As someone might know, I’m a big fan of Nintendo. I never had the old NES, but I’ve had at least one of every game system Nintendo has shipped since then, and really like a lot of their games. It is with some interest then that I am watching the developments surrounding the Wii: Nintendo’s next generation console. For one thing, it was rumored that they would ship it at a pricepoint signficantly lower than the Xbox 360 or the planned price for the PS-3. I think it is important for game manufacturers to remember that they are making game machines. The enjoyment you get out of a game is to some degree correlated to the number of pixels you see on the screen, but only loosely. Nintendo seems to see that. Instead of bragging about how fast their processor is, they are talking about their release titles. Instead of telling you how big their hard drive is, or how many pixels it can draw, they are demoing a new, innovative controller. Oh, and it will come out at a far more reasonable $250 price point (I was hoping for $199, but you can’t always get everything you want). Still, you get a nifty game console for what the PSP costs. Neat.
Anyway, Engadget has coverage of their press conference this morning. They release on Nov. 19. They expect to
ship sell four million units before the end of the year. That’s a billion dollars worth of product. Zelda will be available at launch (and consequently, will be my Christmas present from my wife, assuming I can wait that long). They seem to have the Internet/Wifi/broadband in mind, with Wii Channels to allow their users to interact, and even buy copies of old legacy games for reasonable prices ($5 for old NES games, $8 for NES games). Seems to use SD cards for storage (which I think is an excellent move, I think rotating storage for a game machine has become silly with dropping flash prices). No subscription costs for Nintendo Internet services. They support widescreen on all their first party apps.
Read more from Engadget: Live at Nintendo’s NYC Wii press conference – Engadget