Nintendo America had an October surprise for gamers Monday when it announced it was lowering the price of its Wii console to a suggested retail price of $129.99 in advance of the holiday shopping season. This is a reduction of $20 from its previous price of $149.99, set when Nintendo last dropped the price of its console a year and a half ago.
For that price, gamers get a black Wii console, a game disc containing Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, and a Wii Remote Plus with a Nunchuk controller.
The Wii package, expected to reach retail shelves by October 28, represents the first time that Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort are on a single disc. Among the games in the suite are bowling, tennis, baseball, archery, table tennis, and basketball. With the Wii game controller, players can interact with the sports games with the gestures they'd use to play the games in the real world.
"Nearly six years after it launched, people are still attracted to the pure, inclusive fun of the Wii console," Scott Moffitt, Nintendo America's executive vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. "A new suggested retail price and the inclusion of two great games make it an easy choice for families looking for a great value this holiday season."
Courting expert gamers
The Wii package announced Monday is expected to appeal to entry-level gamers. Nintendo will be making a play for more experienced gamers with its new Wii U game console scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. and Europe in November. That product will be priced at $300 with 8GB of internal memory, and $350 with 32GB of memory.
With the Wii U, Nintendo hopes to revitalize its fortunes in the gaming market. In the past year, it has seen the value of its stock decline nearly 50 percent as more and more gamers are lured to online and mobile games.
The Wii U adds a touchscreen to the Wii's gesture repertoire, as well as support for streaming media (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Video) and social interaction for a more connected experience among players.
Nintendo's announcement comes on the heels of price cuts last weekend on Microsoft's Xbox 360 bundles. The deals, available at GameStop, Best Buy, Kmart, Target and Amazon, knock $50 off the 250GB model of the Xbox 360, as well as the 4GB model with Kinect. The $50 price cut is also available for the standalone 250GB console and the 250GB Kinect connect bundle.