No price cuts for now, says Nintendo president

Nintendo isn’t planning to cut the price of its Wii console or DSi handheld in response to the recession, its president said Thursday.

“If we were making a product that was similar to others and cheaper prices mean selling more then a price cut might be an efficient means of driving up sales however, I don’t think video games are that kind of product,” said Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo. Iwata was speaking at a Tokyo news conference in response to a question about how the company is dealing with the recession.

Iwata said that many Nintendo customers appeared to be keeping the company’s products near the top of their personal wish lists despite the recession so price cuts aren’t in order, but he did qualify his remarks by saying that he can’t commit to the future.

“Instead of driving up sales [with a price cut] I think we should put more energy and time into making better entertainment so that our products are going to remain in the top position in our customer’s wish lists,” he said.

Video games have been faring well in recent months and even registering gains on the first few months of 2008 despite the poor sales being recorded in many other industries. The results go some way to supporting a popular theory that entertainment products do well during a recession because people look to spend more time at home than outside of the house.

The entire video game market in the U.S. was worth $1.47 billion in February, according to data from NPD Group. That’s a 10 percent rise on the same period the year before while unit sales of video game software were up 14 percent.

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