It's discount season in the lovely world of video games - specifically, gaming consoles. Sony recently announced a $50 price cut for the PS3, and now it's smaller cousin is following suit, while bringing to attention that fact that, with the coming release of the Vita, our old pal will soon be sent off
to the glue factory to live on a farm. Rather than doing a straight price cut, Sony has announced a new model in the PSP family. The great disadvantage to the new SKU is that it lacks one key component: wifi. While I've griped, moaned, and been a general priss about the PSP's lack of online multiplayer, it is a useful feature, if only for downloadable PSOne titles. Also worth mentioning is the Vita's backwards compatibility, which is dependent on non-UMD PSP games. Other than that, very little seems to have changed. The system looks to have all the other capabilities of its predecessors, and is probably the way to go for those looking for a cheap handheld. No word on when (or if) the budget-priced version of the PSP will be available in other territories, but in Europe, the non-wifi model will cost 99 Euros.
Then there's Nintendo. Not content to let the folks at Sony have their fun, the company is planning a devastating onslaught of "what for," in the form of a price drop for the Wii. Europe should be receiving a smaller version of the console in time for the Christmas season, at a yet-unspecified price. According to the official Nintendo magazine, "The Wii will be released as part of a new value bundle which comes with Wii Party and Wii Sports." Further bundles are expected to be announced this fall. Not all is well in the whimsical world of Wii, however, as the slimmed-down model's price comes at the expense of a rather attractive feature: Gamecube support. Unfortunately, the current incarnation of the Wii is to be discontinued in Europe, so readers on the other side of the pond will be forced to either purchase a used model, or import the backwards compatibility-capable model. At present, Nintendo has no plans to introduce the new model to North America.
As always, more details will be revealed as they arrive!