Redmond, Wash. - Nintendo officially confirmed wide speculation that it will drop the price of its popular Wii video game console by $50, to a less-than-$200 suggested retail, effective Sept. 27.
The price move keeps step with competitive gaming systems - the PS3 from Sony and Xbox 360 from Microsoft - which also recently slashed prices to levels starting at $299 and $199 (for the Xbox 360 Arcade version), respectively.
The Wii system features a motion-sensing Wii Remote controller, Nunchuk controller and Wii Sports software.
In announcing the cut, Nintendo flagged attention to a series of upcoming games for the Wii platform, including Wii Fit Plus, launching on Oct. 4, and the multiplayer New Super Mario Bros slated for Nov. 15.
Nintendo will also offer in select cities a series of sampling events called "World of Nintendo." The program kicks off Oct. 2 in Long Beach, Calif.
World of Nintendo events are scheduled to take place in Long Beach, Philadelphia and New York throughout the month of October.
"Our research shows there are 50 million Americans thinking about becoming gamers, and this more affordable price point and our vast array of new software mean many of them can now make the leap and find experiences that appeal to them, whatever their tastes or level of gaming experience," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's sales and marketing executive VP.
Meanwhile, Sony recently revealed that it has launched a series of nine TV spots in support of the PS3, following its price cut on Sept. 1. The company said sales rose 300 percent over the first three weeks of the price cut, compared with the prior three weeks.