September 15, 2009

Nintendo Wii Price Cut Imminent

Sony released a new version of the PlayStation 3, styled Slim, but also cut the price of its gaming console significantly. Microsoft responded the same way, slashing the price of the Xbox 360 Elite version. Nintendo did nothing. Of course, the executives at the company talked about how their device was already well positioned to appeal to a wide array of customers and that it was selling extremely well at the current price point. But it seems that the company is already talking to big retailers about a coming price drop.

Videogame consumer site Kotaku is reporting having access to an advanced copy of an add set to appear in Wal Mart stores in October, talking about a “rollback” for the Nintendo Wii.

Nintendo of America issued its standard response to such rumors, saying that it does not comment on speculation and Wal Mart did not comment on the issue either but it makes sense for the Japanese console manufacturer to first introduce a price cut at big retailers, those that tend to move the biggest amount of devices.

The speculation is that Nintendo is worried about the latest NPD Group numbers, which show a decline for the Wii year over year, while the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are set to gain traction due to the reduced price. The Wii is still selling for the 250 dollars it has cost since its launch and shaving 50 off that would surely mean that it will become more attractive during the all-important Christmas shopping season.

There are speculations that an announcement would come at the Kyoto Cross Media Experience 2009, an event set to begin on September 26. On its home territory, Nintendo might choose to make a grand announcement and maybe even talk about updating its console through an HD version that should come in the future, countering the attraction that Microsoft and Sony might generate with Project Natal and the motion tracking wand.



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