If you’re thinking of buying a Wii, best to hold off a bit longer, because Nintendo just confirmed speculation its little white box would drop in price mid-May. As expected, that drop amounts to a 25% cut, from $200 to $150, and you’ll be able to pick one up for as much starting Sunday, May 15th.
That’s not all: Instead of bundling the system with oldie party games Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, Nintendo’s packaging its reduced-price Wii with racer Mario Kart Wii and corresponding Wii Wheel controller. The system still comes with a Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, and you have your choice of colors for both system and wheel: black or white.
The Wii Wheel retails for $15 standalone ($10 after an upcoming price cut), while Mario Kart Wii goes for $40, so as deals go, this one's not bad. We're talking a $50 price break plus $50 to $55 of superior software and related hardware. Who wouldn’t prefer zipping around banana-peel-covered race tracks to bike-riding, ball-dribbling, and Frisbee-tossing?
If you simply must own Wii Sports, you have at least two options. Nintendo plans to continue selling the Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort console pack for $200 until supplies run out, at which point it'll be discontinued (unless you live in Europe, where the SKU will remain). Otherwise you can shop Nintendo's new "Select" line of value-priced Wii games from May 20th. It'll include stuff like Wii Sports (sold standalone for the first time ever), Zelda Twilight Princess, Mario Super Sluggers, and Animal Crossing, each reduced to $20 a pop. (Alas, Wii Sports Resort isn't part of the Select family, and will still sell for $40.)
"There is quite a bit more volume to be sold on the Wii home console," Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime told USA Today. "And the way we are going to get there is by offering the system at this low price and by including a key software title like Mario Kart."
Where will all that extra "volume" come from? Nintendo's thinking young, as in "millions of consumers getting into the video-game-playing age." Nintendo expects to sell 13 million Wii systems by March 31, 2012 (the end of its fiscal year), which would bring it within spitting distance of the 100 million worldwide mark.