Major retailers all over the United States opened this sales week with a price cut on the Nintendo Wii. Previously ticketed at $199, the Wii is now selling for $169 in most major chains and online outlets.

It seems, however, that this price cut is not official… yet. An official Nintendo price cut was originally rumored to happen on May 15th. The supposed new price? $150.

Typically, Nintendo announces major price cuts to its hardware with large news blasts or conferences. That never happened. There was no press release indicating the drop in cost; releases that any company tends to provide in order to alert consumers to discounts. Instead, retailers appear to have banded together, either spontaneously or consciously, to dip the price of the console in order to bolster its recently wavering sales.

Had there have been a more official price drop from Nintendo, and we're not ruling out the fact that this is still coming, then writers would likely be looking towards the Wii 2 (or Wii HD) rumors with even more certainty than they already are. However, all this price cut confirms is the absence of sales at the $199 price. Does it cast more light on Nintendo's current platform position as far as the Wii is concerned? Absolutely.

Nintendo has posted drastically lowered profits over the last few months, and their home console's less than incredible performance is likely largely to blame. I've raised this argument before, but Nintendo may have simply sold the console to everyone that's going to buy one. At this point in time, the only things that will move more units are price cuts and incredible software.

In the face of price drops, impending hardware refreshes and waning consumer interest, Nintendo needs to amp up software production even further. Call me crazy, but they should be leveraging their massive install base as much as possible during the Wii's twilight.

With the Wii's price reduction, have any of you non-owners taken the plunge?

[via VG247]