Barnes & Noble Nook 3G Drops to $199, New Nook Wi-Fi at $149

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Barnes & Noble has announced a $60 price reduction for its 3G-enabled Nook e-book reader, bringing the current price to just $199. The company also announced a Wi-Fi version today that’s selling for $149 and expected to start shipping out this week.

This is bad news for Amazon, who’s popular Kindle e-book reader had been priced equally with the 3G Nook at $259. The two devices offer very similar features, except the Nook now costs $60 less, you can do cool stuff with it while in Barnes & Noble stores like read full versions of books for free, and there are some other features like Nook-to-Nook book lending and a color touchscreen for browsing available content.

And now with the Nook Wi-Fi priced at $149, there’s a ton of pressure on the other big e-book makers to either offer Wi-Fi versions of their products, drop the prices of their 3G products, or both.

The 3G connection on an e-book reader is a nice feature, but most people can easily get away with a simple Wi-Fi connection. Barnes & Noble also announced that the Nook Wi-Fi and Nook 3G will be treated to free AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots where available.

Prediction: Amazon Kindle drops to $199 or lower and Amazon puts out a Wi-Fi Kindle for $129. Sony’s Reader Daily Edition stays at $349 for a long time.

UPDATE: Well will you look at that? Amazon just dropped the Kindle’s price to $189, making it $10 more affordable than the Nook 3G. That’s some swift, decisive action, Amazon. I like it. You’ve got moxie. Now we need that $129 Wi-Fi Kindle and we’ll be all set.

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