Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wii Launch Details

[News] [Computer Gaming]

Obviously the news is already everywhere, but for the benefit of those loyal readers who use me as their games info source (whom I henceforth dub "DustBunnies"), the launch details for the Wii are as follows:

It's launching in the US on November 19 for $250 US (about $335 AUD). It'll come bundled with a generic sports title intended to demonstrate the controller. Games for the system will be sold at a price comparable with new GameCube games, which is to say a good sight cheaper than new XBox 360 games.

The eagerly anticipated virtual console for the machine will have 30 classic Nintendo titles available for download at launch, including some unspecified Zelda and Mario goodness. That's an order of magnitude less titles than Nintendo was previously mouthing off about, but the word is there'll be another ten titles joining the marketplace every month. The games are pegged at between 500 and 1000 yen (about $5 to $10 AUD), with the price based on whether it's an NES, SNES, or N64 game.

There's new features announced, too - you'll be able to use the Wii to browse the web as well as access a bunch of "digital channels" which will apparently report the weather and suchlike. I wouldn't bet on those panning out to be particularly exciting or Nintendo would have been trumpeting them some time ago. But, hey, extra toys included in your console is always a good thing.

Japan, for those who care, will be getting the machine on December 2, at a price of 25,000 yen (about $285 AUD), but without the bundled sports game.

Note: all these details are the overseas details ONLY! There's no launch date yet announced for Australia. I'd wager money to donuts that we won't see an official release down-under until March next year, now that Sony's taken the pressure out of the "worldwide release" shenanigans. And there's a good chance that our Wii will cost a little more, too - $350 AUD seems likely, but $399 isn't out of the question.

But don't take my word: check out the articles on Gamasutra and Gamespot. Those bastards actually get paid to write about this stuff. Or better yet, learn yourself some Japanese and extract it from the horse's mouth over at the Nintendo website.

EDIT: Oh, and I nearly forgot. I direct your attention to the date of this post, and then to this earlier post, and will then wait quietly for the applause to die down.


Grant said...

Given the amount of local POS I would be genuinely surprised if the Wii doesn't launch before Christmas in Australia.

Sadly I cause very easily be wrong - last time I commented here I called Travellers Tales on Lego Indiana Jones and it turned out to be Batman after all.

GregT said...

Nope, I'm pretty sure Electronics Boutique jumped the gun on taking Wii pre-orders. Nintendo only has X number of units available for sale at launch (though it's a pretty high number). Normally, they'd want to get as many as possible to the key territories (Japan and US) before Christmas where they're pretty much guaranteed to sell every unit they ship. The only reason that they'd split their stock and risk not getting a critical mass in any territory is to match Sony. Sony's out of the picture in the PAL territories till March, so Nintendo can afford to ignore us. It sucks, but there it is.

Julia B said...

I'm certainly hoping Grant is right. There's only a certain amount of time you can sustain hype. Why not release here ASAP while everyone is excited and interested rather than wait until we are all bitter and we've read about all the drawbacks of the console?

Also, can you have someone do you up a good (amusing) logo so I can get myself a DustBunny t-shirt? :-)

GregT said...

I have any number of amusing shirt designs to commission, possibly when I return from Japan. But as for a logo - what do I look like, some kind of logo-designing guy? Grant's the sort-of-kind-of-artist around here.

GregT said...

Oh, and in the interests of fairness, not only can Craig Perko draw, but he can also teach, which is a pretty killer combo in my book.