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Wii Sports: Bundle or Stand-Alone?

posted on September 11th, 2006 by matt

This question has plagued my brain for the last few days. Should Nintendo bundle Wii Sports with the actual system, or sell it as a stand-alone product?

You can come up with several reasons for both sides of the argument, but the real crux of the argument is what Nintendo will do. Bundling the game would essentially define the Wii as Wii Sports. If people think they will get it in the bundle, then their immediate experience of the Wii will be formed around the experience they have with Wii Sports.

This is exactly what Nintendo needs to do if they want to justify their route they took with the Wii and its controller. This will show the public that the controller is indeed a worthy way of handling gameplay for video games. There is also a possibility that a consumer will not buy a Nintendo-developed game, and it might be a problem with their first impression with the Wii if the developer doesn’t create a persuasive reason for the controller.

The other side is making the title a stand-alone product. This will probably guarantee the title to generate a huge source of income for Nintendo, as it is easily seen as one of the biggest and most popular titles for the launch. I am personally betting on Nintendo following this route, only because it is far less risky.

If Nintendo bundled it, they wouldn’t see a lot of money in return. Selling a highly wanted game for $50 would easily bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for Nintendo. Nintendo has also tried on countless fronts to keep the cost of the system down, as to attract more non-gamers. Including a game with the console would only increase the price.

But, Nintendo might miss out on a chance to really prove to the public that the Wii is a far more entertaining way to play video games if they don’t bundle the game with the system. Nintendo can create a huge buzz if Wii Sports was synonymous with Wii. The console would, in the future, become more popular and generate a larger amount of money for Nintendo from licensing fees. This is a risky option for Nintendo, so I don’t think it will happen, unfortunately.

For gamers it would be great, but alas, Nintendo is a business as well. And they have to make sure to keep the car filled with gas.

2 Comments

  1. jay said on September 12, 2006:

    I also think they are unlikely to include the game with the console, but you’re right that it’d be an excellent way to prove the systems worthiness right out of the box. Maybe the Wii’s online arcade thingy will offer demos of major titles so even if we can’t play Wii Sports out of the box we can download one of the games in it.

  2. Matt said on September 14, 2006:

    Well, I was half right on the situation. Japan doesn’t get it packed-in, but America does. I’m assuming only because the idea of Wii isn’t as hard a sell to he Japanese public, whereas Americans have to follow the established trend before jumping onto it easily. Pussies. And I love that Reggie did this too. They finally brought the pack-in back! It hasn’t happened since the SNES days, and I always missed that aspect of getting a new system.  

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