In his article ‘Early adoption is expensive, stupid and we never want to stop’ Ben Kuchera writes how early-adoption of gaming-consoles is actually not that fun. He touches the economical standpoint lightly, as he notices “It does appear as if the people who waited are getting a better deal than those who supported the console since launch” because “Launch day is the best time to sell your system for higher prices and with fewer pack-ins”
I discussed this with some of my gamer friends. The main reasons they haven’t bought a (in their case) Playstation 4 yet is because none of their friends has bought one and they thus can’t play with any of their friends. Besides that, they find consoles to be crazy expensive during launch.
A different pricing curve
This got me thinking, wouldn’t both the customer and the manufacturer benefit when a different pricing curve is used?
Nowadays, it’s common that the price (blue line in graph) of a console is highest during the launch and gradually decreases as time passes after launch.
I would propose a pricing curve in which as the release day comes closer the price increases. A few weeks after the launch the prices would reach is highest and it would then decrease, as the value of the console lowers due too for example the worth of the hardware in it.
This curve, indicated by the yellow line in the graph would be better for both the gamers and the console-makers, I think. Trendsetters pay a lower price, because if they join their friends will buy a new console faster.
Compensation for bugs & missing features
It’s also a compensation for the fact that a console is still new. As Ben Kuchera noticed, consoles still have bugs, and are missing important features and games, for instance the ability to stream a game to Twitch using the Xbox One hasn’t been added yet.
Reward loyal fans
This system would also reward the fans of a console. Big fans will buy the console no matter what and pre-order it months in advance, and a lower price will reward them for being so loyal and quite possibly an advocate for the gaming-system.