wiiThe Nintendo Wii is officially dropping in price come May 15th.  The rumor first broke last month that Nintendo would be dropping the price of the popular console, but with the rumors of the next console, codenamed Project Cafe, having hit in the meantime, the Wiii has taken a definite backseat amongst the gaming community, leaving this rumor all but forgotten.

All told the Wii has sold 86 million units since its introduction in 2006, but sales slid to 15 million units last year, down from the 20 million it enjoyed the year before.  Nintendo has predicted it will sell 13 million this fiscal year which ends on March 31st, 2012.

In addition to the Wii being marked down to $149.99, four games will also be branded as “Nintendo Selects” and get a price cut down to $19.99.  The first four titles are:

  • Wii Sports
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Animal Crossing: City Folk
  • Mario Super Sluggers

With Project Cafe not due for release until the latter half of 2012, Nintendo needs the Wii to keep selling in the interim to keep the company’s gaming division afloat.  That is why it seems so odd that Nintendo is unveiling the new console over a year before it’s release.  While casual gamers will still pick up a Wii console, anyone that reads any sort of gaming news is going to stay away from picking up one of these consoles if they haven’t already.  While there is every chance Nintendo will continue to support the Wii after launch of Project Cafe – as Sony did with the PS2 after the PS3 launch – nothing is certain as of yet, and it’s a bit of a gamble for gamers to take, even at the lower price point.

No matter how you slice it, a price cut is never a bad thing, and if you’ve been waffling over picking up a Wii, it looks like any time after May 15th would be the right time for you.

If you don’t already own a Wii, will the price drop change your mind?