Wii priced and dated, for US and Japan

Nintendo has dated and priced the release of its next-gen gaming console, for the Japanese and American markets at least.

Wii priced and dated, for US and Japan

The Wii will be available, as expected, before the run-up to Christmas and will launch first in America on 19 November and then in Japan on 2 December. It will be priced at $250 (approximately £133) in the States and 25,000 yen (approximately £113) in Japan, the company has revealed.

The European details are expected to be announced in London tomorrow, where it will be hoped the Wii avoids the fate of the Sony PS3 in Europe. The next generation of the PlayStation has already seen its European launch date put back from November to March 2007. For Microsoft’s part, 2 December 2005 marked the UK launch of the Xbox 360.

The long-awaited Wii console will see Nintendo hoping to build on the success of the innovative Dual-Screen portable platform. Originally dubbed the Revolution, the controversial Wii name emerged in April.

Why ‘Wii’? This was Nintendo’s explanation at the time of the naming: ‘Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii. Wii has a distinctive “ii” spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play.’

Nintendo’s approach – characterised by its user-friendly, motion-sensitive controller – is to broaden its appeal as wide as possible. In other words, rather than focus on hard core gamers Nintendo is aiming to break-out to a larger cross-section of the public. The success of its family-friendly Nintendogs game – for the DS – is a good example of this.

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