$249.99 Wii Launching November 19th


Nintendo has announced that the Wii will launch on November 19th for $249.99 in North America.

This morning, Nintendo held a press conference to reveal launch details for the Nintendo Wii. Along with the price and date, it was revealed that the system would come with the Wii Sports game packed in, which includes: tennis, golf, baseball, bowling and boxing. Also included with the system will be one Wii Remote and one Nunchuck (an analog stick that attaches to the remote.) An additional Wii Remote device will cost $39.99, the Nunchuck will be sold separately for $19.99.

Nintendo claims there will be 25 games available at launch, among them will be: Zelda: Twilight Princess, Excite Truck, Call of Duty 3, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Need for Speed: Carbon, Madden 07, Elebits, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, Rayman: Raving Rabbids and Splinter Cell: Double Agent.

Looking to the online support, Nintendo plans to offer the “Wii Channels” service, a series of screens dedicated to different functions such as: news, weather, an Opera web browser and the Wii Shop channel. You can view a demo of some of the channels in action at the official site. Taking a queue from Microsoft, Nintendo will handle online purchases with a “Wii points” system, with 2000 points costing $20 US to purchase. While we don’t know what the Opera web browser will cost yet, we do know that classic NES games will cost 500 points, SNES games 800 points and Nintendo 64 games 1000 points. Nintendo plans to release ten games per month for the virtual console; with Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 said to be available for purchase at launch.

In a question and answer period, it was revealed that while the Wii would have some internal storage, most will need to be saved to SD cards purchased by the customer. First-party games will cost $50 US and under, while third-party publishers may set their own prices. Also revealed was that while Zelda: Twilight Princess will ship on the Wii launch day, the Gamecube version will follow in December.

Finally, Nintendo has assured the press that most, if not all, Wii games will support the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, even though they will not be in high-definition.

Launching a few days after the PS3 is expected to hit shelves, Nintendo hopes to ship 6 million units worldwide by the end of the year, with a majority going to North America.

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