Nintendo confirms $50 Wii price cut

Nintendo officially announced a $50 price cut for its popular Wii video game console, ending weeks of speculation of a cost reduction.

Since its launch in late 2006, the Wii has been available for $249, the cheapest of the next-gen consoles. The Wii has seen very strong demand, often times quickly selling out when new stock arrives in stores.  Since demand was so high, Nintendo had no need to slash prices, despite competition from Sony and Microsoft.

According to Nintendo, the company has sold more than 50 million units worldwide in three years.   However, NPD Group research indicates Nintendo sold just 277,400 Wii units in August — a 63% drop from a total 753,000 Wii consoles sold in February.

“We expect the price cut, coupled with the release of several key first-party titles, to spur demand for the console, helping to provide the console with some momentum going into the holiday season,” according to BMO Capital Markets’ analyst Edward Williams.

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Even though this is the first Nintendo Wii price cut, the company also is feeling the economic pinch due to the weakened economy.  Furthermore, the lack of appealing video games has hurt all three console manufacturers — though reduced prices and expected video game launches should help raise game sales.

Sony recently slashed the price of its PS3 by $100, while Microsoft also slashed its Xbox 360 price.

If you’re not already a Wii owner, will the $50 price cut help convince you to purchase one soon?