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Nintendo cuts prices to stay in the game

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Nintendo's GamePad controller (left) lets you explore available video content from a variety of sources. Nintendo's GamePad controller (left) lets you explore available video content from a variety of sources.
Roku's family of streaming players ranges from the top-of-the-line Roku 3 (left) to the entry-level Roku LT (right). Roku's family of streaming players ranges from the top-of-the-line Roku 3 (left) to the entry-level Roku LT (right).
The remote control included with Roku 2 and Roku 3 players features a headphone jack for private listening (purple ear buds included). The remote control included with Roku 2 and Roku 3 players features a headphone jack for private listening (purple ear buds included).

Nintendo, an icon in family gaming, has cut prices to remain dominant. The big question is whether the roll-back will be enough to compete with Microsoft's XBox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, much less the Xbox One and PS4. My guest analysts (seen on the Fox 8 News Morning Edition), Duran Davis and Ian West, both age 10, think Nintendo has scored. Both gave the more-affordable Wii U a resounding thumbs-up.

The company's Wii U console and touch-screen
Wii U GamePad controller provide video game play with the added bonus of letting you watch TV. The system lets you explore available video content from a variety of source, including live TV and video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and even recorded TiVo shows, all in one easy-to-use interface.

The
Wii U Deluxe Set includes a black Wii U console with 32 GB of internal storage, a black GamePad controller, AC adapters for both the console and controller, a sensor bar and an HDMI cable.  Also included are a console stand, GamePad charging cradle and a stand that allows users to position the GamePad vertically.

The Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set sells for $299.99, rolling-back the price of the original Wii U Deluxe Set, which sold for $349.99 and included Nintendo Land. The Wii U Deluxe Set can now be purchased with either Super Mario Brothers U or Legends of Zelda U. Fans who want Nintendo Land can still purchase the game separately in stores or as a download in the Nintendo eShop for $29.99, rolled-back from the original list price of $59.99.

Other big news is the highly-anticipated 
Wii Party U game now comes bundled with a Wii Remote Plus controller/stand and sells for a suggested retail price of $49.99. Wii Party U features 80 new mini-games that utilize the unique features of Wii U GamePads and Wii Remote controllers.

For more information about the
Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set or the Wii U/Wii Party U bundle, visit Nintendo.com/wiiu.

Roku players are a can't miss holiday gift

It's no secret that Roku's family of streaming players increases your TV programming options -- for pennies. A recent update, however, adds better performance and more useful features, making a Roku player a solid choice as a "can't-miss-holiday-gift."

My personal favorite, the Roku 2, now includes dual-band wireless and a headphone jack for private listening. Big brother Roku 3 adds wired Ethernet, USB ports, and an enhanced remote with motion-control for gaming.

The
Roku 1 is cheaper than the two top-tier models but still provides 1080p HD video. Even the bargain-priced Roku LT, which only provides 720p HD, is a great addition for any home media center.

Free apps for iOS and Android devices transform a phone or tablet into a Roku command center. In addition, the
Play on Roku feature lets you stream your personal music, video and photos to a Roku player.

Roku is currently the most popular video streaming software platform, having sold more than 5 million Roku streaming players in the U.S. alone.

I own two. I recommend them, swear by them, love them. Roku really is the gift that keeps on giving. Among other things, it allows me to do without a premium cable channel package.

The
Roku 2 player has a suggested retail price of $79.99. The top-of-the-line Roku 3 sells for $99.99. For more information on other Roku streaming player models, visit Roku.com.

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