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Wii U.S. Price and Release Day: $249.99 on November 19th, 2006
posted by: Aaron Stanton
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date posted: 12:51 PM Thu Sep 14th, 2006
last revision: 12:51 PM Thu Sep 14th, 2006

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Click to read.Nintendo has finally stepped forward with some final concrete details about the Nintendo Wii. For months they\'ve been willing to reveal only that they\'d try to keep the Wii below the $250 price point, and have something to offer before Christmas. Now we know the details.

In a New York press conference this morning, Nintendo revealed a flood of information about the Wii, including the price point and U.S. launch date. The Nintendo Wii will sell for $249.99, and launches in the U.S. on November 19, 2006. This is somewhat of a surprise to many gamers who expected Nintendo to launch before Sony\'s PS3 reached the market sometime that same month. November 19th leaves Sony a lot of room to beat Nintendo to the punch, though there are some substantial differences. Sony is using a staggered launch approach, releasing in the U.S. and Japan before Europe with 500,000 units. Nintendo, on the other hand, has announced that they will be following through on a simultaneous world-wide launch, with four million units available between launch and December 31st of this year.

The $249.99 package will ship with one white Wii console (the only color), one Wiimote, one nunchuk controller, cords, one sensor bar, and one copy of Nintendo\'s Wii Sports. The Wii Sports game is designed to show off how the Wii can be used, and was one of the more entertaining and intuitive titles showed for crowds at E3 2006.

The Wiimote will sell individually for $39.99, and the nunchuk will sell for $19.99. First-party Wii games will be priced at $49.99.

Additional information abounds. Twilight Princess will be a launch title for the Wii, available on November 19th. However, GameCube owners will have to wait until December 11th, since the GameCube version will be released after the Wii version. This is a smart move by Nintendo, which will use the momentum of Twilight Princess to launch the Wii, not give the GameCube a second wind.

Other bits of information include the prices for the virtual console: NES games will sell for $5, Super NES games will sell for $8, and N64 games will sell for $10. Nintendo expects to have 30 virtual console titles available in the month after launch, followed by 10 new titles per month following the turn of the year. Some titles include Mario 64, Super Mario World, and The Legend of Zelda. These are interesting titles to start with considering that all of them are available in one form or another on current consoles. Nintendo released a modified version of Mario 64 as a launch title for the Nintendo DS. Super Mario World can be played on the Game Boy Advance. Similarly, The Legend of Zelda can be found on the Game Boy Advance.

Other interesting information to note from the press conference, Nintendo introduced what they\'re calling Wii Channels. These include a news and weather channel, the Wii store for purchasing game content similar to Xbox Live, and a downloadable version of the Opera web browser for surfing the Internet. A service called Mii can be used to create game characters that look like you for use in games like Wii Sports, and a Wii Message Center can send and receive messages from other Wii users, PC users, and cell phones.

For a more detailed accounting of the press conference, check out Endgadgets point-by-point account of the event here. Then go get in line for the Wii pre-orders; many stores were waiting until a final price point and launch date were announced before taking pre-orders. It\'s all open game, now.

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