Old News '97: Sony Forces Nintendo Game Prices Down

What does every gamer have to thank Sony for? Let's jump back a dozen years to recall a happy moment when games got cheaper.

You are reading Kotaku's once-weekly (except for QuakeCon weeks and Gamescom weeks - sorry!) journey back to yesteryear. This week, I wanted to find some old price drop news to tie into the news about lowered price tags on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

I found some good stories about Saturn and Super Nintendo prices dropping, but I didn't like them as much as an October 1, 1997 report about Nintendo dropping the price of some of its games. Let this one sink in, via Multimedia Wire:

Nintendo lowered prices for Diddy Kong Racing and Bomberman 64, reduced the manufacturing prices for certain third-party games as part of an effort to fend off Sony's recent pricing plan for PlayStation games.

The price drop, announced Monday, means that many N64 titles will sell for $49-$69, a range Nintendo believes carries "popular" mass market appeal. Nintendo expects the price drop will sell more hardware and software, VP of Marketing George Harrison tells MMWIRE. Many N64 titles retail for over $70. Some will now be advertised under $50, he adds.
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This move comes a few weeks after Sony introduced a new pricing plan that prices five new titles, including NFL Gameday '98 and Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, below $39.95. It also is one year to the day after the N64 was introduced.

If you weren't buying console games, you may not have realized this. Before PlayStation, games cost more money. Sony's entrance into the market dropped prices and forced its competitors to follow suit.

The roles have switched. Twelve years later, Nintendo publishes its games at a lower price than Sony. Nintendo's first-party Wii games retail in the U.S. for $49.95. Microsoft and Sony's new releases typically cost $59.95.

Thanks, Sony, for this one.

If you have a figment of the past you'd like Kotaku to belatedly blog about, just say the word.

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