Nintendo Unveils Wii Launch Details

Nintendo Unveils Wii Launch Details Nintendo Unveils Wii Launch Details

Nintendo has officially confirmed the facts and figures behind its upcoming launch which will see 4 million Wii systems available globally during the six weeks between Wii's Nov. 19 launch in the Americas and the end of 2006.

Although the largest share of that worldwide allotment will go to the Americas, Nintendo expects supply will be outpaced by demand, based on retailer orders, intense consumer requests and placement on numerous gotta have it holiday lists.

Nintendo is maximizing all its resources for a rapid replenishment program designed to consistently pump Wii consoles into the supply pipeline and keep retailers' shelves as filled as possible. In addition, Nintendo factories are working around the clock manufacturing the new system. Nintendo is employing fleets of planes, cargo ships, trains and ground vehicles in each global market to maintain the best supply flow possible, starting in the Americas.

A new study by the Consumer Electronics Association estimates a 27 per cent spending increase this holiday season on electronic goods, and major pop culture authorities already have singled out Wii as the most anticipated item for the holidays. For the first time in history, a video game system is on the Toys "R" Us Fabulous 15, the crème de la crème of the retailer's Hot Toy list. Wired made Wii an editors' pick in the technology magazine's annual Test issue. And Toy Wishes magazine also includes Wii on its Hot Dozen list of must-have holiday toys, an industry bellwether of popular demand.

And the widespread demand for Wii creates great stories too: At a Denver retailer event, two sisters, one in her 20s, the other in her 30s, waited all night to be the first in line to place pre-orders - for themselves. The forums in Wii's online community at are buzzing with posts from once and future gamers, male and female, in their teens to their 50s.

The Wii console makes use of a new control system: The Wii Remote can act like anything from a steering wheel to a tennis racket or a sword. Wii's Virtual Console lets users download and play games from a library of classic titles from the past. Wii goes on sale in the Americas Nov. 19 at an MSRP of USD 249.99, and comes packed with a five-sport selection of games called Wii Sports.
By year's end, Wii owners will have 32 new titles to play, including industry powerhouse games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Madden NFL '07, Need for Speed: Carbon and Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam; category-redefining adventures like Red Steel, Elebits and Trauma Center: Second Opinion; and Hollywood favorites like Cars, SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Some of these games might be familiar, but if you haven't played them on Wii, you're only getting half the experience.

Wii owners also will return to their youth with 30 classic games available for download to play on Wii's Virtual Console. These include games for the NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx16 consoles. Players redeem Wii Points in the Wii Shop Channel and download their games. And that's not to mention the entire library of more than 530 Nintendo GameCube games that can be played on the Wii console from day one because Wii is directly backward compatible.
The American launch is followed by the Dec. 2 Japanese launch and the Dec. 8 European launch.