Nintendo cuts prices, Wii is now $200
Nintendo said it would lower the price of the Wii by $50 to $199.99 in the United States starting Sunday. The price in Japan will fall by 5,000 yen to 20,000 yen on October 1.
The move makes Nintendo the last among its peers to cut prices. Last month, Microsoft slashed $100 off the price of its high-end Xbox 360 console and Sony cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by $100.
Prices for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 now start around $300, though Microsoft also sells a low-end model, the Xbox Arcade, for about $200.
Nintendo has so far outsold its rivals in this generation of consoles. It has succeeded in broadening the gaming population by offering intuitive and easy-to-play games rather than focusing on life-like graphics like Sony and Microsoft.
But Wii sales have tailed off in recent months and competition was set to get tougher after its rivals cut prices.
“Sony’s price cut will be followed this holiday season by strong PS3 titles such as Final Fantasy XIII. Nintendo should have seen an urgent need to slow down the PS3′s momentum,” Rakuten Securities analyst Yasuo Imanaka said.
Japanese videogame creator Square Enix Holdings Co plans to launch the latest edition of its blockbuster role-playing game series, “Final Fantasy XIII,” on December 17 in Japan, helping drive holiday demand for the Sony console.
Sony said worldwide sales of the PS3 exceeded 1 million units in the three weeks since it launched a slimmer, cheaper version of the game console earlier this month, roughly matching its PS3 sales for the entire April-June quarter.
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