Nintendo already held two of the three press conferences about the upcoming Wii launch in Japan, America and Europe. The press conferences in Japan and the United States revealed many information that should also be valid for the European launch, that is, if it is not delayed like the launch of the Playstation 3.
The Nintendo Wii will launch on November 19. in the United States and sell for 250$ including a wireless Wiimote, a Nunchuck, and the game Wii Sports which includes tennis, baseball, golf, boxing and bowling games.
The launch lineup consists of 17 titles including the blockbusters Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent. First party games will retail for 49,99$ while third party companies may choose a different price range. Additional controllers look expensive at first glance: Another wireless Wiimote costs 40$ and a Nunchuck 20$. Considering that you need at least two controllers for multiplayer experience this is quite expensive.
A normal setup would include the Wii system, a second set of controllers and one or two additional games which leads to a price around 400$ for that bundle. This is still not expensive for a new console system and nothing compared to the expensive Playstation 3 which costs more with one controller and no game.
Virtual Console games will be available at launch, Nintendo is expecting to offer around 30 games until the end of 2006. You can purchase Wii cards with 2000 points (20$) and use those points to buy NES (500 points), SNES (800 points) or N64 (1000 points) games. A total of 24 companies including SEGA and Square Enix are supporting the Virtual Console and we can expect more games coming our way from those companies. Those 30 games are Nintendo first party games, it will be most likely a lot more considering the huge amount of supporting companies.
First party Wii games will not have a country code which means you can play Japanese and European games on a US Wii and vise verse. Again, third party companies may include a country code in their games.
The Wii will have messaging and photo capabilities. Web browsing will be included as well, totally free unlike Xbox Live. You just have to purchase the Opera browser for it. No Wii point price know for that.
I think the Wii will be highly successful. First, it starts with Zelda which alone is a system seller. It has big third party support with incredible games coming out like Resident Evil and Final Fantasy. It has a unique way of playing the games which appeals to long time gamers and probably to never before gamers as well. Remember those Eyetoy parties ? Even non gamers had lots of fun and were able to grasp the concept quickly.
Now, I only need to see an announcement from SEGA that they publish all Shining Force games for the Virtual Console. Oh, and Panzer Dragoon Saga please.
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