Monday, November 10, 2008


If you're wondering about the pricing environment this holiday season, I believe the correct word will be "insane." Huge discounts, early markdowns, and lots of opportunity.

Example #1: [NOTE: I was woozy with illness and can't find the link to this offer--see the "CRUD" post for more details]. Wal-Mart is offering a $100 gift card with the purchase of any Blu-Ray player (including the PS3).

Example #2: Dell will be selling the Xbox 360 Arcade model and Rock Band 2 for $199 on Black Friday (thanks thanks Engadget). Little plastic instruments not included, and the Arcade model doesn't include a hard drive (details on getting a 20GB drive for $30 are here), but that's an excellent price if you're looking to get into Rock Band but haven't bought a console yet.

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, too. Retailers are going to get desperate very early this year.

Oh, and there will be least two guys who won't be affected by the economic slump:
Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Viacom Inc., controlled by Sumner Redstone, will pay the creators of the "Rock Band'' video-game bonuses exceeding $300 million as part of the 2006 acquisition of their company.

Harmonix founders
Alex Rigopulos, 38, and Eran Egozy, 37, received $150 million last quarter for exceeding performance targets, New York-based Viacom said in a Nov. 3 regulatory filing. A final payment in 2009 will exceed $150 million, the company said.

I hope that trickles down to everyone else at Harmonix, too, but I've probably gotten $150 million of enjoyment from Guitar Hero and Rock Band, so good for them. Oh, and this is pretty funny:
"We may not have anticipated the payment would be that high, but it's based on what they have achieved,'' Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew said.

Hmm, looks like Viacom incorrectly identified the smartest guys in the room (hint: it wasn't Viacom).

Site Meter