Parents with Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) Wiis on their holiday checklists will have an extra $50 to spend elsewhere. Nintendo plans to slash the price of its family-friendly console on Sunday, from $249 to $199.
This isn't a surprise.
"A price cut is inevitable for the Wii," I wrote last month, after Microsoft
Nintendo was able to hold to its original sticker price for years, but the gaming landscape is changing. Video-game hardware and software sales have plummeted in each of the past six months.
There are too many people playing ad-supported freebies -- such as Farmville and Mafia Wars on Facebook, or tens of thousands of Apple
The crummy economy isn't helping, but the problem may be bigger than it looks if September doesn't see an industry turnaround. If the arrival of big-ticket faux-guitar releases in Viacom's
If the industry has peaked, lower console prices will clobber the hardware makers who figure to make up the difference in software royalties. The game makers will hold up better as clear beneficiaries of cheaper hardware, but gamers still need to show up.
There are naturally more than a few blockbuster releases planned as we head into the telltale holiday season, but the industry can't afford to slip up again after several disappointing months.
Wii wishes you a merry Christmas, but it's up to the industry itself if it has a happy new year.
Is the Wii price cut good or bad for the industry? Let us know in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves playing video games, but he doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.