Nintendo cuts Wii price to US$200 in console war

The move follows price cuts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Nintendo will cut the price of its popular Wii gaming console to $199.99 in the US this weekend, the company said, escalating a price war with rival consoles in a weak video game market.

The new Wii price, US$50 less than the current price, will take effect on Sunday, Nintendo said. Nintendo said the price cut could help encourage Wii purchases by some of the 50 million Americans it believes are considering becoming gamers.

Microsoft last month cut prices on two versions of its Xbox 360 gaming console. The Xbox 360 Elite fell to $299.99 in the U.S., a drop of $100, and the Xbox 360 Pro fell to a price of US$249.99.

Microsoft's move followed a cut in the price of Sony's PlayStation 3 console last month to $299.99, a reduction of $100.

The U.S. video game industry has slumped this year amid the global economic recession. Nintendo's Wii sales in the second quarter this year were off more than half from the same period a year earlier, falling to 2.2 million units. The drop in sales was biggest in the Americas.

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