Nintendo to Launch Wii Earlier in the U.S. – Media Report

Nintendo Wii to Come to the U.S. in November

by Anton Shilov
09/14/2006 | 02:40 AM

Nintendo Co., the No. 3 maker of game consoles in the world, reportedly plans to announce later today that it would debut the Wii game console in the U.S. in late November, nearly two weeks earlier than in

Japan. The exact pricing of the console in the U.S., apparently, will be higher than that in Japan.

Seattle Post Intelligencer news-paper early on Thursday reported that Nintendo “plans to announce today that it will release its new Wii video-game console in North and South America on November 19, just as the holiday shopping season begins, and that the machine will cost $250 in the United States.” Late on Wednesday it was reported that in Japan Wii will be launched on December 2.

The fact that Nintendo wants to launch the Wii in the Units States first and only then release the console in Japan and also the larger amount of PlayStation 3 consoles allocated for the USA launch may mean that console makers put a lot more attention to the U.S. market these days than before, when Japan received some kind of priority. Executives at Nintendo and Sony are very likely to be tight-lipped about the reasons, however, a logical assumption would be that they want to attack Microsoft and its Xbox 360 on their home market in the U.S., as the world’s largest software maker has lackluster welcome in Japan.

But Nintendo’s strategy generally differs from that of Microsoft or Sony. The market leaders tend to attract attention with new technologies and significantly evolved image quality in addition to many features that are primarily aimed at hardcore console gamers, whereas Nintendo plans to catch the attention of the crowd with new motion sensitive controller, simplestic, yet exciting games as well as ability to play old-school titles downloaded from the Internet.

“Our goal is to bring gaming back to the masses. You see that in our pricing, you see that in the number of units we plan to make available this year and you see that in how we are positioning the Wii to appeal to every member of the household, including but not limited to the hard-core gamer,” Reggie Fils-Aime, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, said in an interview.

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.