Nintendo Wii Japanese Launch Details! @ 14 September 2006 10:26 AM
Nintendo of Japan held a very important press conference earlier today with details of when the Wii will hit retail in the region – a slightly later date than many had expected.

The press release provides a quick summary of Nintendo’s plans to launch the Wii in Japan.

Instead of the previously predicted October/November release, the console hits Japan at a later date of December 2nd, priced at 25,000 Yen ($210, £100).

The package is said to contain the essentials to start playing:

# Wii console
# Wii remote (x1)
# Nunchuck Attachment (x1)
# Plugs / AV cable
# Stand
# Sensor Bar
# Batteries for the Wiimote (x1)

Various reports also suggest that the Wii-mote will cost 3,800 yen ($20, $35) for the Wiimote and 1,800 yen for the classic controller and nunchuck attachements - very strange to see the units not bundled together.

According to Reuters, the Wii launches with 16 titles, from 10 different software developers.


* Nintendo revealed the Wii's additional features earlier this morning.
* The Wii's interface will use a series of channels to store interactive features and applications. Examples of channels would be checking the weather, shopping, news/travel updates and an interactive memo board.
* Virtual console service will feature 30 games initially, 60 before the end of the year.
* More than 24 companies will support the system.
* Players can design avatars/characters that they can store and remote, adding these to certain games (Wii Sports for example).
* Opera DS will be fully compatible with the Wii, allowing for technologies like Flash and AJAX to be rendered fully.

For a full summary, read on!

Virtual Console
Nintendo commented on their Virtual Console plans in their presentation, highlighting that over 24 companies will be supplying games to the service.

The company highlighted their plans for the system:
+ Virtual Console sales are done online electronically.
+ There’s no stock issues, games are always available, and at minimal cost to the company and users. There’s no physical elements to consider in the cost, so prices are kept minimal.
+ It was previously announced that games will cost in the ($5-$10 US) range depending on the platform.
+ To pay for gamers players use “Wii point cards” that can be electronically topped up in stores. Paying for games directly using a credit card online directly is uncertain.
+ Once a game is purchased, the system charges the unit.
+ Nintendo have prepared over 30 titles in their starting line-up, around 60 with Sega and Hudson’s line-up, before the end of the year, more being available each month.
+ Around 10 titles a month will be added to the system.

Wii Channels / Software
+ The Wii’s interface, as previously revealed, will have a series of channels (applications/interactive services) that can be added to the system.
+ There is an already confirmed selection of channels that come as standard on the Wii. Currently the channel line-up is the weather channel, and a news channel, shopping channel, disk drive, a character channel, a photograph channel, and a virtual console that starts the game disk.
+ Users are able to point and select an option on screen using their Wiimote as a selection device.
+Videos of the channels in action can be viewed here.

The Wii was also announced to contain a “Photo channel” where players can use images stored on their SD cards to present images on screen.
+ The Wii-mote can be used to manipulate images, through colour settings, zooming and various other on-board settings.
+ Functions like cropping, combinding images, editing colours etc are all present in this mode.
+Videos of this mode can be seen here.

Weather Reports
Weather has become a key feature in society since time begun. Will you need to take out an umbrella? Can the family visit the beach today? Would it be fine to prance about naked?

+ The Wii has an onboard weather channel where weather forecasts are automatically updated (if the Wii is connected to the automatic update service – Wiiconnect 24).
+ The Wii-mote can be used to select options, display maps and navigate all through the system itself.

Videos of the weather channel in action.

Browsing the Internet
+ Nintendo and Opera previously confirmed that the Internet will be viewable on the Wii, but with a unique interface. The browser retains the ease and simplicity of the Opera platform, offering a way for the family to enjoy surfing the Internet from the comfort of their living area.
+ The Wii connects, wirelessly, to an Internet point – much like the DS version – however is far more capable than it’s handheld counterpart.
+ Nintendo have confirmed that the Wii Browser is much like the desktop version of Opera, virtually displaying pages as they would appear on a computer.
+ Opera Wii supports technologies like Adobe (Macromedia) Flash, and also AJAX – a system employed by Google Maps as an example.
+ The software is said to be available to download within a year (according to translations), and will be available Free – as with Opera’s other platforms.

Wii Messaging Functions
Need to leave a message for the family to see? The Wii features an interactive notice-board that allows users to leave messages on the system for others, Nintendo claiming it will replace “memos left on the fridge”.

Character Designing
the Wii provides an interesting interface that allows players to design a character using the Wii remote to select options.

These characters are said to be available in various software available for Wii – Wii Sports anyone? The characters can be stored on the Wii-mote, adding personality to the tiny plastic controller. These can be taken to friend’s houses to take your character on the move.

Wii Sports
+ Wii sports will come with 9 sports to introduce players to the system, sold for around 4,800 Yen in Japan.

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