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Wii hardware and software prices drop in U.S.

Retailers cut console prices as Nintendo reduces key software titles by $10

A number of U.S. retailers have reduced the price of the Wii console from $199.99 to $169.99, as rumours continue to mount that Nintendo is planning an announcement on the system's successor.

Although an official price cut was expected in May the cuts made this month appear to be led by retailers rather than Nintendo itself. Chains such as Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Toys 'R' Us, and Amazon have all adopted the new price, although others such as K-mart and Sears have not.

At the same time Nintendo has announced that that the price of Wii Sports Resort and Wii Party will be reduced by $10 to a suggested $39.99 - although no other first party titles are affected.

Last week major UK retailer GAME also reduced the price of its black Wii console bundle to £99.98, from £129.99, just as the rumours of the Wii successor began to break. GAME quickly clarified that this was simply part of an Easter price deal.

Although possibly coincidental, the various price cuts have come as speculation continues to run rife regarding the Wii's successor. Rumours on the nature of the hardware, both in terms of its graphical power and special features, have become a hot topic across the Internet.

Many of these rumours have suggested that the new console could be released this year, although most analysts have refused to be drawn on that question. Most though agree that an unveiling at E3 in June is now "highly likely".

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David Jenkins