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Fils-Aime Talks American Launch and More

by The Wiire Staff (2006-09-14)

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime discussed details for Wii's North American launch in a speech held this morning.

First, Fils-Aime confirmed previous reports that Wii would launch in North and South America on November 19 for a retail price of $249.99. Nintendo is still on track to ship 4 million Wii units by December 31, 2006, with the Americas receiving the largest batch.

Included in the box, Fils-Aime noted, will be the same items mentioned by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata in Japan, namely: a Wii Remote; Nunchuk; sensor bar; sensor bar stand; AC adaptor; Wii A/V cable; Wii console stand and two AA batteries. Additionally, Fils-Aime revealed Wii Sports will be packaged with Wii when the console launches this fall.

Fils-Aime also touched upon Wii Sports and the recently added Bowling and Boxing games. Wii Bowling, for example, will require players pull the controller back, then push forward as if actually throwing bowling ball. The ball can be spinned by turning the controller slightly after release.

Regarding launch games, Fils-Aime noted that ExciteTruck will arrive on launch day, along with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. "First time we have a Zelda title available on launch day," he said. "It gives us a huge boost and huge momentum right out of the box. It's a masterpiece game. We will continue to make those big masterpiece titles for the core gamer, as well as new games to drive market expansion."

Furthermore, approximately 30 games will be made available during the launch window, with about half of those arriving on launch day, according to Fils-Aime. Launch games will be priced at $49.99, though it's not clear if the NOA president was referring to first-party titles only or all Wii launch games.

Fils-Aime also discussed the Virtual Console. The Virtual Console is a feature that allows users to download classic games to play on Wii. 30 games will be available to download by the end of the year, with 10 additional titles to be released each month starting in January 2007. NES games will be available for 500 Wii points, Super NES games for 800, and Nintendo 64 games for 1,000. Wii points are Nintendo-specific currency that gamers can exchange for downloads like Virtual Console games. 2000 Wii points can be bought on a prepaid card available in retail for $20. Various third-party publishers and developers, such as Sega and Tecmo, have previously pledged support to offer their games on the Virtual Console. However, no details on third-party pricing for Virtual Console games is available at this time.

Fils-Aime discussed Mii, a new feature of Wii that allows players to create virtual 3D versions of themselves, or of anyone they wish. These avatars created through Mii are expected to be of use in certain Wii games, like Wii Sports. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May, gamers were shown a demonstration of a tennis match featuring digital renderings of Fils-Aime "Not just Virtual Console," he stated, "but a total effort to redefine who will use videogames in the future." More information about Mii can be read here.

Aside from Mii, Wii will also feature various channels not particularly related to gaming. "When connected to the Internet, users have access to news and weather channels," Fils-Aime noted. These channels will be continually updated through WiiConnect24. A messaging service was also announced that will allow users to send messages to other Wii consoles. In addition, the Wii messaging service would allow users to send messages to cell phones, said Fils Aime, but at this time there are no further details on how that will be implemented.

Wii will also offer channels dedicated to photo and video images, Fils-Aime mentioned. Photos stored on Wii can be viewed and navigated with the Wii Remote, the console's motion-sensing controller. Videos can be broken up into slide puzzles, or have mosaic effects added to them. Furthermore, games for the Virtual Console will be purchased through the Wii Shop channel.

The last Wii channel is the Internet channel. Gamers can purchase a version of the Opera Web browser with Wii points. The Web browser will allow users to surf the Web from their couch, using the Wii Remote as a pointing and navigation device.

Finally, as part of a Q & A session, Fils-Aime stated a Wii Remote will retail for $39.99, a Nunchuk will cost $19.99, Twilight Princess for GameCube has been moved back to a December 11 release and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is now a 2007 title.

The Wiire will continue to update you as new information is released.