Too little too late?
Nintendo to slice 20% off price of Wii game console to $199 | Technology | Los Angeles Times
Wii sales have plunged in 2009 versus 2008. Credit: NPD Group.
Facing a double-digit slowdown in sales of its Wii game console, Nintendo is expected to announce at the Tokyo Game Show that it will slash the price of the console 20% to $199 as early as Sunday, sources said.
Nintendo has sold more than 50 million Wiis since launching the device in November 2006, making it the bestselling of the current generation of video game consoles. Indeed, many stores ran out of the console during holiday shopping seasons. This year, however, the Japanese game company has lost momentum, with U.S. sales down 21%, according to NPD sales figures.
"But the last five months, April through August, tell the story," said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities. "Sales are down exactly 50%."
Nintendo did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
Sony in August slashed $100 off the price of its PlayStation 3 console to as low as $299. Microsoft countered by offering a temporary $50 rebate off its $299 Xbox 360 Elite console, bringing the price tag down to $249.
"With the PS3 price cut and the Xbox 360 rebate, Nintendo is fighting an uphill battle to remain in first place," Pachter said.
Let the price war begin.
-- Alex Pham