Nintendo might cut price of Wii to $200

Blog reports say change will take effect this weekend

NEW YORK -- Nintendo might cut the price of its Wii video game console by $50 to about $200, starting this weekend, according to several technology blogs.

A Nintendo spokesman was not available to comment about the reports, which appeared on blogs including Kotaku and Engadget. The blogs said the new price takes effect "beginning on Sept. 27 at Best Buy" and elsewhere.

Nintendo, the top maker of the current generation of video game consoles, would be the last among its peers to cut prices.

Last month, Microsoft Corp. slashed $100 off the price of its high-end Xbox 360 console and Sony Corp. cut its PlayStation 3 by $100. Prices for both now start at about $300, though Microsoft also sells a low-end model, the Xbox Arcade, for about $200.

Sales of the PS3 jumped after the price cut in August, Sony Computer Entertainment of America Chief Executive Jack Tretton told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Just after Microsoft cut its price on Aug. 27, a Nintendo spokesman said the company had no plans for a cut.

Video game industry sales have slumped over the past six months, and hardware sales in August declined by 25%, according to research group NPD.

Analysts have pegged the drop to cautious spending by consumers in the tough economic environment, and a dearth of top-selling games. Long-awaited console price cuts by and new games, including updates to the "Halo," "Guitar Hero" and Call of Duty" franchises are expected to boost sales in coming months.