Although Nintendo hasn't made it official, the Wii's price has been cut to $169.99.
Several major retailers, including GameStop, Best Buy, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Target, and others are now selling the console at the reduced price. At those locations, customers can choose between the Wii White or Black bundle, which includes the console, a Wii MotionPlus Remote, the Wii nunchuk, Wii Sports, and Wii Sports Resort. The bundle was previously available for $199.99.
The price drop is especially notable, since Nintendo has yet to confirm that it has officially dropped the price of its Wii console. The company also did not immediately respond to CNET's request for confirmation that the Wii has officially gotten a $30 price drop.
In either case, a cheaper Wii isn't all that surprising. Just last week, Engadget cited sources who said Nintendo was planning to cut the Wii's price to $150 by May 15. Nintendo declined to comment to CNET at the time.
Nintendo's Wii was stuck at its former $200 price tag since 2009 when the company cut the price of its console from $250. Since then, critics have been calling on Nintendo to slash the price of its Wii, citing slumping demand for its console. In 2008, the company sold over 10 million Wii console units in the U.S. In 2009, it nearly hit the 10 million mark. Last year, however, its sales dropped to 7 million units.
Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata brought up the idea of a price cut back in October in an interview with the Associated Press. He said at the time that he had ruled it out in the "near future" but stopped short of saying that Nintendo wouldn't eventually cut the Wii's price.
"Of course, we cannot say [a Wii price cut] will never happen," Iwata said at the time.
If the Wii's price stays at $169.99, it might not be long before Microsoft and Sony follow suit with price cuts for their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively. In a research note to investors in February, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that 2011 would be the year of the price cut in gaming.
"After maintaining console prices at historically high points throughout 2010, all three console manufacturers appear to us to be poised for price cuts in 2011," he said at the time.
Look for more on that front in June at the E3 gaming expo.