And So We Enter the Wii Budget Age with the Arrival of 'Nintendo Selects' [Updated]

Nintendo will drop the price of the Wii to $149 in North America this month, according to details forwarded to Kotaku by retail sources. That price drop, first reported in April, will also coincide with a new budget friendly line of Wii software dubbed "Nintendo Selects."

Update: The official name of that budget line is "Nintendo Selects," according to newly uncovered box art. This story has been updated to reflect the corrected name which was previously reported as "Wii Select."

Price lists from North American retailers indicate that the new $19.99 USD "Nintendo Selects" line will kick off in May with less expensive versions of Mario Super Sluggers, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Nintendo has maintained the original price of those titles since their launch.

Also joining to "Nintendo Selects" line-up, according to retailer listings, will be Wii Sports, the title that has been bundled with Wii systems since the console's launch in North America in 2006. Those pre-order pricing sheets indicate that Nintendo will soon bundle Mario Kart Wii with the console, selling Wii Sports separately.

That new Mario Kart Wii bundle will sell for $149, according to those retail listings, and will go into effect on May 15. Those details match up with a report last month that pegged a formal Wii price drop from $199 to $149

Nintendo officially dropped the price of two games, Wii Party and Wii Sports Resort, last month by $10. An informal price drop for the Wii went into effect that same week at most U.S. retailers.

The Wii maker has not officially announced or confirmed this latest price drop for the Wii or its software.

With Nintendo planning to reveal the Wii's successor, codenamed Project Cafe, at E3 2011 by showing a playable next-generation console, and a thinning 2011 release list, the company's best strategy may be to let the console coast at an easier to swallow price.

Nintendo of America hasn't followed its "Player's Choice" budget line strategy with the Wii, as it did in the previous cycle with the GameCube and Game Boy Advance. Nintendo of Japan created the budget friendly "Minna no Osusume Collection" early last year.

Contacted for confirmation on "Nintendo Selects" and the Wii's price drop plans, Nintendo of America reps reminded us that "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."