The Tech Herald

Rumor: Wii price drop in May to proceed Wii HD reveal

by Steven Mostyn - Apr 14 2011, 16:35

Incoming price cut to return the retail glow to Nintendo's Wii? Image: greggoconnell/Flickr.

Having recently thrust its newfangled glasses-free 3DS portable into the consumer spotlight, Japanese gaming titan Nintendo is reportedly preparing to cut the price of its Wii home console in order to boost flagging retail appeal.

That’s according to tech blog Engadget, which has cited “trusted sources” in its claim that the motion-sensing Nintendo Wii will shift to a more tempting $150 USD price point on May 15.

While initial analyst and fan reaction to the report suggests Nintendo could also be paving the way for the arrival of its much talked about Wii HD (perhaps during June’s annual E3 Expo), not everyone is convinced Nintendo is ready to drop the Wii’s price—for stock-clearing purposes or otherwise.

Specifically, outspoken videogame analyst Michael Pachter has cast a shadow across the validity of Engadget’s report, suggesting that accurate pricing information regarding the Wii is unlikely to emerge until a few weeks before any forthcoming drop.

“Nintendo will not lead price cutting,” he told Business Insider. “Wii is still selling pretty well (close to 1 million units per month), so why cut profits until sales drop below 500,000 a month? I don’t see it.”

“There is no way that anyone outside of Nintendo Japan would know about this until print ads have to be submitted for retailers, probably at most three weeks prior to the cut,” he added. “I don’t believe that the source is right.”

But, given the Wii’s gradual but undeniable decline at retail, Pachter wasn’t willing to completely dismiss the possibility of a Wii price reduction in the near future.

September is a more likely window of opportunity for Nintendo, according to the Wedbush Morgan analyst, unless market rivals such as Microsoft cut their console prices first.

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