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 $US49-$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 $US70. Some will now be advertised under $US50, he adds. ...

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 $US39.95. It also is one year to the day after the N64 was introduced.

If you weren't buying console games, you may not have realised 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 $US49.95. Microsoft and Sony's new releases typically cost $US59.95.

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.



    I remember seeing Conkers and several other N64 titles sitting up around the $120 mark well before the current trend of PS3/360 games being up there. Whilst CBFD might've been worth it, that's a helluva lot of cash to part with for a cartridge..

      I remember paying $129 for the SNES version of Mortal Kombat 2 back in 1994 or 1995 - I cant remember now...

      Also, that same day I bought my SNES for $128 - strange huh? I paid $1 more for the game I wanted...

    I'd love to read some E3 impressions from back around 97/98 - what games people thought would be huge and what 'next-gen' tech was being peddled around that time.

    Ahh good CD based media, definately changed game pricing for the better.

    Be fair though, most (not all) Wii games now aren't worth AUD$100...hell, a lot aren't worth $40.

    Ah the good ol days. I always find it funny how people complain about the price of games and either don't remember back to the earlier days of gaming or just didn't experience it. I remember the first day I got my N64 i wanted to get Turok with it but it was $129.95! So instead I got waverace 64 for $99.95. I think i made the right choice in the end.

    And years before that I remember some megadrive games being really crazy prices. When Mortal Kombat first came out I remember it being $140 at my local Mr Toys. There were more games priced like this but I can't remember them all.

    These days if you pay more than $99 for standard edition of a new release game ur crazy and need to stop buying at EB. Go to JB it will be $20 cheaper!

    You do realize it wasn't exactly SONY it was the disc!

    It was cheaper to produce games on discs that cartridges. If each Nintendo and Sony had the same budget and printed as many copies of a game within that budget, Sony would print more.

    That is the reason why they were able to sell there games cheaper cause they didn't have all this money they needed to make back. Hence why Nintendo shit themselves cause they stuffed up using cartridges for the 64. If the 64 had discs, that could possibly have killed the FIRST ever PlayStation and there may have never been a PS2. I doubt it would have been that extreme though, PS had some great games and franchises that appealed to young & old.

    The reason why 64 wasn't as successful as one would have hoped was also because not as many developers developed for the console. It was dearer for them to develop for N64 than PS.

    All history!

    "I remember paying $129 for the SNES version of Mortal Kombat 2 back in 1994 or 1995 - I cant remember now…"

    Aussie dollars?

    Where the heck were you buying your games from? I got most of mine from Big W, and I never paid more than about $60 for a new SNES game.

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