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How do you screw up a console launch?


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41 replies to this topic

#1 of 42 Joel Mack

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Posted August 18 2001 - 07:05 PM

Like this...

Not cool. Posted Image

Of course, I wasn't buying one at launch anyway, but this would have put me off it if I was...

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#2 of 42 David Ely

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Posted August 18 2001 - 07:58 PM

This is nothing new. When PS2 came out there wasn't a single reseller in my area that would sell the console only. They all had their bundles that you had to buy if you wanted the console. I'm sure you'll see this with Gamecube as well.
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#3 of 42 Jesse Leonard

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Posted August 18 2001 - 08:26 PM

I really love this quote:

quote:

"When we came up with the program, we wanted it to be what's best for retailers," Microsoft spokesman James Bernard said. "This is based on what retailers told us they wanted."
[/quote]

What about what CONSUMERS want? Microsoft is starting to ride the line of discouraging interest in their X-Box. They should be concentrating on getting as many units sold as possible from the start, not concentrating on creating the most profitable game bundles. If they do not sell many consoles, there will not be future profits from games.

I think the X-Box will be a success for Microsoft, but if they start these sort of practices, they could be sealing their own fate to end up in the "console hall of shame" right next to the Atari Jaguar.



[Edited last by Jesse Leonard on August 19, 2001 at 03:27 AM]
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#4 of 42 James D S

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Posted August 18 2001 - 10:03 PM

And the Microsoft juggernaut rolls on...

Here's to hoping this is the result of shoddy journalism, as I expect this story to be a bit of an exageration. No news yet from my retailer verifying this plan is in widespread adoption...

#5 of 42 Sean Oneil

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Posted August 18 2001 - 11:08 PM

I think it will be up to individual retailers as to weather or not they will sell the x-box bundled like this. That article is obviously not telling the whole story. Certain resellers may want to try and wring they're customers for more money by only guaranteeing them a system if they want to spring for the package. BUT, the games and the system will probably not be shipped from the factory bundled together. It will be up to retailers to create the custom packages.

I'll share an experience I had today ...I was at the mall and went into the Software etc.. (Which is affiliated with Babbages) and asked about pre-ordering an X-box. The kid behind the counter told me "we are not taking any more pre-orders for the X-box because we already filled our pre-order allotment". Now mind you, I had been to that store several times previously over the past several months and as recently as a week ago before today's visit -and I was always told by different people working there that the X-box had not gone on pre-order yet. So you can imagine my curiosity when they go from 'not taking pre-orders yet' to 'having all of they're pre-orders filled' within what must have been a one-week span.

So anyway, this guy behind the counter continues (obviously up to some sneaky something) and says "We are doing a program now though, that if you pre-order five games or accessories with the system, we will pull one of the systems that is left over after allotment aside for you" Then he says "the good thing about this deal is that, you don't have to get all of the games that you pre-order, you can just get one or none and apply the credit towards the system". ?!?!?!? So what is the difference, I am thinking to myself -why not just allow me to pre order the system if I don't HAVE to get the games that I pre-order? I have a feeling that come launch day if I tried to use my credit towards just a system they would have tried to get me to buy the whole bundle if I wanted to get out the door with my system. But that is just this retailer, not everyone.

I told the kid sorry, no thanks. The X-Box does not come bundled with other crap, and if a retailer insists on only selling it as such, then I can go to another retailer to get my Box.

Needles to say, I won’t be going back there any more. I'll order my system online through EB, or if they will not sell the system by itself -then I will go somewhere else again and again until I can get a system on my own terms.

I hope that Microsoft does not think that they can pull this kind of stuff because the PS2 had such a successful launch. If the PS2 was only available bundled with games and crap I still think people would have shelled out money for it last X-mass. The X-Box is no PS2. It may be a superior system, but it is no PS2 as far as recognition and 'gotta' have it' factor are concerned. I am sure that there will be plenty of systems just sitting on shelves this November waiting to be bought.


[Edited last by Sean Oneil on August 19, 2001 at 06:10 AM]

#6 of 42 Carl Johnson

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Posted August 18 2001 - 11:38 PM

This isn't a Microsoft thing, its more like supply vs demand. There were people lining up to preorder PS2 so retailers could get away with forcing consumers to pay extra for stuff like extended warranties. Since X-Box is competing with the cheaper Gamecube there is no way that they could get away with these package deals.

#7 of 42 Calvin Watts III

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Posted August 19 2001 - 04:16 AM

Working at TRU, I can remember last holiday season all the happy customers that bought PS2's from my store simply because they were able to buy the system as is, and anything else that THEY wanted to buy...not some bundle package....man if the only way I was able to get a PS2 was to buy Fantavision..... Posted Image

Anyways, this, along with everything else I've been hearing & reading...just tells me all the more to hole off on a X-Box purchase for a little while....


Can you say - Hello Gamecube!!!

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#8 of 42 BrianB

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Posted August 19 2001 - 06:58 AM

Quote:
So what is the difference, I am thinking to myself -why not just allow me to pre order the system if I don't HAVE to get the games that I pre-order?

Because, by pre-ordering 5 titles, you're increasing the software to hardware units ratio for that store/chain, which will impress Microsoft into giving them a bigger initial allocation...

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#9 of 42 Derrik Draven

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Posted August 19 2001 - 07:41 AM

I certainly intend to buy an Xbox, but...if this story is true about not being able to simply buy the 'Box and whatever you want with it, I'm going to have to sadly pass on the Xbox at launch time.

If Microshaft is going to make such a horrible descision as this, I hope they eat crow on launch day. Teach their overbearing asses a good lesson when it comes to the console world.

This isn't f**king Winblows inoperating system. We don't NEED their console.

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#10 of 42 Brian Lawrence

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Posted August 19 2001 - 08:24 AM

If Microsoft tries to dictate what games I have to buy just to get their system they can go screw themselves, After all I will probably be too deeply engrossed in Luigi's Mansion, StarFox Adventures, and Rouge Leader 2, to get upset over not having an X-Box just 3 days later Posted Image

Quote:
The reason: Microsoft will provide additional marketing money to merchants that agree to include the software giant's games in their bundles. That's because Microsoft's games carry higher profit margins for the Redmond, Wash., company than those published by third-party companies such as Activision Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. The plan is angering consumers.


If Microsoft tries to force people to shell out over $500 for a bundle that includes their 1st party games. I don't imagine that would go over too well with 3rd party developers like EA or Midway when they figure out that many people wont have enough cash left to buy their games. Seems like a nice first step towards making game developers put more effort into Gamecube & PSX2.

Although I want an X-Box, I do get turned off by Microsoft acting like a monopoly when their damn system has not even hit the shelves yet. I find it a little scary to think what they will do if the X-Box sells well. Maybe they will try to force retailers to not display Nintendo products at the front of the store Posted Image

#11 of 42 Morgan Jolley

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Posted August 19 2001 - 08:39 AM

Take a look at every decision Microsoft has made since last Christmas (besides the PhotoShop thing) and you will see that they are taking every good move by a company since the Genesis and they are making the same decisions at once. The problem is, those are bad decisions, and they don't know what they are doing. Sony is learning, and Nintendo already knows. The two game companies who had the games that nobody could see at E3 (without good access, of course) were Nintendo and Sega, the console gaming veterans. This is because they know what they are doing. MS is just pretending they know what theyre doing.

#12 of 42 Ron Gilbert

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Posted August 19 2001 - 12:45 PM

As I understand it, the Xbox bundle deal is slightly better than the one offered for PS2, in that you can choose which games you want from three lists of games. One game has to be a first party title, while the other two can be chosen by the buyer. I believe you also choose which accessory you want. I'm not completely against the idea of bundles, but I think bundle deals like this one should come down a wee bit more. I can understand a one game bundle, but bundles that require three games? In any event, I was planning to get my Xbox from Wal-Mart or BestBuy, and I don't think they'll be requiring bundle deals Posted Image

#13 of 42 Camp

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Posted August 19 2001 - 02:50 PM

deleted post.

[Edited last by Camp on August 27, 2001 at 08:26 PM]

#14 of 42 Sean Oneil

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Posted August 19 2001 - 08:20 PM

Quote:
Because, by pre-ordering 5 titles, you're increasing the software to hardware units ratio for that store/chain, which will impress Microsoft into giving them a bigger initial allocation...

I hear that, but then the retailer is still stuck with a shitload of games which may not be in such high demand as the system. Some games I see having no problem selling well, but if you have to pre order five of them, and can leave the 2 or 3 stinkers on the store shelves, then the retailer is stuck. Also, if getting a bigger allocation is such a big deal, then retailers could just as easily doctor up some fake pre-order slips. Last time I checked, there was no Notary required to certify a pre-order slip for a game system. Posted Image

I know, and knew right when he opened his mouth, that the guy at the store was just lying to me about the allotment of systems being filled, and probably they're whole pre-order program. He was not even a good liar.

This whole thing sucks. Microsoft encouraging something like this is almost enough to make me hope for the failure of the X-box. If the system were not so powerful, and did not have so much potential, then I would write it off completely right now.




#15 of 42 Camp

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Posted August 20 2001 - 12:23 AM

deleted post

[Edited last by Camp on August 27, 2001 at 08:26 PM]

#16 of 42 John Berggren

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Posted August 20 2001 - 01:56 AM

Reason #299 that I'm choosing GameCube over Xbox.

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#17 of 42 pitchman

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Posted August 20 2001 - 03:15 AM

duplicate post

[Edited last by Gary Cianciosi on August 20, 2001 at 10:17 AM]
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#18 of 42 BrianB

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Posted August 20 2001 - 03:25 AM

Quote:
Reason #299 that I'm choosing GameCube over Xbox.

Nintendo are *far far* from being saints over this issue. In Japan, they regularly force package deals on games + hardware on retailers - if you want x GBAs you MUST buy x of game y & game Z, regardless of what software preorders you have. They've been accused of monopoly tactics with regards to software sales over in the US regularly - at one point, I believe they threatened to withhold SNES stock from stores selling the Sega Genesis.

Microsoft have simply looked at the launch 'failure' of the PS2 - which sold out in record time, but PS2 software sales in the run-up to Christmas were largely flat. Microsoft are taking a big big hit per console sold, they *need* good software + peripheral sales. Also, with there being much more competition this year than the PS2 had, if they can 'guarantee' 3 or 4 software sales per console sold to retailers, that will help make the XBox more attractive to them than say, PS2, helping persuade retailers to push it.

I don't like it either - I've yet to buy a bundled console, and if the only way to get a GameCube is via the bundling route, I'll skip it till after January.

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#19 of 42 John Berggren

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Posted August 20 2001 - 04:36 AM

Quote:
Nintendo are *far far* from being saints over this issue. In Japan, they regularly force package deals on games + hardware on retailers - if you want x GBAs you MUST buy x of game y & game Z, regardless of what software preorders you have.

This has not been my experience in N.C. USA. The only store requiring additional purchases on a GBA preorder was Electronics Boutique - and that was on any 2 launch games. The cube has 6 launch games I want, that I'm going to force myself to choose 3. I can't think of a single X-box launch I want, and it sounds to me as if SPECIFIC titles will be required to purchase a launch device - as opposed to "pick 2 of any launch." - which I could deal with. Keep in mind TRU, Target, and Babbages didn't have the launch package on GBA - and I would bet dollars to pounds that only specific retailers will choose to do such a package deal on the Cube.

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#20 of 42 Howard_A

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Posted August 20 2001 - 04:50 AM

All these are valid points but I think Microsoft is also trying to thwart those with visions of just buying this console and turning it into a cheap and powerful LINUX machine.


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