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Wii To Be Region Free, Japan Launch And More

| 14 Sep 2006 18:21

The Nintendo Wii will be region free, sell at a profit, Japan launch information and more.

Speaking to Perrin Kaplan, a Nintendo VP, Wired was told that much like the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo Wii would be region-free. This means Japanese games can be played on North American consoles and vice versa. Kaplan implied that publishers will still have the option to lock games to a particular region, but it doesn't sound like first-party Nintendo games will do so.

Wired has also confirmed that downloaded games will be tied to an account, rather than a particular console. This means if your Wii is lost or destroyed, you can re-download your purchases, much like Xbox Live.

In a statement made to Reuters, Nintendo America President Reggis Fils-Amis claimed that the Wii would sell at a profit right from the beginning. "We will make a profit on the entire Wii proposition out of the box -- hardware and software," he said. "That really is a very different philosophy versus our competitors. We are a company that competes only in the interactive entertainment space so we have to make a profit on every thing we do."

In other news, the Wii will launch in Japan on December 2nd, two weeks after the console hits shelves in North America. The system will cost less than the $250 US North American Wii, selling for 25,000 yen ($213 US.) However, it will not come with a bundled Wii Sports game. The Japan launch will also see fewer launch titles, with only 16 available compared to North America's 25.

A list of confirmed North American Wii games can be viewed at the official Nintendo site.

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