Breaking News: Nintendo Wii Official Price - $249.99 in US

Bill Loguidice's picture

Nintendo Wii Controller and AttachmentNintendo Wii Controller and AttachmentIn a surprise move, Nintendo announced that the official price of the Wii in the US will be $249.99, which is actually $50 or more than many were predicting. "There is one price, one configuration and one color -- the same white Nintendo uses in its Nintendo DS." It is also expected to ship November 19th worldwide.

This will no doubt be dissapointing to some (to put it mildly), as the low end Microsoft Xbox 360 is priced at $299.99 and may drop a bit lower by November (the low end PS3 is expected to be $399.99). We'll see as events unfold and do a more complete value comparison once all three systems are actually released, but Nintendo superficially at least is not really offering superior value over the competition with what the Wii comes with and what a second controller set and games cost.

"The Wiimote has a MSRP of $39.99 and the nunchuk has an MSRP of $19.99 -- they are sold separately."

"Wii points [similar to Microsoft points] will be used to purchase Virtual Console titles. 100 Wii Points equals a dollar, NES titles cost 500 points ($5), SNES titles 800 points ($8) and Nintendo 64 titles cost 1000 points ($10)."

"Citing a series of quotes from developers supporting the Wii, Fils-Aime points out that 30 titles will be available in the launch-window, with about half of them available on day one. They will, as reported, retail for $49.99 (ten bucks less than [most third party] Xbox 360 titles)."

Details here and here.

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davyK
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A free-pack in game doesn't

A free-pack in game doesn't add much to the cost of the title, but adds a fair bit of "value". I am for the first time in years excited about something that to my eyes is new, and am for the first time ever going to get something at launch.

I'm tired of, and have no interest in, the same old mainsteam titles that the XBOX and PS hardware attracts. Sport, driving and WWII ? Please.

The XBOX on-line service seems great, but its not worth the cost of the "proper" XBOX package to justify the price. I still have reservations of the build quality. People in the UK are on their 2nd and even 3rd consoles - amateur hour.

The Wii online service will satisfy me through a reliable piece of hardware. Don't know if I'll double-dip too much on SNES titles though.

Nintendo have been making money for over 100 years - they know how to price something. £180 in the UK for a console with a pack-in game is a good price. I paid £130 for a SNES with SMW in '92. There was no hoo-hah about that price for an underpowered console then.

I have no interest in the hardware specs.

Its just a "souped up" GC. I don't care - the games look interesting.

No HD-TV support. Don't care - until all sources (ALL cable channels for example) can drive such a display and format squabbles are settled (next-gen DVD) I won't be investing. I still believe the type of game on this console won't need it.

The quality of how the interface works is still to be proved in the home but I'm excited.

Anyone who gripes about wireless hasn't used a Wavebird. Leave it to Nintendo to do right - first.

Bill Loguidice
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More Thoughts on Virtualization and the True Value of Control

This is a snippet of something I posted in other forums, pasted here, already in progress:

...With that said, to me, the fundamental problem is not that we'll be getting a lot of the same games and game types reworked for a slightly different control scheme, it's whether the virtual control scheme will be effective for what it will be used for.

To elaborate, virtual control, which has been around for years, has had accuracy issues from the get-go. There is likely little that Nintendo could have done at this point to noticeably improve that. Bottom line, pressing a button or moving a stick will always be more accurate than virtual detection of free form movement in a 3D space until such time as such detection measures can take place in a "closed" 360 degree virtual spatial orb. Close is still not there. What really needs to happen and what needs to happen across all three platforms is to focus on the innovation in the games and not be distracted necessarily by the control scheme. If it's better in a Wii game to use the d-pad or the nunchuk than to flick your wrist or move your arm, then one hopes that the former will be utilized 100% of the time over the latter. Of course, that's not going to happen as we've even seen gratuitous use of the touch screen on even the DS, for instance in the otherwise exemplary Nanostray.

The issue with virtual control schemes is one of approximation. Virtual control is an approximation of ones intentions, not a direct relay. If that's kept in mind during the design of these games and the virtualization is utilized for what it's best at and not simply to be utilized because it's there in the name "innovation", then things should work out all right. As usual, with any launch lineup, I expect a big pile of more of the same and tech demos. That doesn't bother me. I hope, as always, that after the first year, we'll see truly meaty applications and clever and most of all proper usage of the control scheme.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Wii will NOT be region-free

The good news from Nintendo just keeps on coming. This just in: Will Now Confirmed to Not be Region-Free. I'm not sure how much difference this will make to the average Wii owner, but it will surely annoy and complicate things for the international market. Of course, it'll also allow Nintendo to freely sell the same games in poor countries for a fraction of the cost you'd pay in the US...

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Bill Loguidice
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Region Locking

Even though it was Nintendo that got the regionalization ball rolling with the NES, that bit of news is not their fault. It was initially a misunderstanding that region locking would be a software setting that a particular developer could choose to activate or not. Obviously, as with all system, region locking will be pretty standard, save for the rare cases where developers leave a hook in to allow it to be playable anywhere (I can think of a few Xbox titles that do that). Region locking is more of a business case, not only for what Matt said, but also for the fact that different countries and territories have different licensing requirements, meaning that acquiring a license in the US for a particular association/title/event/whatever would not be applicable to say Europe or Japan. There's more to it, of course, but again, this is not something to get on Nintendo's case for other than getting the ball rolling back in late 1985...

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Bill Loguidice
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Online Multiplayer Gaming and other Wii and even PS3 thoughts

Interestingly, reports are making the rounds that online multiplayer gaming on the Wii won't be available until after the first of the year, and maybe even longer for third parties. It's possible that none of the launch titles will be online-enabled. No word on how virtual console title upgrades will be affected, it at all (it's still up in the air how much, if any, Nintendo will update the old games). The other rumor is that a friends code system will still be implemented, perhaps even requiring a unique number for every game, just like the DS.

While none of the above is a system breaker, it would be dissapointing if proven true. Even on the PS3 there are reports that the next Tony Hawk will not be online enabled on it because the developers weren't given access to the right libraries/hooks in time. You would think this whole online thing would be worked out all the way around by this new generation, but I guess not...

In any case, we'll monitor all of the above. For my purposes, I'm REALLY holding out hope that the Wii will be able to use the same component video cables that the Gamecube uses, because apparently the Wii will only come with composite. That's fine for many people, but not good for those of us with decent TV's. I can frankly live without online multiplayer for a while as long as I can play the system with component cables and in a universal widescreen mode...

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Mark Vergeer
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No region-free Wii? .... again Europe totally lucks out....

and again Europe will totally luck out.....
Videogames in Europe will never get any better I guess. The only console that actually offers the exact same range of software as it does in it's native region is the Xbox 360 in my experience.....

Ah, what happened to the days where a PAL C64 was more compatible with all the demo's and games than their NTSC counterparts. Where a 1Mhz PAL C64 set the standard and NTSC machines had to byte the dust ;)

Mwoehahahahaha

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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brn
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Joined: 05/22/2006
Better Late Than Never. :)

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Wii Price
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For me, this is mostly irrelevant. The last gen clearance sales will be keeping me entertained on the cheap for months. I'll watch the people lining up. I'll read about the shortages. I'll keep snagging cheap games. And by the time the price drops start hitting, I'll be ready.

Do I think the Wii will fail because of this price point? I doubt it, but I don't pretend to understand the broader market Nintendo's trying to appeal to.

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Virtual Console Prices
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If you can find me a cheaper copy of Super Smash Bros. for N64, reply ASAP. Likewise for Super Mario RPG. Earthbound, anyone? There are more than a few classic / rare games that will be bargains at these prices. As for "Home Improvement" for the SNES, I'm assuming they won't bother releasing terrible games.

I love everything to be cheaper, but these prices aren't outrageous. And if I'm in the minority in that opinion, Nintendo can always lower them.

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Virtual Control Accuracy
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Bill, I share your concerns about the Wiimote. But I'm also noting a disturbing parallel.

Control won't be spot on.
Telling exactly where you are will be a problem.
A lot of fudge factor coding will be required to make games playable.

This sounds like the move from 2D to 3D, and as we've all seen, the occasional cheap death is something players seem more than willing to tolerate if other aspects of the experience improve.

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Online Play
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I think you nailed this one, Bill. Wii will not try to do the community building or old game enhancements of Xbox Live and instead focus on letting you have a slightly richer experience with the few people you know well enough to bother exchanging friend codes with. It seems unlikely to affect Wii sales much either way.

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