A Wii Bit Early?

Posted on July 11, 2006

Wii Game SystemThere are rumors that Wii, Nintendo's new game system, could be released earlier than expected. CNN reported earlier this month that Wii could arrive as early as October or even September.
While Nintendo has not made any formal announcements about the launch date for the Wii, most of the industry has expected the machine to hit retail at approximately the same time as Sony's PlayStation 3 (which is set for November 17). Now, industry observers - and insiders - say they expect the system to be available in October, with late September a dark horse candidate.

Indeed, the company appears to be already manufacturing final retail units of the Wii, according to a June 21st analyst's note from P.J. McNealy of American Technology Research. That would give it a significant head start over Sony (Charts), which has yet to begin final manufacturing of the PlayStation 3. Microsoft's first Xbox 360 did not roll off the assembly line last year until 69 days before the on sale date of Nov. 22. (That late start in production is the root cause behind last holiday's shortages.)
Nintendojo says Toys R Us Australia is already taking pre-orders -- not that this confirms any early Wii rumors.

Update 7-12-06

A British tabloid said Wii would launch at the end of November but gameindustry.biz says this story was denied by Nintendo.
Nintendo UK has denied a report in British tabloid the Daily Star that Nintendo Wii will launch "at the end of November, priced around 170".

"It's pure speculation on the part of the newspaper - we have made no announcements regarding Wii price or software," a spokesperson told our sister site Eurogamer this morning.

The Daily Star report was based on a recent press event for Nintendo Wii hosted in London, where Nintendo showed off a number of the games featured at E3 to lifestyle and newspaper press.
It may be a while before there is a fixed date but at least we know it will cost less than $250.
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