Nintendo cuts Wii price by a fifth

Posted at 09/24/09 10:15 AM

TOKYO - Nintendo said Thursday it was cutting the price of its Wii video game console by a fifth in Japan and the United States, following similar moves by rivals Sony and Microsoft.

Nintendo said it would reduce the price of the Wii in Japan by 5,000 yen (55 dollars) to 20,000 yen from October 1. In the United States the price will be lowered by 50 dollars to 199.99 dollars from this Sunday.

"Wii has reached more video game players than any game system before because it attracts everyone, both men and women, and people of all ages," Nintendo of America executive vice president Cammie Dunaway said in a statement.

"Our research shows there are 50 million Americans thinking about becoming gamers, and this more affordable price point and our vast array of new software mean many of them can now make the leap and find experiences that appeal to them, whatever their tastes or level of gaming experience."

The Japanese giant has been riding high in recent years after trumping rivals Sony and Microsoft in the battle for dominance of the multi-billion dollar home video game industry with its family-friendly Wii.

But the console's worldwide appeal has faded recently: Wii sales more than halved to 2.23 million units in April-June from 5.17 million a year earlier.

In August Sony unveiled a slim version of its PlayStation 3 videogame console priced at 299 dollars in the United States, and cut prices on existing models that have been struggling for momentum in the marketplace.

Microsoft for its part announced last month that it was slashing the price of its top-of-the-line Xbox 360 videogame console by 100 dollars.