PUDding

    I was going to say it was Shatner, till I saw the “Dear Sony” section.

    xD

    And Sony did fuck me over, they are way too slow, and Japanese. Get your shit together, it’s all about software not hardware. I wouldn’t say they are that arrogant anymore.

    As For Microsoft, I’d disagree with that too, the service they provide is great, and perhaps that’s the price you pay for the service. The hardware (how much exras cost and the reliability) is a bit of an issue though.

    And Nintendo. Well they are cool I guess – I don’t really care, they’ve alienated me completely, as if I weren’t already uninterested in Nintendo.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Psychotext

    Pud translated:

    “And Nintendo. Well, are they still selling? I hate the Wii so much… but it’s a fad right? It has to be a fad!”

    #8 5 years ago
  9. SunKing

    Microsoft charge because they can, and people still continue to subscribe for Gold Membership (myself included). As far as their online service goes: it’s okay, but it’s probably not worth the money, and the value is only going to decrease when the recently announced ad scheme starts up.

    But if people are buying, why stop selling? Can you really blame them for not being anything other than what they are?

    #9 5 years ago
  10. No_PUDding

    Psycho, I am definately that guy xD

    But get off my back! At least this is becuase I don’t particualrly like the interface, not becuase I don’t like the company.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. dirigiblebill

    “But if people are buying, why stop selling? Can you really blame them for not being anything other than what they are?”

    This is basically it, really, isn’t it? Methinks the Elf doth protest too much.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. No_PUDding

    I agree, but, there’s no such thing as protesting too muhc. Hah!

    It’s a public comment box, and I don’t mind listening to a fair whine, once in a while.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. DarkElfa

    Yes Sunking, you absolutely can blame them for it. Just because they’re companies does not give them the right to be greedy bastards about everything. Hell, they don’t even host their own servers so its not like Gold charges are to cover their bandwidth for hosting. Sure, you could use the old red herring of “if you don’t like it then don’t buy it” but that’s a bit like sticking your head in the sand and pretending its all okay. sure, we can blame the people who foolishly put out cash for these extras, but they have to if they want to play. Only fanboys make excuses for why their favorite company/greedy bastard does what they do, even when it goes beyond simple bottom lines into ringing out their customer’s wallets and I don’t see fanboys in the room right now. I’m a strong believer in ethics and it seems that in recent years ethics have become a myth in business. It at least seemed that at one time companies wanted to offer a good product at a reasonable price and perks were there to make their value seem better than the competitor. Now its just appears to be a case of all the companies beating the cash out of you until you’re dry and moving onto the next unfortunate fool. If consumers weren’t so impatient and lazy, they could make these guys sit and realize that they need us to survive and not the other way around but instead we’ve become junkies and they, our pushers.

    Sure, much anger is pointed towards MS because the greed is most apparent there. There you have a bully standing in between two kids saying “if you want to play together then hand over your lunch money”, just because they can.

    Sony on the other hand just blatantly used its fans as poker chips to win a format war, something it desperately wanted since it lost to VHS in the 80′s. They knew the fans would buy their machine no matter how much it cost and so they sacrificed this console round for greed and power by hoisting their expensive Blu-Ray drives into the PS3 in order to create an inflated Blu-Ray install base and by doing so screwed buyers by making the PS3 too expensive to own unless you had more money than brains. Or, you could use the reverse argument that by putting the Blu-Ray drive in the PS3, they created a cheap Blu-Ray player and made the PS3 gaming base seem larger than it was thereby screwing developers.

    F*** Nintendo.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. fearmonkey

    @DarkElfa – I pretty much agree spot on with you.
    I love xbox live, but MS charging for standard resolution music videos, charging for video podcasts that you can get for free on the web, charging for the tiniest insignificant crap bothers me too. Our Gold accounts are slowly starting to be worth the extra money, but its ridicoulus that they dont throw in some freebies for gold members. Why don’t we get free themes, games, and minor stuff every month. I’m sorry, a DR Pepper theme-New brand of car theme doesnt cut it.
    Sony is still arrogant, only they havent had the reason to show it. If they suddenly pulled ahead, I know Kaz would start spouting the fountain of crap again.

    The article is about price Fatigue, but as i mentioned in a previous rant, price fatigue is on software too, not just hardware. Consumers are starting to pull back on $59 purchases for games they are unsure about. Either you drop the prices on some games, or you will see only the big names in gaming sell, while your smaller titles go the way of the dodo. Consumers want alot of games, but we dont want to pay $59 on a whim.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. SunKing

    I’m not an apologist for Microsoft, Sony or whoever. I’m just surprised that people act so shocked when these companies behave, well, exactly like businesses.

    “Capitalism” and “ethics” are two mutually exclusive terms, in my book. Companies have absolutely no obligation to do good unless it serves them in some way. It’s up to governments to make laws which stop companies acting immoral, and that’s the way I seperate it out. I take a very hard line on this and understand that some may disagree (and that’s fine).

    I won’t say I’m overjoyed when a company like MS takes yet another step closer to emptying my bank account, but I don’t blame them for it, either. It’s the system we live in. I don’t claim it to be right or just or the best; it just is.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. DarkElfa

    Well, I wouldn’t call you an apologist either and I get what you’re saying, but it should serve them to do good and we are the reason they don’t. We’ve told them with our buying power that we don’t care if they charge us or even over charge us for everything, hardware and software alike. We can yell at them for their actions only so much but in the end its us that shoulder the most blame for the status quo. I’m not changing my tune mind you, but I haven’t bought into this console round nor do I purchase the games they toss at us now days. I may be the minority, but despite if I ever make a difference, I’ll vote my conscience because its all I can do.

    #16 5 years ago