Nintendo Drops Wii's Price, Pack-ins

With the previous announcement of the unveiling of a new console at E3 this year, it was really only a matter of time before the Nintendo Wii had an announcement of a price break. Today (5/4/11) Nintendo revealed the new packaging and price structures of the Nintendo Wii. Available in white or black, Nintendo plans on implementing the $149.99 price point on May 15th. Included will be the console, one wiimote, one nunchuk, a copy of Mario Kart Wii and a Wii Wheel. The Wii Wheel and controllers will all be color-coordinated with the console.

Nintendo also plans on having a greatest hits line of games set to also be released on May 15th. Titles included in the Nintendo Selects lineup are Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Mario Super Sluggers, Animal Crossing: City Folk and the previously packed-in Wii Sports. All these titles will each be available for $19.99.

While this move is not in the least bit surprising, it does show Nintendo's commitment to squeezing every dime out of this console. Wii Sports is by-far Nintendo's most popular game on this system. Not simply because it was previously packed into the console bundle, but from its amazingly easy-to-grasp concepts and play control. If someone came to my house and had never seen/played a Wii before, Wii Sports would still be the game I would pull out as a demonstration piece. By putting Mario Kart Wii in the box instead of Wii Sports, they've almost guaranteed another purchase, not to mention the ability to also remove Wii Sports Resort from the bundle. What Nintendo is doing is setting up future software sales. They are now relying on the "extra purchases."

First extra purchase is Wii Sports, so that people can have that cornerstone franchise. Next, is Wii Sports Resort because it has an extra Wiimote. Last is their attempt to recapture the magic of Wii Play four years ago with June's release of Wii Play Motion, which also has another Wiimote. Throw in one more Wiimote, one nunchuk and another Wii Wheel and now your $150 price tag is now well over $300. Again, I can't say it is a bad business decision for Nintendo, but consumers should be aware and take care.

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Nintendo Unveils New Wii Package at $149.99, Launches 'Nintendo Selects' $19.99 Wii Games

Having Fun with Family and Friends Just Became More Affordable than Ever With New Suggested Retail Pricing

REDMOND, Wash.-- Nintendo is dropping the suggested retail price of its Wii system to $149.99 and including a Mario game with the Wii hardware. Starting May 15, the newly priced Wii system will come in either black or white with the Mario Kart Wii game and a matching colored Wii Wheel accessory, replacing the previously included Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort games.

Also on May 15, Nintendo launches the new Nintendo® Selects collection of Wii games, a set of popular games that millions of people have already experienced, at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The four must-own games in this collection are The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Mario Super Sluggers and Wii Sports, which is available for the first time as a separate software purchase. Parents and video game fans can now easily expand their library of fun, family-friendly Wii games.

"From the day it launched, Wii has let players of all ages and experience levels have fun with one another," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "The new suggested retail pricing for both the hardware and select games will help create more of these magical moments for even greater numbers of people."

With Mario Kart Wii now included with the Wii hardware, players will be able to enjoy fun go-kart racing with Mario and all his Mushroom Kingdom pals right out of the box. The Wii Remote Plus controller, Nunchuk controller and Wii Wheel included in the package will all match the hardware, meaning they will be either black or white. The new black Wii Wheel will also be available separately at a suggested retail price of $9.99.

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://wii.com.