Nintendo Wii launches in Nth America

Nintendo has just launched their new Wii console to much fanfare in North America, with some eager fans even camping out to get their hands on a Wii first. After Sony’s recent launch of their own console, the PlayStation 3, it will be interesting to see which console comes out on top this Christmas period.

In a somewhat unusual move for a Japanese company, the Wii was scheduled to go on sale in Japan two weeks after the U.S. launch, the opposite of Sony’s launch order. Nintendo said it made the decision to get in on U.S. holiday shopping, which starts earlier than shopping in Japan.

Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that Nintendo initially intended its next-gen console to go on sale for under US $100 – but certain features pushed up the price.

Speaking in an interview with Business Week Miyamoto said, “Originally, I wanted a machine that would cost $100. My idea was to spend nothing on the console technology so all the money could be spent on improving the interface and software.” In the end, “We had to compromise on graphics and give up on a powerful chip,” Miyamoto conceded.

“Many of our employees initially wanted high-definition graphics. But they agreed with us that graphics wouldn’t matter if the games weren’t fun to play.”

But it’s not all good news for Nintendo – the console will be without web browsing capabilities and two of its proposed Channels.

The Wii News Channel, due to display worldwide headlines and stories from The Associated Press, will not launch until January 27 2007, while the Forecast Channel, the access to weather reports from around the globe, will arrive this side of Christmas on December 20th.

Still without an official launch date is the Wii’s web browser, developed by Opera Software and free to download until June 2007. Nintendo has said that more details on web access for the Wii will be announced in the coming months.


Related Links : Forbes, Nintendo Australia