Nintendo's Wii to debut in November

Nintendo will launch its Wii game console in the US on November 19, in Japan on December 2, and Australia on December 7, the company said Thursday.

The console will cost US$250 in the U.S. and $399.95 in Australia. T price is considerably cheaper than the YEN 59,800 (AUD$675) tag of the competing PlayStation 3 that will go on sale on November 11 in Japan, November 17 in the US and in March 2007 in Australia.

Wii will go up against two tough opponents: Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360. The former is awaited by many gamers, while the latter has been on the market for a year and has been generally well received by gamers in Europe and the US, although less so by those in Japan.

Nintendo, the smallest of the three companies, is well-known for its family-friendly video games, and for pursuing the market with an emphasis on light-hearted fun in an effort to widen the gaming audience. The company has already had some success. While sales of the PlayStation Portable are expected to decline this year, sales of Nintendo's competing Nintendo DS portable are surging, thanks to the surprise hit of a brain-training game.

The company's innovations with the Wii include its controller, which looks similar to a remote control. The device features motion sensors and links via wireless to the Wii so that it can be swung like a bat in a baseball game or jabbed like a fist in a boxing game. The idea behind the controller is that anyone -- not just experienced gamers -- can use it.

The Japan launch software line-up will consist of 16 games, and there should be 22 on sale by the end of 2006, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said at a Tokyo news conference on Thursday. Several will come from Nintendo, including "Wii Sports," a package including baseball, boxing, tennis and bowling that will retail for YEN 4,800. There will also be "Zelda: Twilight Princess," which will cost YEN 6,800.

Nintendo will also offer so-called classic games for download at prices between YEN 500 and YEN 1,000. Titles from the days of the company's Famicon and Super Famicon will be offered and accessed through the console's Wii Channel service. Wii Channel will also offer the latest news and weather information, a sticky notes-like message service that can be used by family members, and access to the Internet through a version of the Opera Web browser.

Wii Channel is part of push to widen the audience. The company is hoping to make the Wii something that people use everyday and not just for gaming. The other features could also attract non-gamers in a family who might one day be tempted to buy one of the low-cost classic games and eventually progress to make their first purchase of more sophisticated packaged software.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?