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Nintendo cuts Wii price as Wii U launch nears

Wii bundle
The six-year-old Wii just got a new price.Nintendo

As it gears up to launch its brand new Wii U game machine, Nintendo announced Monday that it is cutting the price of its older-model Wii.

The Wii, which originally launched in 2006, will sell for $130 ... down from its previous price of $150.

The $130 bundle will include a black Wii console and both the "Wii Sports" and "Wii Sports Resort" games on a single game disc, as well as a Wii Remote Plus controller and a Nunchuk controller.

The new Wii bundle has already begun arriving in stores ahead of the busy holiday sales season but will be broadly available by Oct. 28, Nintendo says.

The Wii, which introduced the world to the idea of motion-control gaming, has been an extremely popular game machine especially among more casual and young gamers. But many hardcore players found the game machine didn't have much to offer them, and over the Wii's life ended up feeling neglected by Nintendo.

It appears Nintendo is going to try to bridge the gap between the casual and core gamers when it launches its new Wii U game machine on Nov. 18. The console is far more powerful than its predecessor and offers HD graphics and, most significantly, comes with a tablet-like Game Pad controller that has a screen of its own.

But the Wii U will also come at a steeper price than Nintendo fans may be used to — selling in $300 and $350 configurations. Whether that price will prove too steep for consumers this holiday remains to be seen. It will compete with the Xbox 360, which is currently priced in $200 and $300 configurations as well as the new super-slim model PlayStation 3, which is priced at $270 and $300.

The discounted Wii, which first sold for $250 back in 2006 before subsequent discounts, will offer the cheapest game system option this holiday ... for those who don't feel the need for cutting edge gaming gear. 

"Nearly six years after it launched, people are still attracted to the pure, inclusive fun of the Wii console,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president, in the announcement. "A new suggested retail price and the inclusion of two great games make it an easy choice for families looking for a great value this holiday season."

Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti, and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.