Wii will be released in the US first

Written by Ryan Garside

September 14, 2006 | 11:38

Tags: #110 #17 #2 #december #november #price #wii #yen

Companies: #nintendo

It has been revealed that the Nintendo Wii will be released in the US before Japan and that it will cost 25,000 yen (or $250). According to The New York Times, not only does the Wii have a confirmed release date and a price, but that it will also come bundled with a free game – Wii Sports.

This news confirms that the Wii will be a lot cheaper than both of its rivals – with the British translation being around £110. Compare that with £279 for the 360 Premium and around the £430 mark for the PS3, its truly remarkable. Admittedly, the Wii won't have the raw power of those consoles, but the combination of low price point and intuitive gaming surely puts the Japanese company in a very strong position.

In a surprise move, the US will receive the console before Japan. The NY Times is reporting that the release date will be November 17th, whilst the Japanese release date is two weeks later, December 2nd. In what must have Nintendo execs guffawing into their sushi, the company has also announced that 4 million Wii units will be produced by the end of the year.

As if the news can't get any better, Nintendo also announced that there will be 25 new generation games at launch. These games will cost between $40 and $58, making them substantially cheaper than the competitors. Furthermore, the Xbox Live Arcade-type service for Nintendo has now got a price plan, with downloads of old N64 classics such as Mario 64 and Zelda costing around the $8.50 mark to download.

There is very little to criticise about this news, perhaps the N64 download price is a little high. Some may suggest that the low-spec of the Wii will make it look old generation rather than 'next'. The other question mark hangs over why the Wii will be released in the US before Japan - probably knowing that Japanese market dominance is assured, Nintendo is prioritising other regions. At the moment there is no official announcement on when Europe will get the Wii, expect that news to arrive on Friday when Nintendo hold a conference in London.

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