Nintendo’s quirky game console, the Wii, will go on sale in the U.S. on Nov. 19 for $249.99, a price far lower than competing consoles from Sony and Microsoft Corp., the company said Thursday.
In an unusual move for the launch of a Japanese product, the Wii will go on sale in Japan two weeks after the U.S. launch.
Nintendo plans to ship 4 million Wii units this year, with the largest share going to the Americas.
About 15 games are expected to be available at launch in the USA at about US$50 each with 15 more coming by the end of the year. The exact details for Japan are December 2 and a price of US$215.
I still think that by going low Nintendo is likely to have a winner on their hands, while Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3 fight it out for the big spenders. It doesn’t hurt that Nintendo’s only objective is building a game console while Sony and Microsoft are using their game consoles to push other corporate strategies.
Update: More (erratically reported) details at Kotaku which was liveblogging the NY press conference. Of particular note is “Wii Channels” which seems to be the Nintendo equivalent of Microsoft’s Xbox Live.
Update 2: Here’s my favorite part:
Nintendo Co. Ltd.’s new Wii game console and related software will be profitable to the company once sales begin in the United States in November, the president of Nintendo of America said on Thursday.
“We will make a profit on the entire Wii proposition out of the box — hardware and software,” Reggie Fils-Aime told Reuters in an interview.
“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.”
Update 9/15: Wii comes to Europe on December 8.