Nintendo Co. announced Wednesday that it is cutting the price of its Wii U video-game system as it braces for the fall release of competing consoles from
Nintendo Co. announced Wednesday that it is cutting the price of its Wii U video-game system as it braces for the fall release of competing consoles from Sony and Microsoft. (Getty Images) (Bloomberg)

Nintendo Co. announced Wednesday that it is cutting the price of its Wii U video-game system as it braces for the fall release of competing consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

Nintendo will reduce the price of the Wii U deluxe set from $349.99 to $299.99, effective September 20. The company will also release a Wii U bundle featuring "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD," a remake of the 2003 game, that will also be available September 20 for $299.99.

The Wii U has struggled to find an audience. Nintendo sold 3.61 million of the consoles between the Wii U's launch last November and the end of June. The company aims to sell 9 million Wii U units over the fiscal year through March 2014.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in an interview that consumers who have bought the Wii U "love the system" but want more software. Nintendo's game releases for the rest of 2013 include "Super Mario 3D World," ''Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze," ''Wii Party U" and "Wii Fit U."

"As long as we create high-quality software we will be able to drive our business," Fils-Aime said. Regarding the price cut, he said: "Now is the right time to offer better value. This sets us up for a strong holiday season."

Sony's new console, the PlayStation 4, is due November 15 with a $399 price tag. Microsoft has not announced an exact launch date for its new Xbox One, which will cost $499.


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Nintendo also announced a new handheld gaming device that will join its successful DS line. The Nintendo 2DS, coming Oct. 12 for $129.99, will play all DS and 3DS games — although it will not display the latter games' three-dimensional graphics. Like Nintendo's DS models, the 2DS has two screens; unlike them, it does not fold up. Fils-Aime said the 2DS is intended to appeal to "the entry-level consumer looking for lower-priced access to a fantastic library."