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The PA Report - Price your game higher, avoid sales, reap the rewards

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin

imageThe PA Report - Price your game higher, avoid sales, reap the rewards

There is much conversation about Humble Bundles, Steam sales and the like, with the idea that the path to riches is often to lower the price in order to improve the volume of sales. It's a great idea, and pricing has become very consumer friendly in the PC space in the past few years.

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  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    He certainly has a point, but I'm not going to fall for those tricks. Apple crap, Bose headphones, etc... not going to pay a premium for literally no benefit over a less costly product of the same quality.

    If I'm on the fence, 99% of the time, I'm going to hold off on it regardless of the price. It certainly does weed out people who aren't already invested in the genre or series though. Your market simply won't grow.

    Gungan on
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Labyrinths are awesome!Registered User regular
    Yeah...I don't buy it. This is the same "it's more expensive because it's MORE BETTER" crap that companies like Apple and BMW throw out even though their products are not actually better than their competition.

    People really do gobble this one up, though. Apple's marketing has succeeded on all fronts in convincing people that price correlates with quality in a positive linear fashion.

    XBL: R3clipse
    Steam: BIRD BIRD KILL IT
    Battle.net: Eclipse#1200
  • simlandsimland Registered User regular
    Well that was a lovely biased use of game theory and economics in an effort to provide a reason for selling an indie title at a "high" price point. I have never heard of a situation where owning a non-collector level game is a status symbol. Owning the system it runs on or being able to run it on high settings, yes, but never the game itself. As status and rarity are the reasons people will pay a premium for objects, it makes no sense that this validates a higher price point for a game.

    What is being described here is the behavior of consumer demand. Mr. Harris is describing inelastic demand and the ability of suppliers to take advantage of this. Meaning that if he lowered the cost of his game, the additional quantity he would obtain from the impulse crowd would not make up for the significant margin hit on the core customers. This is indeed the concept of a niche market and why they often demand premiums.

    The problem in the PC game market is ease of substitute goods. Continue to alienate your core market and they will look else where. This blog post by Cliff seems to be a plea to other suppliers in the same market to raise prices. Ideally implementing an oligarchy and price fixing. See: Oil Industry.

    Woah that got cynical fast. Happy Monday I guess.

  • IntelligensaurIntelligensaur Registered User new member
    Based on the PAR title, I was really expecting an article about whether a company benefits more by going with a high price tag (and selling their game to fewer people) or a low price tag (getting more sales, but a smaller profit with each).

    It was still an interesting article, though I wish there was some data in there to back it up.

  • EriktheBearikEriktheBearik Richmond, CARegistered User regular
    The article makes an interesting point about price and time investment. If I buy a game cheap, I find I'm actually a lot less likely to actually play it to completion. But when I drop 30 to 50 dollars on a game, you can bet I'm gonna play the hell out of it to get my money's worth. And because I play it more, I like it better. Psychology.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    @ERIKTHEBEARIK

    That's not necessarily true in general. I played the hell out of Fallout 3 and BioShock back in university... except I hadn't bought them myself at the time. When I was done played the hell out of them I thought, man these guys deserve money for these awesome games. So I bought them both even though I had no intention of playing them any more, and actually own 2 copies of BioShock now.

    Gungan on
  • SomeguitaristSomeguitarist Registered User regular
    @Erik- I find that mostly to be true. Except I was lucky enough to have a friend gift me BF4, and I've been playing the hell out of that campaign.

  • dayoshdayosh Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    2 Things:

    1. I believe there is truth to the adage "You get what you pay for." If you make an investment, as opposed to a purchase, it is generally thought of to last considerably longer. One example of this might be building (and then subsequently upgrading) a computer vs. buying a "Blue Light Special" at a Big BoxMart. The latter will be cheaper, but usually will have minimal upgrade capability, which will considerably shorten its lifespan in terms of usefulness.

    2. I believe that there are certain products that may attempt to pass themselves off as "Quality," but in reality, are generally around the average in terms of performance, instead only selling their brand name. Apple, H3, Nike, BMW...these are all status symbols; a person buys things like this (subconsciously) as a show of their individual wealth and/or trendiness. It is important to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It does not necessarily make a person "shallow," "conceited," or any kind of a "snob" for purchasing things of this nature. It's something that's always been around as long as sales have existed, and it will continue to do so. With that in mind, it is also good to remember when buying something of this nature that more often than not, the product being purchased is not priced for quality, but rather for brand recognition.

    dayosh on
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Gungan wrote:
    Apple crap, Bose headphones, etc... not going to pay a premium for literally no benefit over a less costly product of the same quality.
    3clipse wrote:
    This is the same "it's more expensive because it's MORE BETTER" crap that companies like Apple and BMW throw out even though their products are not actually better than their competition.
    3clipse wrote:
    Apple's marketing has succeeded on all fronts in convincing people that price correlates with quality in a positive linear fashion.

    Comparing software to hardware is generally not a good idea as they are completely different things. So whether or not you think Bose, BMWs and Apple delivers higher quality products or that people are tricked into believing so (although numerous consumer reports point to the former, not the latter), it's not the same thing as charging a premium for software.

    @Simland is looking at this right, from an economic standpoint. To be honest, it appears the article is arguing that PC games in certain niches can be a pseudo Giffen Good, in that the price itself increases it's value (or perceived value). In the real world, there is a debate whether Giffen Goods actually exist or not.

    @ERIKTHEBEARIK, your example is how you react once you purchase something, which isn't exactly the same (although it certainly has parallels). But as anyone who watches Extra Credits on PATV (and if you don't, you should) which did an episode on the JC Penny fiasco where they decided not to put anything on sale and just be honest with consumers and how poorly they performed because of it. Turns out, not surprisingly, as an overall group, humans are very easy to trick and rarely act as rational as you'd think (or hope).

    Siddown on
  • kakitamikekakitamike Registered User regular
    I always feel a lot of this stuff comes down to people's individual experiences as well. I favor apple over PCs, but it's because over the years I've never had an apple product fail on me, breakdown, need a graphics card patch for a game, have a game run poorly, randomly freeze coming out of sleep, or take minutes to boot up. I can't say the same for PC. However, I'm sure there are people who have none of the same problems as me, or even have the opposite.

    I drove a ford mustang for 8 years with zero breakdowns, while I know people who would never buy a ford again.

    And all this considering I'm a harder critique the more I spend on something. If I have a bad experience early on in a game, I'm less likely to continue the more I spent on it, because I feel the pricier the game is, the better quality it should have been overall.

  • psycokingpsycoking Registered User regular
    @Siddown The problem that many people have with Apple, Bose, etc isn't that they don't create quality products, they do, but they charge a premium over the price of comparable products in order to create an image of greater quality over their competition. To the savvy shopper this practice comes off as deceitful, hence the hatred companies like Apple and Bose (and Monster who takes this practice to an extreme) often get.

    Mr. Harris argues that by keeping the price of his product high he is adding perceived value to it. Since his sales model is similar to those of Apple and Bose, I'd say the comparisons being made are apt despite the differences between software and hardware, as were not really discussing the product here, but how it is sold.

  • ExcaliburproxyExcaliburproxy Registered User regular
    Are people really so slack-jawed that it is surprising that some games make more money at higher prices?

    Look up monopolistic competition. This is econ 1000 stuff.

    Excaliburproxy: Walking death machine on wheels.
  • MachinesMachines Registered User regular
    @Dayosh
    Just because humans have always been so easy to manipulate, doesn't mean manipulation isn't wrong in any way.

  • dayoshdayosh Registered User regular
    @Machines

    Sorry for the misunderstanding; didn't mean to imply that manipulation is perfectly acceptable as a business practice (it's really quite shady and distasteful), but rather that simply purchasing something that touts its logo (Apple, for example) isn't wrong on the part of the consumer; didn't want anyone burning iPad logos in my yard. :P

  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @Psycoking, without derailing this conversation anymore, I think your Monster Cables example is a much better example than BMW, Bose and Apple.

  • csdxcsdx Registered User regular
    @simland / 1:59PM "I have never heard of a situation where owning a non-collector level game is a status symbol. "

    It's not necessarily a status symbol, but I can see it being a factor in one's social standing. Video games, like most media are a very time sensitive good, so when a new game is released, that's when most people are playing it and also talking about it, and those who haven't experienced it can be left out of conversations (due to unfamiliarity or spoilers or the like). So there can be pressure to keep up with the group by also buying into whatever the latest game or fad is.

  • Darkness1231Darkness1231 Registered User regular
    He has some interesting charts to back his opinion. They are fantastical in nature and are merely drawn thus are useless but make the initial scan of the article appear deep enough to bother reading. It wasn't.

    Just another game designer with an opinion that is oh so special. Oh wait! All game designers think their views are the special ones.

  • ubergineubergine Registered User regular
    Did charging an outrageous price work for Episode One of the Penny Arcade game? I think it was the first Xbox Live Arcade game to cost 1600 points. Based off its then-800-points rivals, it seemed like a huge rip-off. I never bought it.

  • rahkeesh2000rahkeesh2000 Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    UBERGINE: more or less, they went on to make a second game with the same budget. The problem is no-one wanted to buy that one, because now people knew exactly what kind of game they were getting.

    3 and 4 could be much cheaper because the budget was also a hell of a lot less. Turns out 3D animation and 2D cartoons cost a bit more to produce than pixel art.

    rahkeesh2000 on
  • MygafferMygaffer Registered User regular
    He makes a lot of interesting points, the one thing I have to take issue with, and this is a little outside of the scope of the actual article, but the Bose headhones are not "a legitimately superior product". Bose makes decent headphones, and of course the quality of a given pair of Bose headphones heavily depends on which model you are looking for, but their headphones come nowhere close to being the best.

  • CTRLmonkeyCTRLmonkey Registered User new member
    If you have a product in a niche market, you can up the price. People who like complex strategy games like complex strategy games. They aren't that worried about price.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Indeed. Bose headphones specifically are high quality headphones, but they're not the highest quality. The QC20's are the best noise cancelling headphones available, but only if you're looking to cancel out as much noise as possible. They excel at doing that, but are inferior to other noise cancelling headphones with better sound reproduction.

    Does that make the 100% markup over its competitors worth it? Unlikely. Apple, BMW, and so on make a good product, but it's the same quality as companies charging less.

    If you're working in a niche market, however, I don't know that lowering the price of your whatever will grow your market. You just need to figure out what's a fair price to reach your market without angering them.

    Gungan on
  • ButtscuitsButtscuits Registered User new member
    edited November 2013
    Sorry, this is a quick derail but people arguing incorrectly with something they know little to nothing about can be infuriating.

    @Siddown - Thank you. Many people in here are making poor comparisons with products they obviously know extremely little about. Most notably BMW. That's what I'll focus on.

    "I believe that there are certain products that may attempt to pass themselves off as "Quality," but in reality, are generally around the average in terms of performance, instead only selling their brand name. Apple, H3, Nike, BMW" ...A BMW is not "average in terms of performance".

    "Does that make the 100% markup over its competitors worth it? Unlikely. Apple, BMW, and so on make a good product, but it's the same quality as companies charging less." ...A BMW is not "the same quality as companies charging for less".

    "This is the same "it's more expensive because it's MORE BETTER" crap that companies like Apple and BMW throw out even though their products are not actually better than their competition". ...I'm not even going to touch this one. It made my head hurt just reading at it.

    I am a mechanic and an avid weekend track racer. BMW is a superior product to everything at a similar pricepoint in many categories (power/weight ratio, passenger comfort, durability, track-ready suspension and drivetrain, resale value, etc.). You can get some of these features in cars at a lesser price, but you will NOT get it all.

    I'm saying this with confidence as I have been a mechanic at a private shop in upstate New York for 13 years and have worked on countless brands/models of vehicles. I have also witnessed the tried performance of countless vehicles on track days. I'm not even saying this as a BMW fan-boy. I'm a Mazda guy and I go to all SCCA races in a lightly modified Miata. I favor raw racing performance over things like comfort and long-lasting part durability.

    TL/DR: Don't base your argument on something you know next to nothing about.

    Buttscuits on
  • hailthefishhailthefish Registered User regular
    Democracy 3 is a crap game with very little replay value that will entertain you for about an afternoon. Barely worth $10 much less $25. The only reason this price model works for them is people with more money than sense making impulse purchases.

  • TheTurnipKingTheTurnipKing Registered User regular
    It's not complex. It's a trade-off. A lower price means more immediate purchases at a cost of purchases over time.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    I have to say that the price of a game has never encouraged me to complete it. I either buy it and never load it, play it to completion, and, on the odd occasion, play it until it's no longer fun and then stop playing it.

    The only time price comes into it is when I'm about to purchase the game, and then the question is "Will I get enough enjoyment out of what this game promises to justify that price?". Sometimes there's an element of "This dev deserves more money", but that's not the general rule.

  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    This article is flawed beyond comprehension.

    There's no such things as a premium indie-title, or whatever. The "quality" game products cost 60. triple A games cost 60. games where tens of millions were spend on development and marketing cost 60.
    and as such "price signaling" at 25 bucks does absolutely nothing but obfuscate what kind of game this is.

    Additionally the lack of data he provides regading the actual sales of Dem3 doesn't help his argument either. He doesn't show why putting the game at 25 bucks actually made him more revenue than doing a sale, or entering at a lower-price point. All he basically says is this: because my game is expensive only dedicated people that want to play my game will buy my game. if you're not planning to actually play my game for a long time... I don't even want your 25 bucks.

    Now, I don't mind his vision of his target-audience. that's fine, that's a perfectly legitimate choice, But no-where in his article does he actually say anything bar his own hypothesis backed up by no facts or numbers. Heck he even made a joke about making a graph.


  • Titanium DragonTitanium Dragon Registered User regular
    @SIMLAND: It isn't about status. It is about perception of quality and quality signalling.

    If I see a game go up for $5 at launch, $15 at launch, $40 at launch, $50 at launch, and $60 at launch, all other things being equal, I would expect the quality of the games to be $5<$15<$40<$50<$60. This sort of price signalling IS a real thing, and to be entirely fair, it actually can and does frequently signal quality - you can see this in video games, where more is expected of a $60 game than a $15 one. That being said, sometimes a $15 game (Bastion) is better than many $60 games, but I think that is somewhat to be expected - at any given price point, there is also a distribution of quality. Bastion is high for what would be expected of a $15 game, but would not be as high relative to a $60 game.

    I don't think he is actually trying to tell everyone to raise their prices so much as explaining why higher prices are not inherently bad.

    I will also note that low prices are not inherently good either, not even for the consumer, if it makes the market untenable for anyone to occupy. This has happened with some generic drugs; you can make money doing it, but you can make more money making non-generics, so why would you bother making the generics? This has also happened with video games historically, back in the early 1980s, and is one of the concerns of the video game world today, especially in mobile - if you cannot price your game appropriately, then you are screwed, and if everything which is cheap is bad, and people consume lots of that cheap stuff and decide EVERYTHING is bad, you are screwed.

    @ERIKTHEBEARIK: Honestly I haven't found this phenomeneon. I feel bad if I put a game down before I beat it... but I've started doing it more because a lot of games just aren't worth beating. But actual price is irrelevant; my irrational behavior is at likely at $5 as $50.

    @DAYOSH: It isn't wrong, but they are suckers for doing it.

    @SIDDOWN: Apple products are clearly overpriced for what they are. It is entirely about perception of luxury and quality there, which is why they are forever on the fringe - they convince some small percentage of people about this, and those people will buy into it and be very upset if you claim they're wrong because that would imply that they're suckers.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    @BUTTSCUITS

    I agree that BMW is a little misplaced is this argument, because they really are a pleasure to drive, but other than BMW, the examples are accurate. Historically, the same could be said for Sony TVs as other brands produce better picture quality for the same price (and in absolute terms), most notably Panasonic and Vizio (Panasonic has had the top 5 best TVs for the last 5 years running).

    The moral of the story is that you need to research whatever you're buying, whether it's hardware or software, because "price signaling" is a suckers game. It is completely unreliable as a gauge of quality and can vary wildly. You can safely expect a AAA title with a big budget to be $60, but you could easily be buying Aliens: Colonial Marines.

    Don't be stupid, do your research. Every time.

    Gungan on
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    Apple products are clearly overpriced for what they are

    How so? I use a 4.5 year old Macbook Pro every day for work, and in that same time I've gone through three Lenovo's (I use both machines about equally), and Lenovo is constantly rated as one of the better of the PC makers. In their race to the bottom, PC makers outfit their Laptops and computers with the lowest quality internals possible, so that means bad power supplies, motherboard, batteries, etc.

    Are Macbooks more expensive than it's competitors? Not really, at least not even close to what people perceive. For example, a 13" Macbook Airs cost $1100, the same size Dell Ultrabooks start at $1200 and I can't even figure out how much the HP ones cost because they don't have SSDs on their website. Somehow I broke the ASUS website, but looking up the 13" Ultrabook in Google it starts at $1300 with an i5. So really, Macbook's are actually cheaper than the direct competition.

    The $1500 I spent on my 15" Macbook Pro back in the summer of 2009 was the best money I ever spent. As a development machine, I have Postgres, MySql, Neo4j and a full development environment running at any given time. With Bootcamp, I have Windows 7 on here as well and it runs faster than it does than it does on my 2013 Lenovo I have sitting next to it.

    Can you go to Staples and buy a POS, 1 GB of RAM, laptop for $400? Sure, of course you can, but you can't compare the two in terms of quality. Those pieces of crap might not last a year before falling apart.

    Are iPhones more expensive? Actually, no, not compared to the top selling Samsung Android phones, they both cost $200 with contract. Compared to the crappy, throw away Androids/Windows phone out there, sure, but those costs are eaten by the phone companies anyway.

    iPads are a bit more complicated because it all depends what you want to do with it. If you just want to watch movies, then yes you can do better with the Kindle Fire. But if you want apps, you'd have to pay for something like the Samsung Galaxy series which aren't much cheaper

    Apple definitely overcharges for their peripherals (things like cords, chargers, etc.), so I buy all of those via Amazon, but you can't say Macbooks, iPads and iPhones aren't very well made pieces of machinery.

  • SoldancerSoldancer Registered User regular
    @DISCRIDER
    [I have to say that the price of a game has never encouraged me to complete it. I either buy it and never load it, play it to completion, and, on the odd occasion, play it until it's no longer fun and then stop playing it.

    The only time price comes into it is when I'm about to purchase the game, and then the question is "Will I get enough enjoyment out of what this game promises to justify that price?". Sometimes there's an element of "This dev deserves more money", but that's not the general rule.]

    Thanks for saving my the time of putting my thoughts on that out coherently, as that's just about what I'd write anyway.

    @BUTTSCUITS

    Thanks for weighing in on BMWs. I have personally found them to be superior vehicles as well, and had a chance to autocross with a really fun 1996 325i convertible a few years ago. The main point is that they are a perceived luxury item by many people. Most people do not get the chance to interact with them first hand, so they lack the knowledge. I would argue the same could be said of any higher-priced item: most consumers will lack the ability to acutally verify the claim of superior goods, and thus write it off as overpriced fluff. Perception matters a lot.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    @SIDDOWN

    $1100 13.3" Apple MacBook Air - 1.3GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 5000 (1440x900)

    Regular price stuff:
    $949 14" Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p - 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5, 6GB RAM, 500GB 5400 RPM, NVIDIA GeForce GT750M GDDR5 2GB (1366x768)
    $1050 13.3" Toshiba Satellite Z930-01K - 1.8GHz Intel Core i5, 6GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000 (1366x768)
    $1100 13.3" Toshiba Portégé R930-08T - 2.6Ghz Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 320GB 7200 RPM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 (2,048x1536)

    On sale now:
    $1070 15.6" Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p - 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 24GB SSD + 1TB 5400 RPM, NVIDIA GeForce GT750M GDDR5 2GB (1920x1080)

    I could look more, but every single one of my examples have a faster processor, equal or more RAM, and bigger hard disks. Two even have superior video cards and/or display resolutions.

    You can also find regular price stuff with Core i7's in the $1100 price range.

    The price differences between these parts amount to at least a couple of hundred dollars.

    I don't know where you were looking but I found comparables on my first try. It's true that Macbooks generally surpass the competition on battery life, but that has to do with OS power controls optimization, and not hardware.

    As for iPhones, they may cost the same as Nexus/Galaxy phones, but again they have slightly less powerful hardware in many cases.

    No one is arguing that Apple stuff isn't well made, it is. It's just priced higher than other stuff that's equal or better.

    Gungan on
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    @Gungan,

    Sigh, apparently you don't actually use laptops very often. You can't compare SSDs to Hard drives. so let's just remove those.

    The Toshiba Satellite by all accounts is a very nice machine, but it does have worse resolution than the 13" Air (1440x900 v. 1366x768) and one third the battery life (something every review points out about it). So you can ask yourself this question. Is saving $50 worth one third the battery life and worse resolution? Or do you value the extra 128 gigs of SSD space? For me, the Air is a better deal (I have plenty of external storage).

    And on an aside, I can't find it anywhere on the internet for $1050, in fact Toshiba's own website doesn't list them.

    But let's assume you can find the laptop you listed, we're talking $50 difference on a large purchase, hardly the massive over pricing that people in these comments are claiming.

    As for Lenovo, in their "thin and light" category, if you are looking for an SSD, the cheapest one is ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, same specs as the 13" on sale this week for $1050 down from $1400. So again, $50 cheaper, yet it is also 1366x768 and has much worse battery life.

    So back to why I posted:
    Apple products are clearly overpriced for what they are. It is entirely about perception of luxury and quality there
    .

    So is $50 more for a debatably similar product "clearly overpriced"? Is a much better battery and better long term prospects of not needing to replace your machine as quickly due to not using horrible internals worth $50? I'd say so.

  • BenevolentCowBenevolentCow Registered User regular
    The rational here is odd. Driving away people who would pay you to play your game for 10 minutes and get bored and leave. It doesn't matter how long they play for if there are no microtransations involved, the game is made, you have already spent the money.

    It might encourage people who buy your current game to also buy future games, which means you can charge even higher prices in the future, but that will limit your market to a subset of current consumers.

    It seems like the only reason the author can get away with it is the a lack of competition in the market. If there were more high quality strategy games out there (I don't play them much so I don't know the state of the genre, but it seems like it is pretty empty) he would be stuck in the race to the bottom like all the bejeweled clones out there.

    Luxury items like cars and watches and jewelery and computers can get away with high prices because they bring status, No one is going to think better of you because you spent a lot of money of a computer game. Unless it is an MMO where you are surrounded by like minded people I guess.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    @SIDDOWN

    Yes, you can compare SSDs to hard drives strictly by price because storage is easily upgradeable on every laptop I've ever seen (and SSDs are not a requirement for laptops in the first place, we've gone decades without them).

    The price difference between a 500 GB hard disk and a 128GB SSD is ~$100. The $949 IdeaPad I listed would cost $1050 with the hard disk swapped for the SSD. Even if you had to buy an SSD and do it yourself it's $150 instead of $100.

    That's the equivalent of the MacBook Air, and the IdeaPad still has a better processor, more ram and a more powerful video card (except that the display has a slightly lower resolution). Every single example I gave had a processor 50-100% faster than the one in the MacBook Air, and some had better video cards and more RAM. When you're buying a laptop, you shop for the things you cannot upgrade (RAM can be either depending on laptop, and the MacBook Air is not upgradeable).

    Every example I listed would still cost less $/performance even if you upgraded their hard disks to 128GB SSD because of the weaker base stats of the MacBook Air.

    It's not $50 difference. You have to account for all the other differences too, not just the hard disk. Do you even know how to price out a computer?

    I found all of them on the manufacturer websites, btw.

    http://www.toshiba.ca/productdetailpage.aspx?id=2147493609

    Sure, battery life matters, but only in so much that you can use your laptop between destinations with power outlets. If you really need hours upon hours of battery life, you can usually upgrade to a bigger/spare battery too.

    Gungan on
  • HeadhunterHeadhunter Registered User regular
    Game pricing seems to be increasingly erratic: the last couple of years, I could walk out and get a half price copy of the latest Assassin's Creed title within 3 weeks of release (due to Black Friday, but still). I enjoy getting games at launch and being part of the initial experience, but fiscally it makes far more sense to buy most games on a 3-6 month delay for massive savings.

    "Perception is reality." -unknown
  • SiddownSiddown Registered User regular
    Gungan wrote:
    The price difference between a 500 GB hard disk and a 128GB SSD is ~$100. The $949 IdeaPad I listed would cost $1050 with the hard disk swapped for the SSD. Even if you had to buy an SSD and do it yourself it's $150 instead of $100

    So the IdeaPad you listed would be $50 cheaper, but have much worse battery life and have lower screen resolution. Again, please tell me how the Macbook Air is overpriced then? And not only overpriced, but so overpriced people are comparing it to things like BMWs?
    Sure, battery life matters, but only in so much that you can use your laptop between destinations with power outlets. If you really need hours upon hours of battery life, you can usually upgrade to a bigger/spare battery too.

    Battery life is important to a lot of people, there's a reason why it's one of the things people ask about so much. So your counter to that is that a person can spend more money on additional batteries and carry them around...yet you don't factor that into price (FYI, extra batteries are about $50 for every 4 hours, so you'd need $150 worth of batteries).

    Listen, I know you and I go at it all the time, but I am not even going to argue with you on this one because it's not an "Apple is better" type argument, just that for some consumers, things like battery life and reliability are important. And for those same people, the price difference of $50 is not even worth thinking about for the piece of mind they get by knowing the have 12 hours of battery life (instead of four), or that their motherboard won't crap out.

    If a 13" Macbook Air was $1500 (like they used to be for the first generation), I'd completely agree with you that it is overpriced and that you really are just paying for the name, but at $1100 that is no longer the case.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    @SIDDOWN

    It would be $50 cheaper, with a CPU that is 100% faster, a GPU that is 100% faster, and 6GB RAM (upgradeable to 16 GB) vs 4 GB RAM (not-upgradeable). Paraphrasing the common trend when reading MacBook Air reviews is that "it's slow".

    Hell, even the SSD in the MacBook Air is not upgradeable by the vast majority of users: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Air+Models+A1237+and+A1304+Hard+Drive+Replacement/860

    The difference in the resolutions of the displays is insignificant in a 13.3" display that is going to be at least 2-3 feet away from your face at all times. Neither one is 1080p so I'd hardly call either of them a winner here.

    The MacBook air is a laptop built out of parts worth about $750 that will become obsolete faster than the Toshiba. If I were to value 4 hours of battery time at $50 like you are, that would be an ~$850 laptop since the first 4 hours are included (you only need 2 extra batteries on the Toshiba).

    It's not a bad product, but it's clearly overpriced/prices heavily for battery life & style vs performance. At $1100, the battery life would have to be nearly 30 hours to justify its price tag using those guts. Reliability isn't a factor here, they all use the same Intel parts.

    Compared to other Apple products the MacBook Air is a steal, though.

    Gungan on
  • dzenithdzenith Registered User regular
    Elevating price as a method to increase demand by increasing the perceived value of a product is nothing new. I question its use with software though. This generally works better when an item is in limited quantity or has a lack of substitute products. Video games have neither. They are also heavily reviewed - giving the buyer a more objective way of valuing the product.

  • Titanium DragonTitanium Dragon Registered User regular
    @GUNGAN:
    Admittedly, I am not really sold on Apple quality. The last Apple product I owned was an iPod, which bricked itself in a fairly short period of time. That was, however, quite some time ago (about 8 years now). I simply swore off ever buying an Apple product since then on the basis of my customer service as related to said iPod.

    I can't imagine why you would own an Apple desktop.

    Apple laptops do have the longer battery life, but how valuable that is to you depends on what you use your laptop for; if you are going out into the mountains, battery life is a lot more important than if you're bringing your laptop to business meetings.

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