Advance retail listings forwarded to Kotaku indicate that Nintendo is planning to issue its first price drop on the Wii, with a less expensive version of the console—currently priced at $249 USD—coming the first week of October.
That listing comes from an early version of a Walmart ad that loosely dates, but does not price a "rollback" for Nintendo's console. While the ad is not official confirmation of a price drop, the timing makes sense, as the Wii is about to enter its fourth holiday shopping season at its original price.
Should Nintendo announce a price drop prior to October, it has a venue at which to do it. The company will be participating at the Kyoto Cross Media Experience 2009, a multimedia event that runs September 26th to October 4th, overlapping with the Tokyo Game Show.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata just recently said that the company is not planning on announcing a price drop. "Right now," Iwata said at a recent investor Q&A, "there aren't a lot of discussions going on about what exactly to do about hardware pricing."
Of course, that "right now" was from early August and plans may have changed. Sales of the Wii in the U.S. are down by almost half from last year during the summer quarter. A price drop and upcoming marquee software releases like Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros. Wii may turn things around.
With Microsoft and Sony recently issuing their own price cuts on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo may be wisely following suit.
Due to the unofficial nature of the price drop info, we're labeling this rumor for now. We've been in touch with Nintendo of America and Walmart to get comment, but have not yet heard back.
Update: The official response from NOA, as expected, is "Nintendo does not respond to rumors and speculation."