Redmond (WA) - Following the unveiling of Wii and its unique controller system at the most recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the company today announced availability details and pricing of its next-generation game system : Wii will be less expensive than Microsoft entry-level Xbox 360 and cost less than half than Sony’s high-end Playstation 3.
According to a statement released by the company today, Wii’s price tag "will not exceed $250 in America, or 25,000 yen in Japan." That price - presumably $249 - will include the console itself as well as the motion sensitive controller that was demonstrated for the first earlier this month at E3.
Nintendo plans to ship six million systems as well as 17 million games to retailers around the world between launch in the fourth quarter of 2006 and 31 March of next year. This number matches the amount of Playstation 3 consoles that are expected to hit the market in the same time frame. Nintendo believes that Wii and the handheld DS gaming system will drive overall company sales to an 18% increase for the current fiscal year, which ends on 31 March.
Nintendo did not announce which of the 27 games demonstrated at E3 will be available at launch and how much those titles will cost. Instead, the firm said that "exact launch dates, identification of the launch library of titles and details on the virtual console will be announced soon." The look and functionality of the final next-generation game titles still has to be seen, but Nintendo appears to be following a different strategy than its competitors : While the Xbox 360 and the PS3 are all about pixel resolution and high-definition capability, Nintendo highlights a "new game experience," enabled by the controller system. "Today you will see, tomorrow you will feel," a representative at E3 said.
What we have learned at E3 is that Nintendo will be going after Xbox and Playstation gamers in a much more aggressive way that it has done in the past. As well as rather fun looking "classic" Nintendo titles we’re expecting a lineup of shooters, such as Red Steel which is not your fathers PG-13 type of game and official sports titles like EA’s Madden NFL 07. From Tony Hawk to Final Fantasy, of which there will be an exclusive Wii iteration, the software portfolio for Nintendo’s upcoming console looks to be as wide and varied as those of its two main competitors.
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