CNN Money: Nintendo Wii in September or October

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AirRaid Mach 2.5

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Nintendo has stated numerous times that its
next generation video game machine will be less expensive than the
competition. Now it appears that it might be on store shelves
considerably earlier than many were expecting as well.

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.)

McNealy.

Nintendo has downplayed any suggested dates. Other industry insiders,
who asked not to be named, though, said they, too, are expecting a
September or October launch for the Wii.

Early manufacturing will certainly help Nintendo do a better job of
meeting consumer demand. New console launches traditionally sell out
fast. Because of manufacturing problems, Microsoft (Charts) was not
able to come anywhere close to meeting worldwide demand. Widespread
shortages of the PlayStation 3 are also expected. Nintendo, like Sony,
has given guidance that it expects to ship 6 million units by March
2007.

A pre-November launch wouldn't be an unusual move for the company. In
fact, it was only with the GameCube that the company opted for a
November release for a home system. The NES, which established the
company as a force in the gaming space, was released in the U.S. on
Oct. 18, 1985. The Nintendo 64 dropped on Sept. 29, 1996.

Pricing for the Wii remains a question mark, but the most likely price
points are $199 or $249. That would put it considerably below the PS3,
which will sell two versions for $499 and $599. Microsoft is not
expected to cut the prices of the two versions of the Xbox 360, which
currently cost $299 and $399.

That price would also be closer to the sweet spot for mainstream
consumers, which the company has said is its primary target this
generation. The Wii breaks many of the video game industry's
traditional rules for a "next generation" console. Graphics on games
that have been shown to media are not dramatically better than those
found on GameCube games - and the system will not support high
definition video, unlike its competitors who are using the move to
HDTVs as a major part of their system. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata
has also vowed to keep game prices lower than the $60 price tag for
many Xbox 360 games (a price that's expected to be mirrored for many
PS3 titles).

The most unusual aspect of the Wii, however, is its controller, which
resembles a television remote-control. Instead of worrying about which
button or which thumbstick corresponds to which action, Wii players
will simply move their hands and wrists. That movement is then
translated into onscreen movements. The remote also features two
prominent buttons where the player's thumb and forefinger will rest.

Nintendo also has yet to announce the full list of games that will
launch alongside the Wii, though it has confirmed "The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess" and "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" - the latest
installments in two of the company's premier franchises - will be
available on day one. A new Mario game - "Super Mario Galaxy" - is deep
in development, but will most likely come out after the Wii has
launched.


http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/05/commentary/column_gaming/index.htm
 
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P

Pez D Spencer

i'd love to see prime 3 as a first-day release. i can't imagine it's
that far along, though.

it would certainly shake things up if nintendo released "early."
 
T

TheGame

If this is true, then this will be the first time that sony's console
will be launched last. The big N has apparently learned from the
miscues in the past. The question is, after buying Wii and a couple
games at launch, will Wii owners spend another $700 (PS3 premium +
game) when PS3 is launched?
 
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F

Fred Liken

If this is true, then this will be the first time that sony's console
will be launched last. The big N has apparently learned from the
miscues in the past. The question is, after buying Wii and a couple
games at launch, will Wii owners spend another $700 (PS3 premium +
game) when PS3 is launched?

I won't be, considering the Sony won't have any must have games at launch.
 

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