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Nintendo Makes it Official


Nintendo Wii

Nintendo held a press conference today announcing official details for its upcoming Wii console. Offered were all sorts of details surrounding the system, which confirm information accidentally leaked yesterday by the New York Times:

  • The system will be priced at MSRP $249.99, which includes Wii Sports and one controller plus "nunchuck" attachment. The system will only be available in the often-seen white color.
  • A single "Wii-mote" remote controller will cost $39.99, and nunchuck addition will cost $19.99. Both will be sold separately.
  • Launch date: November 19. The system will make its worldwide debut starting in North America, with over four million systems shipping by the end of the year, the majority of which will go to North American stores.
  • Over 30 titles will be available by the end of the year, and about half of those will be available on day one, with a MSRP of $49.99. "Most" games will be widescreen-capable.
  • No online titles will be available at launch, but Japan will be host to a Pokemon battle game that has online functionality. A similar offering will be forthcoming for North American gamers as well. The console's online features will have no cost for gamers by using WiiConnect, which uses WiFi or hard-wired connections.
  • Virtual Console titles will be bought and sold through "Wii Points," which have a pricepoint value roughly equivalent to real money. For example, NES titles cost 500 points, or about $5. SNES games cost 800 points, or $8, and Nintendo 64 titles will cost 1000 points, or $10. There was no information given on pricepoint values for TG-16 or any Sega console games on the Virtual Console. The Legend of Zelda for NES, Super Mario World for SNES, and Super Mario 64 for Nintendo 64 will be ready on the day the Wii launches.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will launch on December 11 for the GameCube. The Wii version will be available when the Wii launches. Metroid Prime 3 was mentioned, but is planned for a release sometime in 2007.
  • Lastly, RPGamers may be interested to know that Wired is reporting Nintendo VP of Marketing, Perrin Kaplan, as stating that the Wii will be region-free, which means that North American gamers could just as easily play a Japanese version of a Wii title on their North American console without any restriction whatsoever. Kaplan did imply that a region lock might be available for publishers to use at their own choosing, but made it appear that Nintendo would not be using any such feature in its own titles.

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