Numerous major American retailers have dropped the online price of the basic Wii system from $199.99 to $169.99 in recent days, though Nintendo has not officially announced a new price for the system.
Best Buy appears to have been among the first to discount the system, lowering the price sometime on Friday. Since then retailers including GameStop, Target, Toys 'R' Us, and Amazon have all listed the system for the lowered price online.
Walmart currently lists the white Wii system for $179, though is not offering any discount on black systems. Sites for retailers including K-mart, Sears, Radio Shack and Buy.com still list the original $199.99 price for the standard bundle, which includes Wii Sports
, Wii Sports Resort
and a Wii Remote Pluscontroller.
The price cuts come amidst reports that Nintendo plans to officially lower the Wii's price
to $150 in mid-May, and widespread rumors that Nintendo will announce a successor to the Wii
at or before June's E3 conference.
The last Wii price cut
-- from $249 to $199 in September 2009 -- drove weekly sales of the system up 85 percent
, according to Nintendo.
Last December, EA CEO John Riccitiello suggested the Wii would "explode" at a bargain price point of $99
. He echoed the sentiments of many analysts and publishers who have said a lower price would help jumpstart sales for the system, which has flagged somewhat in the marketplace since achieving record sales in 2007 and 2008.