With the evidence mounting that Nintendo is about to show the world its next home console, the company added more fuel to the fire this morning by announcing that it will cut the price of the Wii in North America to a mere $149.99 and changing the pack-in title from Wii Sports to Mario Kart Wii. Moreover, it's launching a new line of $19.99 budget-priced Wii titles in the spirit of the old Player's Choice line. These changes happen on May 15. Here's some of the press release:
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.
Note that Wii Sports will be available as a stand-alone package in North America for the first time. Moreover, I'm surprised to see Mario Super Sluggers included on the list of Nintendo Selects titles, as it didn't exactly set the world on fire when it was a new release. Perhaps this is Nintendo's attempt to give it a second chance in the marketplace with a more appealing price. It's a decent game, but not worth $50 today. $20 is much more reasonable. With the Wii on its way out, this is a great time to stock up on cheap titles one may have missed the first time around.