by Anton Shilov
09/23/2009 | 10:34 PM
Nintendo Corp. late on Wednesday confirmed intentions to reduce the price of its Wii game console, the most popular current-generation game system. Considering unprecedented sales of Wii all around the world, Nintendo only reduces price of its console only in its fourth season on the market.
Beginning Sunday, September 27, Nintendo’s suggested retail price for its Wii drops by $50 to $199.99. The new $199.99 Wii price point delivers the full Wii gaming experience, including the motion-sensing Wii Remote controller, Nunchuk controller and Wii Sports software. At present Nintendo only cuts Wii price for the U.S. and yet has to confirm whether the company has plans to reduce the price for Asia or Europe.
“Wii has reached more video game players than any game system before because it attracts everyone—both men and women, and people of all ages. Our research shows there are 50 million Americans thinking about becoming gamers, and this more affordable price point and our vast array of new software mean many of them can now make the leap and find experiences that appeal to them, whatever their tastes or level of gaming experience,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Koya Tabata, an analyst with Credit Suisse, production costs of Nintendo Wii have decreased by 45% since its release about two and half years ago. According to estimates published earlier, it cost Nintendo about $160 to make its Wii game console back in late 2006, which means that present fabrication cost of the most popular game machine in this generation can be as low as $88, a truly unbelievable price for a current-generation system that has years of lifespan left.
With such a low manufacturing cost and already reduced price for North America, Nintendo could offer Wii in emerging markets, such as Latin America, which could dramatically widen the addressable market for Nintendo Wii game developers. Some analysts estimate that emerging markets, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and others represent a billion of potential game console buyers, a massive amount for companies like Microsoft Corp., Nintendo or Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Nintendo Wii features IBM’s custom PowerPC architecture-based microprocessor named Broadway clocked at 729MHz and code-named Hollywood chip with built-in graphics core, DSP and I/O features from ATI that operates at 243MHz, earlier reports suggested. Nintendo Wii uses 91MB of memory in total: 23MB of “main” 1T-SRAM, 64MB of “external” 1T-SRAM and 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. Nintendo’s Wii does not feature a hard disk drive, instead, it boasts with 512MB of flash memory, but the console also has a SDHC card reader, which allows installing up to 32GB of flash memory.