Nintendo Co., seeking to win sales from competitors, will begin offering a slimmed-down version of its older generation Wii console in Canada for consumers interested only in playing games.
The $100 Wii Mini will be on store shelves starting Dec. 7, according to a statement today, alongside Nintendo’s new high- definition Wii U console with a touch-screen GamePad, the company’s first major game machine in six years.
Selling less-expensive older products beside a new one like the Wii U lets Nintendo offer more to shoppers who may be considering Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US)’s Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3 from Sony Corp. (6758) Nintendo, based in Kyoto, Japan, is under pressure to revive profit and rebound from its first annual loss. The company didn’t say if it will offer the Mini outside Canada.
Sales of Microsoft’s seven-year-old Xbox 360, while declining from a year ago, outpaced the Wii U in the week since Nov. 18, when the Nintendo player went on sale in the U.S.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, said in a statement it sold more than 750,000 Xbox players from Nov. 18 through Nov. 23. That beat reported first week sales of 400,000 Wii U players, though Nintendo said the results were affected by tight supply.
Microsoft and Sony sell consoles for as little as $200, while two versions of the Wii U sell for about $300 and $350.
The Wii Mini offers the same motion-sensing features as the original Wii introduced in 2006, the company said.
At a suggested retail price of about $100, the Wii Mini, available in matte black with a red border, will sell for about $20 to $30 less than what some retailers charge for the original player. Unlike the Wii, the Mini doesn’t connect to the Internet to stream video or provide other Web services.
Nintendo has sold more than 1.2 million home and handheld players in the U.S. since Nov. 18, the company said yesterday.
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