Nintendo: 25,000-yen Wii hitting Japan December 2

[UPDATE 2] Wii Sports-less console hitting homeland two weeks after US for around $213; virtual console pricing of NES, SNES, and N64 games revealed; classic controller sold separately; 27 games by year's end.

by

At right around the same time that US newspaper reports were revealing details about the US launch of the Wii, Nintendo began holding an event in Tokyo to tell Japanese reporters about its launch plans in their country. (The company will reveal its European launch plans on Friday.)

According to the official Nintendo Web site, the next-gen machine will be slightly cheaper in Japan than in the US. Whereas it will reportedly cost $250 stateside, the console will cost just 25,000 yen (approximately $213) in its land of origin, including tax. The console will also arrive slightly later across the Pacific on December 2, versus November 19 in North and South America. The US-first release scheme is similar to that Nintendo took when it launched the DS in North America in November 2004 and then in Japan two weeks later in December.

The price difference is partially explainable by the fact that the Japanese Wii is not being bundled with Wii Sports, as the Wii is in the US. The Nintendo Web site lists Wii Sports as merely being a launch title and lists it as having a price of 4,800 yen (around $41).

In the US, more than 25 Wii games are expected at launch, with first-party titles reportedly costing $50 apiece. In Japan, 16 titles will be available from 10 publishers and will range in price from 4,800 yen (around $41) to 6,800 yen (about $58). One of those titles will be The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which will retail for 6,800 yen (about $58). In the US, the title will be available by the end of 2006--by which time some 27 games will be available in Japan, according to the Bloomberg news service.

Presiding over the event, Nintendo of Japan president Satoru Iwata unveiled the pricing scheme for classic games playable via the Wii's virtual console and downloadable via its WiiConnect24 service. NES games will cost 500 yen (around $4.25), SNES games will cost 800 yen ($6.80), and N64 games will go for 1,000 yen ($8.50). It did not give pricing for TurboGrafx, MSX, or Sega Genesis games, which will also be made available. Games can be bought either by credit card or via prepaid point cards, much like those used when making Xbox Live Marketplace purchases.

Perhaps more significantly, Nintendo tipped its hand to its Wii virtual-console release schedule. Iwata announced some 30 titles will be available at launch: American press reports said the initial batch of titles would include the obvious choices of Donkey Kong, Mario, and Zelda titles, and the Japanese demonstration showed that other titles, such as R-Type, were also in the works. Nintendo Japan said the number of retro-games available would increase to 60 by the end of the year. After that, the library will grow by 10 titles a month--a pace that far outstrips Xbox Live Arcade's pseudoweekly release schedule.

According to Nintendo Japan, the Wii console will come with a standard, so-called "Wii-mote" controller and corded "nunchaku" attachment. Additional Wii-motes will cost 3,800 yen (about $32) each if purchased separately, and extra nunchakus will go for 1,800 yen (around $15) a pop. The console will also come with a wrist strap for the Wii-mote, a power cord, a standard A/V cable, a sensor bar, stands for the console and sensor bar, and AA batteries.

The controller (pictured above right) used for playing classic games on the Wii will be sold separately for 1,800 yen (around $15). However, for a limited time, consumers who purchase a 5,000 point Wii-point card will receive a classic controller for free. The 5,000 point card will retail for 5,000 yen ($42.50), and 3,000-point (3,000 yen/$25.50), and 1,000-point (1,000 yen/$8.50) cards will also be available. No direct US pricing for Wii point cards was available as of press time.

The Wii announcements proved a mild tonic for Nintendo stock. Shares in the company rose 0.4 percent to close at 23,100 yen ($196.25) on the Nikkei exchange.

Discussion

262 comments
DarthCheesenuts
DarthCheesenuts

this is gooing to be the best new system this year ---bacon

jaggy_12
jaggy_12

i really want to know how much money or points the web browser will cost!!!

Kanden_Killer
Kanden_Killer

i wonder where the point cards will be avalable? any one got any thoughts? i'm guessing any game store probably.

SuperSammyAran
SuperSammyAran

I like the Idea of the Wii point card system, since I don't have a credit card, and my mom won't want me using hers online.

treep78
treep78

Nice, but what is a wii point card. And what is the value of the points?

Shub-Niggurath
Shub-Niggurath

Party time...even the SNES debuted with a $300 price point. Nintendo has thrown down the gauntlet. Competitivly priced...actually for $250 there's NO competition. Great looking games on the way, major support, Nintendo is throwing down and going toe to toe against Microsoft and Sony to reclaim the title. God Bless you, little kick arse console.

lunchboxer
lunchboxer

i can't believe its coming here first. i cant decide if i want this or a ps3

sizzlemebacon2
sizzlemebacon2

Really!?! wha- what is it really possible japan getting left out for america *sniffle* the best gift you have given since the NES

SSEmpire
SSEmpire

I plan to be sitting outside my local store chain for quite a while, playing my DS with friends, and waiting to get my hands on the awesome that is the Wii.

mhder
mhder

$5 bucks for a virtual game? Sure why not. What does a large latte go for these days? About $5. Once again, no one is forcing you to buy it, so don't start whining and complaining. This is entertainment, not a necessity. The price is worth it if you deem it to be.

Sociologist
Sociologist

@Phazevariance You seem to be confounding the argument that I presented, as I wasn't discussing the morality (or lack thereof) of piracy. Why would somebody download a 'virtual' (classic nintendo) game that they do not physically own (and cannot resell) for more than 99 cents? You are missing the point that Nintendo's pricing strategy is quite unreasonable, primarily because you do not own the games that you purchase; rather, you are buying roms. All I'm saying that there pricing strategy for roms is not conducive to reaching a wider audience, (especially when the underground offers many alternatives). Oh, and it isn't kind to insult your elders, (as you are assuming-in your main premise-that all old people are essentially computer illiterate). This isn't true... just ask the computer professor /sarcasm.

UltraWoody
UltraWoody

Excellent! That is what a console should cost ! ! Now I hope Nintendo crushes everyone...

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Expect to see huge crowds waiting in line to get the Wii throughout Japan's electronic districts! happy times in Akihabara and Shinjuku!

00Joseph00
00Joseph00

I am excited for this Wii. I am a little disappointed in the price though. Isn't it safe to say that more people will buy a Wii at $200 than $250? But of course, I'm sure they will suck people for all the money they can... whatever.

_Sam_
_Sam_

the controller is too expensive IMO

ithamor3
ithamor3

I'm glad to see they're offering a sports-less edition to the US, but I'm still hoping the "around $213" ends up in the under $200 sweet spot at which Nintendo's other consoles were launched. Either way, it'll be better than paying $250 for a Wii bundled with a game I don't want. Thank you, Nintendo.

maxchou2003
maxchou2003

I m not ready for this yet! Not expecting the lanch date and everyother things! Awesome

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

Wii points are sweet. Rayman is enough for me to get Wii.

Guitarboy_88
Guitarboy_88

to Foola12, I think that Opera will come free with the Wii... Correct me if im wrong.

smiley17O
smiley17O

alot of that stuff seems over priced

foola12
foola12

How much will opera browser cost and like will i only have to buy it once?

gamer_10001
gamer_10001

The old games are a little more expensive than expected, but still reasonable. And the controllers are much cheaper than I expected.

bonganu
bonganu

awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cannot wait i simply cannt wait for the wii to come out its gonna rok my soks and im not wearing any!!!!!!!!!!! thats how good it is

nintendopsycho
nintendopsycho

DUDE I CAN'T WAIT!!! It's one of a kind and sooo cool. Not something Sony and their playstation 3 will do. Wii is for Mii!

slinky6
slinky6

"4.50$ for a 20 yr old game don't sound right." The classic NES series games were way more then that.

manapsal
manapsal

$60 is gay but i smell sex and candy...who's that loungin in my chair...i mean wii is still awesome...import!

NFunspoiler
NFunspoiler

WTF!??!!!?!?/ The controller will cost 40$ WITHOUT the Nunchuku attachment!! (according to IGN). Man Nintendo, 60$ per controller is MAD GHEY

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

To Sociologist:

I highly doubt my granpa could download an emulator and get roms to work properly, but on a system like this he could point and click 'play' and its done. So tell me now how this is more complicated or unnecessary.

Don't forget, a lot of older people used to play the old games too, and this system can reunite them with those old memories and very easily. Downloading "ROMS" online is stealing anyways, buying a NES game for 4.25 is pretty damn cheap considering you then 'own' the rights to it.

Everyone out there is out to make money, people don't just give stuff away, only at least Nintendo have broken everything down so you can buy what you want and not get what you don't want. Thus not forcing you to waste money on things you won't use.

Besides, this console is bundled with both a game and a controller and nunchuk addon. They could have sold it for $199.99 and then you have to buy the controller and game seperatly and that would cost more.

To wooooode:

Zelda IS a launch title for the Wii.

It's too bad they couldn't bundle 2 controllers in for the same price though.

I'll be getting one specifically for my wife but once mario party 8 comes out, i won't be able to get her or her friends off of it!!

Brainy142
Brainy142

ok, lets get the facts here n64 games cost around 20 bucks a pop usally and you can get them cheeper. :) however, 4.50$ for a 20 yr old game don't sound right. snes is OK but could be better thats all. :)

jams_shop
jams_shop

I guess this most be good news for Wii fans

narutoramen
narutoramen

not sure how much the controllers will be in the states but another article on another site mentioned it'd be $60 ($40 for the remote, $20 for the nunchuk). not very keen about spending $180 for 3 controllers just so my friends can play 4P games. other than that, quite excited

iklilja
iklilja

Wii!!!!!!! FTW!!! OMG! I'm so excited about Wii! GIVE IT TO ME!!!

Sociologist
Sociologist

Actually, I feel as though my first and second posts here complement each other. While it's true that every company is out to make MONEY, Nintendo's pricing structure for 'classic' games on their VC is not conducive to be that successful, and fails to provide illegitimate users of ROMS, a legitimate way of going legit. That was what the Itunes reference is for, because it provided incentives for people engaged in P2P music sharing (with songs that they did not purchase) to 'go legit.' As for you comments on emulators, it is not very complicated to learn how to get ahold of roms and or emulators, (or to get them to run). If one simply goes to google and types in the right terms, then that is all you need. While the sites that I have mentioned (everyvideogame) may have problems w/ Nintendo shutting them down within the months ahead, the underground of emu will never disappear, as copyright laws are virtually non-existent (or beyond the reach of international law) in some places were servers/sites are hosted from. Oh, and there's always P2P and the torrents. My point is that Nintendo is simply cashing in on games that are older than many of the gamespot users here; games that should not retail on the VC for more than a dollar or two. They need to take a look at the Apple model, because I doubt that the VC will catch on, unless the games that you can purchase provide some sort of add on for retail WII games, (like unlocking characters, minigames, etc.). However, it's anybody's guess what will transpire within the next few years with the WII.

Game13a13y
Game13a13y

LOL, its time for me to say GOOD BYE to my X360!!!!!!!!!

djfidelone
djfidelone

Wow....this is going to be a fun console to play!

PeterLauder
PeterLauder

This is the best news i've heard in ages!!!! but When does it come out in europe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to KNOW!!!!!!

RahKayne
RahKayne

Well obviously you'd spend $800 on a system that you WILL use most of it's features. Maybe you would'nt, so keep that over there.

-autopsy-
-autopsy-

Im realy wondering when the European launch will be:( Nintendo rules!! and people who think that the price is to big, seriosuly wtf is up with you, adn why would you spedn $800 on a ps3 with the features which you won't even use half of them!

RahKayne
RahKayne

OMg you're gonna get flamed. Why would you even put PS3 into this? Anywayz Wii = Awesome PS3= Awesome 360 = Awesome. It's all a matter of taste.

Samus_rules
Samus_rules

Here! What about europes release date?! I mean come on there's nintedo fans over here as well.

methedemon
methedemon

LOL the Wii = biggest failure ever. I am not wasting my money AGAIN on a nintendo console. PS3 FTW

UserShadow7989
UserShadow7989

Too those complaining about the hardware, please stop. Better Hardware doesn't mean better games. Compare Chrono Trigger/Super Mario RPG/Final Fantasy I-VI to Final Fantasy X/X-2/XII. The older games Pwn the crap out of the latest ones. Now compare Super Mario Kart for the SNES to Mario Kart Double Dash for the Game Cube. How about The Legend of Zelda:OoT in comparason to Wind Waker? Yes you can do more with better Hardware, but that doesn't necissarily make the games better.