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In the video game world, you can never say never. After repeatedly telling the press and its own shareholders that it would not be dropping the price of the Wii U in the “foreseeable future,” Nintendo has done just that. In a press release sent out earlier today, Nintendo announced a discount to the Deluxe version of the console, which previously retailed for $349. That system will now sell for $299. The Wii U model that previously occupied that price point, the Basic, had less storage (8 GB) and no included games. The Basic will no longer be sold by Nintendo.

Perhaps we’ll start to see some white Deluxe models soon?

nintendo-2dsAlso included in the release was an announcement for Nintendo’s newest handheld, the Nintendo 2DS. In case you haven’t gathered from the name, the 2DS is essentially a 3DS without the 3D capabilities. For some, that might actually be a feature. If you’re one of those folks who can do without the 3D effects while playing games — especially portable titles — you’ll save a a little bit of money by going with the 2DS. The system is set to launch on October 12 at a price of $129.99 — about $30 cheaper than the original 3DS models are selling for.

The 2DS does make some interesting design choices, by the way. Gone is the clamshell approach that we’ve been used to since the Advance SP. The 2DS is more like a tablet with two screens, a joystick, a d-pad and buttons. I’m not sure I’m a fan of it, since it means you’ll now need to carry the device around in a case (which, coincidentally, Nintendo will be happy to sell you).

So what brought on this sudden change of heart? It’s likely a combination of poor Wii U sales and the coming launches of both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The Wii U is the weakest system of the three, and with a PlayStation 4 only ringing up $50 higher than the Wii U Deluxe, choosing between the two would’ve been an easier decision for gamers to make. By dropping the price $50, Nintendo has at least two reasons for gamers to choose the Wii U over either of the other next-generation consoles: its cheaper price and the allure of Nintendo’s legendary IPs.

And as far as the 2DS goes, it’s likely cheaper for Nintendo to make, and it knows there is an audience of portable gamers who aren’t really interested in playing their titles in 3D and may have avoided the 3DS for that reason. By putting out a 2D portable that can play all of the popular 3DS games — including the upcoming Pokemon titles — Nintendo can pull some of those gamers back.

Does the Wii U price drop have you thinking about picking one up? We’d love to get your thoughts below.


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