Nintendo announced today that the Wii has dropped in price once more, now being offered for $149.99 in North America. That wide box you see above is what will be showing up in stores beginning May 15, signifying a new pack-in game that has proven popularity, but is a slight shift away from the casual-friendly bundle the Wii used to have.
The new standard bundle includes Mario Kart Wii and a Wii Wheel along with the console and controller set. White and black variations will continue to be offered, as well. Mario Kart has been a popular game since its launch, and has sold nearly 30 million copies as of April of this year, so to include it with the system is not too outlandish.
But what of Wii Sports? In another interesting move, Nintendo has made the now-iconic pack-in a separate game as part of a new "Nintendo Selects" series of re-released games to compliment the new console bundle. For $19.99 each, buyers can choose from the aforementioned Wii Sports as well as Animal Crossing: City Folk, Mario Super Sluggers, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Wii Sports Resort will apparently remain a separate full-price game. (It's worth noting is that in Japan, Wii Sports was always sold separately.)
It's a natural progression for any game system to enter into a series of price drops and cheaper games in its twilight years, but it's interesting to see the level of interest this story has gathered around the internet. An earlier rumor about the Selects line brought about a decent amount of speculation from other outlets, to say nothing of the message board posters who wonder why anyone would buy a Wii at this point. For the latter group, many of whom say they don't care about the Wii anymore anyway, they still have plenty to say. Then again, all the buzz about its successor probably contributes a lot to that.