When the history of this generation of video game consoles is etched onto stone tablets and buried deep within the ground for alien archaeologists to unearth countless millennia after the decline of humanity, the Wii will be etched atop the first tablet. Mocked upon its introduction as an underpowered gadget with last-generation graphics and a silly name, the Wii captured gamers’ hearts with its intuitive control schemes and easy-to-grasp lineup of games.
But while the Wii is still outselling Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, it’s been hard not to notice that Nintendo’s console isn’t flying off the shelves the way it used to. Whether it’s a lack of big releases this year, our national economic malaise or some other reason, the gap between Wiis sold vs. Xbox 360s and PS3s sold has narrowed every month.
All this, of course, has led for software makers and industry analysts to call for a price cut before the holidays. Nintendo obliged last week, announcing it was cutting the price of a Wii by 20 percent, or $50. So what was once $250 can now be had for $200, or the price of the cheapest Xbox 360. The new price officially takes effect Sunday.
While it’s always nice to see price cuts, Nintendo has been downright stingy this console generation. With the recent addition of Wii MotionPlus, a fully equipped Wii controller (remote/nunchuck/MotionPlus) will now run you $80. Let’s hope Nintendo brings that down a bit by packaging the various parts together at a discount.
And how about discounting some of those games? The Wii’s been on the market for almost three years, yet we still haven’t seen anything akin to a Platinum Hits collection on the console. “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,” a launch title, still carries a list price of $50. Now compare that with 3-year-old titles on the Xbox 360 (“Gears of War,” $20) or PS3 (“Resistance: Fall of Man,” $30).