Nintendo Wii, the Japanese video game firm’s upcoming console, will be available in the United States on Nov. 19, and it will sell for $249.99—a price that’s significantly lower than what rivals Sony and Microsoft are asking for their next-generation gaming systems, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.
Nintendo also said Wii will go on sale in Japan on Dec. 2.
Wii is approximately the size of a small, hardbound novel, and it’s Nintendo’s most recent game system since its GameCube, according to the AP. GameCube is the number-three best-selling console in the world behind Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s initial Xbox offering, the AP reports.
Though Nintendo owns the portable game system space with its Game Boy and Nintendo DS handheld, it hasn’t been the main player in the console market since the days of its Super Nintendo in the early 1990s.
One of the most notable features of the Wii system is its innovative controller wand. Users simply position the wand and use its buttons to send signals wirelessly to the main console.
Nintendo is attempting to undercut its rivals by releasing the product with a lower price tag than the systems offered by competitors, and it’s banking on the popularity of its main game franchises like Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda to draw gamers into its user base.
Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president, said, “The next step in gaming is bringing gaming to the masses,” according to the AP.
Nintendo said it will ship some 4 million Wii systems in 2006—most of which will land in the United States—while Sony plans to distribute only 2 million PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles, the AP reports. Sony also plans to sell two versions of PS3 for $500 and $600, according to the AP.
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