Friday, September 22, 2006

Sage Words of Advice on the Price of Consoles, or Grow Up

Are you still unhappy that Nintendo is selling its Wii console for $250? Angry that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony's new game machines aren't cheaper for you? Well, guess what, kids? If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it. Really.

There's this sense of entitlement, a notion that these companies exist solely to alleviate your precious boredom. That's not the case. These are corporations, and they're in the business of making money. If you cannot do that, you go out of business. If your company is large enough - Microsoft, Sony - you can afford to lose a lot of money in the short term, in hopes of gaining those long-term profits. It still hasn't happened for Microsoft, and this is why you're not going to see any price drops for the 360. They're losing $120 on every console sold, and have already bled a billion dollars. They cannot afford to cut the price anytime soon.

And Sony? Their monstrosity costs $900 to build for each unit. The company as a whole is bleeding money, and if Blu-Ray (Sony's real gamble) tanks, they'll be in a mountain of trouble. From now on, it's a game of chicken between the executives and the stockholders. First one to blink loses, but don't drive over the cliff.

Besides, kids, don't you already have 50,000 other video game machines lying about? Who said that you have to throw everything away every five years and start from scratch? Where was that written in stone? You've been suckered by consumerism, kids. Suckered by hype. Suckered into believing your self-worth is determined by the consumer products you consume, and the amount of debt you accumulate.

This is a generation that doesn't know the value of money. This is a generation that feels a sense of entitlement, that everything should be theirs for the taking, free of charge. This is where the whole Napster controversy came from, and the battle over online piracy. You just think that you deserve all the toys in the world, no strings attached. Well, I'm sorry, kids, but it doesn't work out like that in the real world. Don't like it? Tough.

So if you're complaining about the prices of the new consoles, that's fine. Just don't buy them. Just don't consume. Pick up a book, pick up a guitar, pick up the pretty girl sitting next to you.

Oh, by the way, any chances you'd read advice like this in any of the prozines? Hah. Fat chance.

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