This past Wednesday details began to leak concerning Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii. This Thursday at a Press Conference in New York City, Nintendo of America Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan and President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime announced details about the console.
A link to the YouTube stream of the conference can be found here. (The video isn’t perfect — the audio and video don’t quite synch up about halfway through the video, but it’s still a good effort. Thanks to El Chibo for sharing it.)
- Wii will launch worldwide on November 19.
- The unit will be offered in one color — the same white as is used in the Nintendo DS.
- Launch price will be $249.99.
- Nintendo plans to ship (and hopefully sell) four million units in 25,000 retail stores before then end of the calendar year 2006.
- The United States will get the majority of these four million units.
- Wii Sports (consisting of Wii Baseball, Tennis, Boxing, Bowling and Golf) will be a pack-in title.
- One Wii-mote controller and one Nunchuk attachment will be included in the launch box.
- 30 Titles are expected to be available within the “launch window” (Ed Note: Probably meaning before the end of Q1 2007) with at least half of those 30 available on the first day.
- “Wii Channels”, the interface menu for the Wii, will feature twelve different tasks/viewing options.
- Legend of Zelda (NES), Super Mario World (SNES) and Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) will all be available on the first day for download on the Virtual Console channel.
- “Wii points” can be purchased and used to download Virtual Console titles. (100 “Wii Points” = $1). NES titles will cost 500 points, Super Nintendo titles will cost 800 points and Nintendo 64 titles will cost 1000 points.
- The “Mii Channel” will allow users to create a digital avatar of themselves, using the character creation to customize a face, glasses, height, etc. This character will follow you throughout the Wii experience. For instance, your character will appear onscreen when you play Wii Sports games.
- The Wii online service will be free. (With the exception of games and other downloadable items that you’ll but with Wii Points.
- The Wii will be region-free (meaning that games and accessories will not be localized and functional only on the console made for that country.) This opens up the opportunity to buy imported games, peripherals, etc.
- The Wii will allow web browsing via the Opera web browser. At this time no comment was made regarding the cost of the browser, but Nintendo officials did indicate that the decision was still being finalized and that it could be offered as a free download.
Great day to be a Nintendo supporter. Actually it’s a good day to be a gamer, period. I’ll offer reactions to this news a bit later.