By James Brightman
Nintendo’s Wii has been in need of a price cut for some time now, many would argue. But when exactly we’ll see that happen remains unknown. However, last night the folks at Engadget reported that a “trusted source” has indicated that Wii will drop to $150 on May 15. The timing (before E3 in June) seems odd, but if it’s actually true Nintendo could be readying a new console announcement for E3.
“Most video game companies withhold their biggest announcements until E3 and if Nintendo chooses to announce a Wii price drop before their E3 press conference, they must have something much bigger to announce. There are very few announcements that would eclipse a hardware price cut,” EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich told us.
M2 Research analyst Billy Pidgeon agreed, telling IndustryGamers, “Wii is certainly due for a price cut, which would be good for Nintendo and for retailers. A Q2 price cut announcement would typically be an E3 event, so scheduling a cut before E3 would clear the boards for another, bigger announcement. A new console would be pretty exciting, but it’s a lot riskier for a vendor with a large active installed base to launch next generation and keep last generation’s base active while the other vendors are still building out. Next generation timing and strategy is going to be interesting.”
Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, however, cast some serious doubt on the Engadget report. He told us, “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.
“With that said, I think a cut in September is likely, unless Microsoft cuts earlier. Nintendo will not lead price cutting, Wii is still selling pretty well (close to 1 million a month), so why cut profits until sales drop below 500,000 a month? I don’t see it.”