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Analyst: Expect sweeping console price cuts at E3

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Wii U (Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Microsoft and Sony both have new consoles coming, so price cuts make sense on existing models. Even the Wii U might get discounted, according to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

By Don Reisinger, CNET

The E3 gaming conference that kicks off later this month might turn out to be a boon for deal-seekers.

In a note to investors Monday, Wedbush analyst and long-time gaming industry evaluator Michael Pachter said that he expects Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all to announce console price cuts at the show. He believes that Sony and Microsoft will both cut prices on their PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively, by "at least $50." Pachter also believes that the Wii will drop to $99 -- down from the $129.99 the company is currently selling some bundles for.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Pachter also contends that Nintendo will cut the price on its Wii U by $50 or at the very least, offer a bundle for the same starting price of $299 and $349 for the Basic set and Deluxe set, respectively, to improve sales of its console.

It would only make sense that Microsoft and Sony would cut prices on their current consoles, since they have new devices in the works for later this year. Nintendo, however, has consistently said that it has no plans to cut the Wii U's price, and believes that it's priced fairly. That said, the Wii U's sales have been extremely weak in the U.S. A price cut might be in order.

Historically, though, Nintendo has often chosen bundles over price cuts, making it more likely that the company will follow the same strategy this year.

Of course, Nintendo hasn't made any indication of what it has planned for console pricing at E3. But luckily, it won't be long until we find out -- the show kicks off on June 11.

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