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Nintendo Corp., the world’s No. 3 maker of game consoles, has unveiled details concerning the launch of its Wii console in the European Union. Apparently, the part will be available in early December for the price that exceeds that in Japan and the U.S.

“Wii is set to revolutionise the face of gaming when it launches in Europe on 8th December 2006 at an estimated retail price of ?179 (?249), bundled with Wii Sports,” a statement by the company reads.

The recommended price for the European Union – ?249 or $315 – not only exceeds that in the U.S., where the console will retail for $249, but is also higher compared to Japan, a country known for high prices on hardware and gaming accessories, where Nintendo customers will be able to obtain the console for around ?25 000 (about $211). Nintendo will launch the new game console on November 19 in the U.S., on December 2 in Japan, which means that Europe will be the last to see the new console.

Included with every Wii console is one wireless Wii Remote, one Nunchuk, and a collection of five different Wii Sports games on one disk which anyone can play using simple physical movements. Accompanying the console launch will be around 20 software titles including Wii Play and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and from third party publishers launch games include: Ubisoft’s Red Steel, EA’s Need for Speed: Carbon, Activision’s Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, THQ’s Disney/ Pixar’s Cars and Sega’s Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz.

Nintendo first party games will retail at the estimated retail price of between ?49 and ?59 (?34 to ?39 in the UK). Additional controllers will also be available from launch at the estimated retail prices of: Wii Remote – ?39 (?29 in UK), Nunchuk – ?19 (?14 in UK) and the Classic Controller – ?19 (?14 in UK).

Nintendo Wii console will feature IBM’s custom PowerPC architecture based microprocessor named Broadway clocked at 729MHz and code-named Hollywood chip with built-in graphics core, DSP and I/O features from ATI that will operate at 243MHz, earlier reports suggested. Nintendo Wii is expected to use 91MB of memory in total: 23MB of “main” 1T-SRAM, 64MB of “external” 1T-SRAM and 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. Nintendo’s Wii does not feature a hard disk drive, instead, it boasts with 512MB of flash memory, but the console will also have a card reader, which will allow installing more memory.

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