With the recent release of the 3DS, is Nintendo setting the stage for the follow-up to the Wii?
Engadget reports that Nintendo plans to drop the Wii's price to $150 on May 15. This will be the first cut since Nintendo slashed the Wii's price $50 to $200 in October 2009. At $150, the Wii will be $100 less than the company's latest console, the 3DS.
Though Nintendo has sold over 35 million Wii consoles since its 2006 release, sales of the device have been slow in recent months. Nintendo reported that its third quarter operating profits had dropped almost fifty percent on slow sales of both the Wii and DS. In response the company cut fourth quarter Wii sales projections from 17.5 million to 16 million for its fourth quarter. DS sales projections also took at hit, dropping from 23.5 million to 22.5 million.
News of the Wii's price cut may be confirmation that Nintendo is plans to announce the console's successor within the coming months, perhaps at this June's Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter, however, is skeptical of the rumors. There is no way that anyone outside of Nintendo Japan would know about this until print ads have to be submitted for retailers, probably at most three weeks prior to the cut. I don't believe that the source is right, he said.
Pachter says that a September price cut is more likely, and notes that, at 1 million a month, the Wii is still selling quite well.