Just a few weeks ahead of the Tokyo Game Show -- the perfect time for an announcement -- consumer media outlets have discovered circulars advertising a $199 Wii.
Nintendo declined comment to consumer weblog Kotaku when the outlet found ads from Toys 'R' Us and Walmart pointing to a price reduction
, calling it "rumor and speculation," but recent cuts from Microsoft and Sony have created pressure on the company in recent months.
The Xbox 360 became the first to undercut the $200 console pricing "sweet spot" with the introduction of its Arcade SKU, and the unveiling of the PlayStation 3 Slim at $299, followed by an adjustment of the Xbox 360 Elite to the same point, now challenges the Wii's previous position as family-priced console just ahead of the holiday season.
To top it off, both Sony and Microsoft unveiled motion control solutions this year at E3. In response, analysts have suggested Nintendo needs the $199 price point
to fight its declining sales and increase market penetration while it still leads its rivals in offerings that appeal to the casual consumer.
Nintendo's Wii is the only console to remain at launch price since the start of this generation, although as it's always had a significant lead over its core-market rivals in unit sales, a price cut has never seemed urgently necessary. Company president Satoru Iwata has even criticized price cuts
as both a deterrent and a penalty to early adopters.