November 19th Launch Date for Wii

Posted on September 29, 2006

Wii November Launch


MSNBC.com reports that Nintendo has announced a November 19th launch date for the Wii console and a price of $249.99.
The Wii, which is about the size of a large paperback book, is both cheaper and smaller than Sony Corp.'s much-awaited PlayStation 3, which launches just two days earlier with $500 and $600 models.

The Wii (pronounced "wee") is the successor to Nintendo's GameCube, the third-best selling console of its generation after the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox. Nintendo's Game Boy and DS are dominant in the market for portable game machines, but the company hasn't been a market leader in consoles since the early 1990s.

The company had promised to launch the Wii sometime in the last quarter of this year. By bringing it out on time, it's avoiding Sony's embarrassing PlayStation 3 delays.

The Wii breaks the mold of console controllers: It's a slim wand that communicates the user's movements wirelessly to the main machine. Nintendo demonstrated a bowling game in which the player swings the wand like he's throwing a ball down the lane. The wand relies in part on a sensor bar that needs to be installed, with tape or other means, on the front of the TV set, adding somewhat to the complexity of the setup.
The article says Wii plans to ship 4 million units worldwide with most of those units being delivered in the Americas. The U.S. launch will occur two weeks after Wii debuts in Japan. The rumors that Wii could be released as early as September or October were apparently not true. The cheaper price of Wii should make it a strong alternative to the pricey PlayStation 3.
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