Engadget blog: Wii nears price cut by $50 to $200
NEW YORK (AP) -- A $50 price cut may be imminent for Nintendo's popular Wii gaming console.
Tech blog Engadget said in a posting late Tuesday night that the Wii, which has cost about $250 since its 2006 launch, will see its price drop to $200 beginning Sunday.
Engadget, which is owned by Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, posted what it said was a leaked memo from Best Buy Co. talking about the price drop.
Representatives for Best Buy and Nintendo did not immediately return phone messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Speculation about a price cut has grown after the other two console makers, Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp., reduced prices on their systems in August. And video game blog Kotaku has posted what it said were images of flyers from major retailers advertising a coming price cut.
Console price cuts are customary for the video game industry after the systems have celebrated a birthday or two, because they help lure in mass audiences who don't want to spend large chunks of cash on them.
The recession, however, has made them even more important, especially as game companies gear up for the holiday shopping season, when the video game industry makes most of its money. Without the price cuts, it would be difficult to entice budget-conscious shoppers to buy the machines.
The Wii, whose game control senses motions without having relying solely on buttons and levers, is the top selling console worldwide.
Nintendo has been the only one of the three console makers to forgo a price cut so far. But it also started off at a lower price point when it launched in 2006. With a $50 price cut, the Wii would be tied with Microsoft's low-end Xbox 360 Arcade as the cheapest. Following the $100 price cuts in August, Microsoft's Xbox 360 Elite and Sony's basic PlayStation 3 now cost about $300.