Click to viewThe Wii's $249 base price always allowed it to be known as both the cheapest console and the best deal in town for next-gen gaming. Even at a price of $60 a pop for the WiiMote and Nunchuk, the cumulative price of the system and four controllers would still be under the cumulative price for the Xbox 360 and PS3. This all changes with the Wii MotionPlus.
Part of the reason why we're comparing four players is because of the way Nintendo sets up its games. While it's very rare for Xbox 360 and PS3 owners to have four controllers-partially because their online connectivity is so good-it's very common for Wii owners to have four. You need four controllers to play four-player Wii Sports Tennis. You need four controllers to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl. You need four controllers to play Mario Kart Wii. It's very much a living room system, something that's emphasized by Nintendo themselves in their own advertising.
And what do we find when we compare the Wii with four controllers to the other systems with four controllers? That the Wii is $20 more expensive than the Xbox 360, and only $10 cheaper than the PS3. That's definitely NOT the cheapest console.
In the interest of fairness, we compared all of Nintendo's accessories (the Wheel, the Zapper, Retro Controller, Nunchuck and Balance Board), and grabbed the cheapest one's price point-the wheel at $14. We priced the MotionPlus at the same price. So far Nintendo has only said that their Wii Sports Resort will cost $49, with one MotionPlus accessory, but nothing about how much the accessory will cost on its own.