Seems to me the latest rant from Nintendo is justified, seems to me the rampant piracy (illegal copying and distribution of games, illegal installation of chips to suppress the system’s built-in protection system) is indeed alarming and from that point of view, I do agree, it is not fair for the software developers nor Nintendo yet something has been lost in this one sided rant which I could illustrate very well from my own experience this last Christmas.
Funny enough this Christmas it was all about buying a Wii to my nephews, they were clearly very excited and given that I am living abroad and barely see them I though it would be my turn to buy something like a Wii, a few controls, a few games, may be a WiiFit platform and what not so they do play all together, very very coolindeed.
And then I headed to the electronics quarter in Barcelona where you sure can find all the finest electronics, games and technicians helping you on this task, needless to say having worked in the games industry myself, working now in content creation I do have utmost respect for the developers that put years to make those incredibly sophisticated games we enjoy so much but what a surprise I had when the world of Nintendo unfolded in front of me, and here is the list of things I was shocked.
- The actual console costs 250 Euros, which is quite a bit of money for what it is, nevertheless I do understand this is the world of high tech electronics where you have to build a massive factory to manufacture this product, even just if it is assembly Nintendo is putting some big money to build these little machines so seemed expensive but somehow fair.
- Of course my brother has 3 kids so I had to by 2 more controllers, which had a price tag of 50 Euros each!!! Sorry??? but this is a piece of plastic with a simple accelerometer which must cost in the realms of 1/10th of an Euro to buy and probably the whole unit is under 1 euros after assembly. I am sure the packaging and transport cost more than the unit itself and I can easily see a huge profit margin on these units. This is part of the whole experience, the family together and then again you see your actual system has jump in price to compete now with a Sony Playstation 3, a machine in a totally different world altogether.
- And then the games, which I found yet again a major rip-off, specially considering I do know what goes inside, specially considering you could not even play to the games in those stores, specially considering they were shite quality (not all of them but I saw major crap selling for 40 Euros a piece).
- And of course the WiiFit which goes for 85 Euros roughly, again, what a Rip-Off for a unit that must cost around 2 Euros to manufacture.
So if I am to do my dutty as nice relative I am going to put around 525 Euros, which seems to me way off the scale considering this is half the government minimum salary in Spain a month, the question is then, isn’t Nintendo the one that steals? aren’t they the ones to put behind bars?
And being a responsible man I did not buy a cracked version of the machine for 30 Euros more and a memory stick with 50 Games preinstalled for free to bring the cost down to the minimum but man, I do sympathize with everybody else that does, specially considering the actual economy where unemployement is at 20%, a million families do not have a single member working, manufacturing has collapsed 20% in one year, car sales have collapsed 55% in one year and of course, things are more and more expensive every time.
You know what? Nintendo is right in asking for fairness, and every joe doe is also asking for fairness in their own way so I guess there should be a dialog rather than trying to punish your customers.
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