Time for a Wii price cut?

Nintendo's Wii may still be the No. 1 game console by a good margin, but its sales have fallen off dramatically in recent months. If Nintendo was smart, David Carnoy argues, Nintendo would give the Wii a price trim before it's too late.

CNET News Poll

Should Nintendo cut the price of the Wii?

Yes, it's time to chop off $50--I'd buy it for $199.
No, it's still a great value at $249.
I'll never buy the Wii, no matter how cheap it is.



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A lot of folks have been talking about a potential PS3 price cut to spur sales, but with Wii sales on the way down , the question is will Nintendo need to do some price trimming of its own to keep its system from floundering?

Last week, Silicon Alley Insider posted an article titled "Nintendo Wii Losing its Shine," in which author Dan Frommer cited some interesting figures. Yes, the Wii remains the best-selling game console, with 340,000 units sold in the U.S. in April (that gives it a 2-1 advantage over the XBox 360 and nearly a 3-1 advantage over the PS3 for the month). And yes, Wii Fit, Mario Kart, and Wii Play made up three of the top four games. But Wii sales are down an eye-opening 52 percent year-over-year.

The article goes on to mention that Citi analyst Brent Thill finds this notable "because the Wii is no longer supply-constrained, is relatively cheap, and didn't have to compete with huge games on other consoles, such as Grand Theft Auto 4."

One could argue that with its lead, Nintendo can afford to wait until 2010 to cut prices. It also doesn't hurt that in just a few weeks, Nintendo's going to roll out its new Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus motion sensor add-on, which should give the platform a little boost. Yet bloggers continue to take swipes at the Wii, mocking it for having PS2-level graphics, gimmicky controls, a limited selection of good games, as well as accessory requirements that raise the cost of ownership to less affordable levels. And while the Wii's precipitous sales drop may be a reflection of the gaming industry's recessionary blues , it's also probable that the Wii's hype has worn off and it is now harder for the Wii to stand on its own merit.

What do you think? Is the Wii just fine where it is at $249.99? Should it cost $50 less? Or would you never buy it anyway, no matter what it cost?

 

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