Major price drops incoming, then?
This generation has seen the return of the pack-in game. A common practice back in the 8-bit and 16-bit days, even with newly launched consoles, it sort of disappeared until Nintendo brought it back with the Wii, which was bundled with Wii Sports (later on in the generation, it would be bundled with a multitude of other games).
This led to a resurgence of bundled game and console SKUs, and continued on into this generation- currently, it is actually impossible to buy a new console without getting a bundled game as part of the package. Just last year, we saw a variety of game bundles introduced (Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, The Last of Us: Remastered, Grand Theft Auto V, and Destiny for PS4, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Assassin’s Creed for Xbox One).
However, don’t expect that practice to continue on this year- leading US games retailer believes there won’t be very many new bundles this year.”Based on our discussions with publishers and platform-holders, these pack-in programs will be significantly reduced in 2015,” GameStop COO Tony Bartel said.
“We believe that new software sales were impacted in the latter part of 2014 as many games were given away as subsidized marketing incentives in next-generation hardware bundles,” he said.
Of course, this raises another interesting question- just how do Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft plan on adding value to their consoles if not with new bundles? Might we see major price drops for all three consoles later in the year?