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Nintendo Chops $50 Off U.S. Price of Wii

NEW YORK -- Nintendo on Sunday will cut the U.S. price of its popular Wii console by $50, in a bid to broaden its appeal among potential new customers as it prepares to release the Wii Fit-Plus and New Super Mario Bros. games.

The Wii is the top selling console worldwide. The new $199.99 Wii will include the Wii Remote controller, Nunchuk controller and Wii Sports software.

Speculation about a price cut had grown after the other two console makers, Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT), reduced prices on their systems in August. And video game blog Kotaku has posted what it said were images of flyers from major retailers advertising a coming price cut.

Nintendo had been the only one of the three console makers to forgo a price cut so far. But it also started off at a lower price point when it launched in 2006. With a $50 price cut, the Wii will be tied with Microsoft's low-end Xbox 360 Arcade as the cheapest. Following $100 price cuts in August, Microsoft's Xbox 360 Elite and Sony's basic PlayStation 3 now cost about $300.

Nintendo also said it would cut the Japanese price of the Wii game console to 20,000 yen ($220). The 20% price cut in Japan will be effective on Oct. 1.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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