Nintendo rules out Wii price cut, unveils game-gifting
President Satoru Iwata says the price of his company's console is fixed for the foreseeable future, reveals new channel that allows people to exchange titles.
Two weeks ago, Nintendo of America's outgoing senior vice president George Harrison said his company wasn't planning to cut the price of the Wii. The news wasn't surprising, since NOA president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime previously promised the console would be in short supply through next year. However, since both executives' statements, the next-gen console war has heated up. Last week, Sony unveiled a new $399 PlayStation 3 and Microsoft touted the $279 Xbox Live Arcade as a direct Wii competitor.
Will Nintendo retaliate by cutting the price of the Wii? The short answer: No. In Japan, Nintendo Co. president Satoru Iwata told the Associated Press that the console's cost will remain unchanged in all territories. "We're still focusing on how to meet booming demand," he explained. "We're absolutely not considering a price cut."
Though Iwata's comments weren't exactly shocking, Nintendo did have one surprise up its sleeve. Also today in Japan, the company unveiled a new channel for its console which will allow Wii owners to give Virtual Console games to one another as gifts.
"We think this will be a breakthrough in encouraging customers to spread news of fun games via word of mouth," Iwata told the AP. "We also hope to spur more users to connect their Wiis to the Internet." Such statements stand in stark contrast to Iwata's position during the GameCube era, where he said that consumers were averse to consoles with online functionalities.
Unfortunately, no further information on the Wii game-gift channel was available as of press time. Nintendo of America reps said they had no further details, but urged Nintendo fans to "stay tuned."