Just a couple of weeks after "unofficial" slight price-cut of Wii game console in the U.S., Nintendo this week officially confirmed its intention to reduce the pricing of its aging game console to $150 and bundle Wii Wheel accessory starting the middle of May. The decision to cut the price and add a new game was made in a bid to revive sales of the system, which have been falling for some time. Nintendo yet has to confirm price-drops on other markets.
Nintendo is dropping the suggested retail price of its Wii system to $149.99 and including a Mario game with the Wii hardware starting May 15. The newly priced Wii system will come in either black or white with the Mario Kart Wii game and a matching colored Wii Wheel accessory, replacing the previously included Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort games. The Wii Remote Plus controller, Nunchuk controller and Wii Wheel included in the package will all match the hardware, meaning they will be either black or white.
“The new suggested retail pricing for both the hardware and select games will help create more of these magical moments for even greater numbers of people," said Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America.
Also on May 15, Nintendo launches the new Nintendo Selects collection of Wii games, a set of popular games that millions of people have already experienced, at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The four must-own games in this collection are The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Mario Super Sluggers and Wii Sports, which is available for the first time as a separate software purchase. The new black Wii Wheel will also be available separately at a suggested retail price of $9.99.
According to NPD Group, retail sales of Nintendo Wii game console in the U.S. in March, 2011, dropped below sales of both Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. A slide posted by Nintendo itself indicates that in March it sold about 60 thousand of Wii systems in March.
In other regions, namely Europe and Japan, popularity of Wii also dropped compared to the previous years, which means that Nintendo is very likely to reduce pricing of the console there too. For example, in Europe sales of Wii were lower compared to both PS3 and X360, whereas in Japan Sony's latest console has been considerably more popular than Nintendo's home console since early this year.