Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
September 30, 2014
arrowPress Releases
September 30, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Nintendo Officially Cuts Wii Price To $199 in U.S., Japan
Nintendo Officially Cuts Wii Price To $199 in U.S., Japan
September 23, 2009 | By Kris Graft

September 23, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Microsoft is no longer the only console maker with a sub-$200 console this generation. During Tokyo Game Show this week, Kyoto-based Nintendo's North American arm said it would be dropping the price of its motion-sensing Nintendo Wii to $199, down from $249.

It's the first time since the console's November 2006 launch that Nintendo has cut the price of the Wii. Rivals Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 have issued multiple price cuts for their consoles since launching in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

The Wii's price cut is effective on September 27 in North America, Nintendo said. The Wii's packaging will still include a Wii Remote, a nunchuck attachment, and the original Wii Sports.

In addition, there will be an October 1 Japanese price cut for the Wii from 25,000 yen ($275) to 20,000 yen ($220). However, it seems there will be no RRP-based price cut for the European market.

The move follow's Sony's price cut of the PS3 from $399 to $299, a reduction that triggered a 300 percent increase in unit sales in North America, Sony said. Microsoft followed suit by reducing the price of its top-line Xbox 360 Elite from $399 to $299. Microsoft also sells the hard drive-less Xbox 360 Arcade for $199.

"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," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

She added, "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."

Nintendo also said that New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be hitting shelves on November 15 in the U.S., while Wii Fit Plus will arrive on October 4.

To date, the Wii has shipped over 50 million units worldwide, leading the hardware race in unit sales.

[UPDATE: Biz site IndustryGamers received official word from Nintendo UK on the Wii pricing plan: "We will be reducing the trade price of Wii to retailers from 2nd October 2009. In the UK and Republic of Ireland we are also introducing a new configuration of Wii hardware from 2nd October 2009 which will replace the current offering and will include the Wii console and Wii Sports with the new Wii Sports Resort game and Wii MotionPlus accessory."

The statement continued, "This will be available to retailers at the newly reduced trade price. The ultimate price to consumers is, of course, determined by the retailers. Our aim has always been to expand the gaming population and there are still many more people out there who have not yet experienced the fun of video games. This compelling offer will hopefully make Wii more accessible to everyone."]

Related Jobs

Raven Software / Activision
Raven Software / Activision — Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Sr. Gameplay Engineer - Raven
CCP — Reykjavik, Iceland

Director, Performance Marketing
Nintendo of America Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc. — Redmond, Washington, United States

Software Business Development Manager, Licensing
Respawn Entertainment
Respawn Entertainment — San Fernando Valley, California, United States

Senior Animator


steve roger
profile image
I am just not a big enough Wii fan I guess, I just don't think it is even worth $199. Am I wrong?

Eddie Vertigo
profile image
One comment says there should be no more complaining, and the very next comment is a complaint. That right there is symbolic of how fickle people are... you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't.

All three major consoles are now cheaper, and in my opinion this is good news for everybody, whether they know it or not.

Roberto Alfonso
profile image
No console has ever maintained its launching price for so long as the Wii (unless one could say the Nintendo DS is the only console that had its price go upwards in time, at least in Japan). I thought they would maintain the price (especially since October begins the seasonal bump). Now the only question that remains is if they will again suffer stock problems.

E Zachary Knight
profile image
@ Roberto

The only way Nintendo would suffer stock problems is if Wii sales continue to fall after this price cut.

I don't think that will happen.

Tom Kammerer
profile image
Personally with these new motion tracking technologies coming out for PS3 and 360 I dont see why anyone would see value in this platform. I agree it is still catering to the casual gamer which is great but I am interested to see the casual games come from the Ps3 with Home and the Wand.

Russell Carroll
profile image
@ Tom

The value is Nintendo.

They are making games no-one else is making that appeal to a different group of people (which I guess I've become so old I'm now a part of ;). I don't see anyone else doing Brain Age, WiiFit and WiiSports. Meaningful games that lead for others to follow. I expect they'll keep leading in places that many gamers don't want to go, but places many, many people are excited to be headed.

Bryson Whiteman
profile image
I just picked up Wii Sports Resort and a Motion Plus last night. I think Wii is king of social party games right now, outside of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Everyone can pick up and play.

Microsoft and Sony can come up motion controllers but they really need the software to take advantage of it to make it stick with the masses. Even when their peripherals hit, they need to get people to buy these accessories. Which isn't the case with Wii, which is motion out of the box.

Sean Parton
profile image
@Russell Carroll: While I cannot comment on every game you've put forth as an example, there is a Brain Age equivalent that is seen on other platforms: Brain Challenge. It has been released on iPods, mobile, iPhone OS, PS3, Xbox 360, and even WiiWare and DSiWare. Many people remark it to be an interesting blend of Brain Age and Big Brain Academy, and a couple people I know say it is a superior take on the idea.

So yes, some third parties really are taking an interest and are doing this sort of thing on other platforms. However you are right in that people value Nintendo for this, because other company's offerings not consistent in covering all the different genres and ideas, and not covering everything that Nintendo's been pulling off (for example, I know of no even remotely equivalent titles to Wii Sports, Wii Music, etc).

Russell Carroll
profile image
@ Sean, yeah, I think that makes my point well.

Other companies are following where Nintendo went first. And sometimes, years later, they come up with a product that is better than the Nintendo original, it's true. It's uncommon, but it happens.

Nintendo has been at the forefront of pushing games into places that make us scoff, and then stand up and pay notice. From the DS to the Wii and Brain Age to WiiFit, the response has been consistent "That won't work, they're done!" That gamer response really has meant "what they are doing is so different from what I'm used to, that I can't understand it." What a great place to be! What an exciting and interesting place to be.

That's not to say they are perfect, they miss with the best of them.

However, back to the point of "why would anyone see value in this platform?" Asking that question is either intentionally or unintentionally being blind to what Nintendo is and has been doing in the game industry over the last 5 years. It's been more fun to be a part of the industry b/c Nintendo is in it, and when I go home at night and play something like Rhythm Heaven, and ask who in the world would make such a strangely interesting game, the familiar answer has become Nintendo.

I understand clearly that they don't push boundaries in the way everyone likes, we're all individuals after all, but they do push boundaries, and as long as they continue to go in directions that make us shake our heads in disbelief, and then smile in satisfaction, I think the answer to why people see value in the Wii is pretty clear and obvious.

Sean Parton
profile image
@Russell Carroll: I think the funny thing is, despite how much I do love Nintendo, from what I've heard from other people the big N has to be the most unfriendly company to work with for to get games though, especially indies. Exceptions abound, sure, but usually indies thrive much more on other platforms (like PC, XBLA, and perhaps soon the PSP Go).

Or maybe I'm just listening to too many whiny indies. That's quite possible.

Joseph Vasquez II
profile image
"Personally with these new motion tracking technologies coming out for PS3 and 360 I dont see why anyone would see value in this platform."

Value is the answer, obviously. The PS3 and 360 are already much more expensive, from the games to the controllers to consoles, even requiring additional purchases in some cases for online play, wireless internet hardware, etc. Now you're going to have to pay more for their motion sensing hardware.

Meanwhile the Wii is much cheaper on the base price, and it comes with wi-fi, the motion control, even a game, right out of the box. Add in the facts that they have more fans than anyone, more quality franchises, top of the industry designers, developers support it, girls actually play it, seniors actually play it, it's all over mainstream media as the "fun" console, etc etc, and just maybe you might start to see why anyone would see value in this platform.

P.S. In case you still can't see any value in this platform, take a look at the sales numbers from the last 3 years.

Russell Carroll
profile image
@ Sean

We're on both XBLA and WiiWare, and WiiWare is much easier to get into. It's not a published situation, like XBLA, so you have a lot more direct control on what your game is (I have no experience with PSN to compare it). Being on XBLA certainly seems to be worth a lot more, I agree with you there (and that's very significant!), but I don't agree that WiiWare is harder to work with or harder to get onto. Nintendo is willing to let you try anything and do it your way...and let the market decide if it is good or not ;).