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DSi signifies shift in the market

DSi signifies shift in the market

Its success over here seems assured. One part of the pitch behind the device is how the new version emphasises personalisation.

Along with all its other improvements, the DSi lets you customise and tailor the machine to your tastes. And David Yarnton assures me that downloadable software samplers can in turn drive owners back into shops. In the age of the iPhone – which no matter how brilliant it is, has stepped into industry waters only to exclude retail – that should come as welcome news, as well.

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?

The DSi’s £149 price also signifies some other interesting, but subtle shifts in our market.

Games industry conventional thinking suggest that ‘the only way is down’ – i.e. once hardware has hit a peak, you’ve got to cut the price.

But games with add-ons like the £69.99 Wii Fit, Animal Crossing and Wii Talk for £59.99, even third party offerings like Guitar Hero and instruments or House of the Dead bundled with its ‘Hand Cannon’ (which I gladly stumped up over £40 for at the weekend)… These and more have proven that consumers don’t just act on price, they will ignore higher prices in lieu of innovation and/or gimmicks.

This, in part, is what will drive DSi sales.

So Sainsbury’s cutting the price of Wii seems odd. That’s £20 lost on each unit, just to drive footfall. That doesn’t seem to add up to me.

Far Eastern promises

Readers who also check MCVuk.com every day will be familiar with the latest news that Square Enix has put in a bid to buy Eidos – exactly as we predicted in early December, don’t forget. And Bandai Namco has detailed its aspirations to buy D3P parent D3, as well.

Don’t forget to keep checking our site for the latest on the Square Enix/Eidos and Namco/D3 developments, which seem to be gathering momentum daily.

The Square Enix move is looking more like a dead cert as the days pass. The emphasis behind the deal is on European and North American development talent and content like Hitman and Tomb Raider rather than anything else. And rightly so.

Don’t count out Bandai Namco from such aspirations, either.

The firm has already signed up one Britsoft studio, Blitz, to create some surprisingly good XBLA titles and what is shaping up to be a key Q4 game – the impressive-looking Dead to Rights revamp. And it wants to sign more.

Is this a signifier of a serious Japanese publisher fight back in full force after their local market slide?

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