When the PlayStation 3 was officially delayed last week Microsoft immediately issued some rather thinly disguised comments mocking the whole project. On the other hand Nintendo kept a dignified silence and this week proved actions speak louder than words by announcing formal release dates and prices for the Wii.
In a staggered launch the innovative little console will ship first to the Americas on 19 November and then Japan on 2 December with the European date frustratingly not revealed until tomorrow (we’ll stick on an update).
As for the price, we had an ‘unofficial confirmation’ (which seems like a linguistic impossibility) back in May that it would be $250 and that turns up to be spot on since the official RRP is $249.99. Funnily enough, the Yanks are not cut the best deal this time around as Japan will get the Wii for 25,000 yen which is meagre $212. As for our pricey isle, £149.99 remains the hot favourite with anything less a bonus.
30 software titles will be available immediately from launch including Wii Sports (a compilation of tennis, golf, basketball, goal and bowling which all use the pioneering motion sensitivity of the controller), the eagerly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Excite Truck. Games are going to carry an MSRP of $49.99 while the Wii’s self loading media bay can also play the entire library of more than 530 GameCube titles from day one (Microsoft eat your heart out).
Many – including myself – laughed at the Wii (previously codenamed Revolution) throughout its development but no-one’s laughing now and I couldn’t be more pleased. Go get em my curiously named, inventive, quirky, cheap little friend…
Update: 8 December and 179GBP my friends. Perhaps a little sooner than we expected but also with a slightly higher price tag. For the full scoop check out Riyad's article on the European launch here.