Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wii Price Cut

Nintendo is slashing the price of its Wii game console in Japan and the US by 20%, part of a global strategy to spur sales ahead of the crucial Christmas shopping season.

In Japan, the Wii's price will be cut to 220 dollars on October 1, the company has said.

In the US the day before, Nintendo said the console's price will be lowered by 50 dollars on Sunday to 200 dollars. The company gave no details on possible UK cuts.

The reductions follows similar moves by rivals Sony and Microsoft. 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.

Sony said in August it would cut the price in Japan for its popular PlayStation 3. Microsoft said last month it was cutting the Japanese price for its Xbox 360 game console by 25%.

Nintendo had earlier said it had no plan to slash the price for the Wii. But a company spokesman said it hoped to "spur sales" with cheaper Wii consoles.

"With the price cuts both in Japan and the US, we want to spur sales during the upcoming year-end shopping seasons," he said.

The global recession has made price cuts important, especially as game companies gear up for the Christmas 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 to rely solely on buttons and levers, is the top selling console worldwide. Launched in 2006, Nintendo's Wii hit 50 million unit sales worldwide in March 2009 - the fastest sales pace of any video game machine ever.

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