The Nintendo Wii may now face increased pressure from the Microsoft Xbox 360 (Kinect) and Sony PlayStation 3 (Move), but consumers shouldn’t expect a price cut this Christmas. As cash-strapped shoppers look for the best deals possible, the Wii will remain at the $200 price point it has been at all year, Nintendo officials confirmed.
The Wii had the lowest console price during its original launch, and Nintendo left the $249 price tag alone for quite some time. The company will now look to market the Wii towards gamers who thought about purchasing a Wii but still haven’t done so — an interesting sales perspective when companies typically try to directly target each other.
The $50 price cut down to $199 was unveiled towards the end of 2009, and a price drop lower than $199 seemed unlikely. As the Wii continued to struggle as Sony and Microsoft caught up, rumors began to circulate in mid-2010 that Wii console prices could be cut to an even lower price.
Video game hardware and software sales are still struggling due to a sluggish economy. I was unsure about whether or not Nintendo would gamble with another price cut, especially with the console already available for such a low price.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, however, said the Wii is selling better than the PS2 at the same time during its lifecycle (22 million PS2s sold compared to 27 million Wiis sold). During September last year, Nintendo said it sold more than 50 million Wii units worldwide, but NPD Group and other researchers detected a sales trend leading up to the announcement.
This Christmas, each company will have game special game console editions and console bundles to offer to shoppers. Nintendo will have red Wii and Wii Remote Plus game bundles available. Sony will sell the 320GB PS3 standalone unit for $349.99 and Microsoft will have Kinect bundles available for consumers to choose from.
Consumers and analysts are anxiously awaiting this holiday shopping season, because there is still a high level of uncertainty about the economy. Will customers splurge on game titles? Can the low-priced Wii outsell the Xbox 360 and PS3? Only time will tell, but all three companies are anxiously waiting to see what unfolds this holiday shopping season.