Wii launch details announced!

Saw this on GAF, and I figure this is ABSOLUTELY worth sharing:

Typically, when a video game company has a major announcement, they
might let some press outlets know about it beforehand, but put the
information on embargo. This sometimes involves legally binding NDAs.
But if such an agreement was penned with Seattle PI/The New York Times, they couldn’t care less. They just stole the Wii press event’s thunder and announced the Wii launch details.

The Wii will be released on November 19 in North and South America and
will cost $250 in the United States. 4 million units will be shipped
worldwide, far exceeding the shipments of Sony’s PlayStation 3.

25-30 games will be available for the Wii this year. As many speculated, Wii Sports will be packed in with every system. Super Mario Galaxy, as many also speculated, will not be available until 2007.

Nintendo will make about 30 classic games available for download
via Virtual Console when the Wii is released, including games from the Zelda, Mario, and Donkey Kong franchises. Downloadable games will cost about $5 to $10 each.

The price of retail Wii games will be $50, $10 less than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games.

“Our goal is to bring gaming back to the masses,” Reggie Fils-Aime,
president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, said in a
telephone interview. “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.”

A surprise from Nintendo is that they will be including “channels,”
which are meant to appeal to casuals who don’t consider themselves
gamers. A photo channel allows users to use the Wii to display photos
on their TV. There will also be an interactive news channel and a
weather channel.

Additionally, the Wii will come with a built-in web browser, most likely Opera.

“We are including all of these capabilities as part of our overall
strategy to expand the gaming market,” Fils-Aime said. “Broadening the
market is important because it will breathe new life into this
business. Otherwise, this industry is moving down a path of being more
and more limited to the hard-core gamer.”

Lots of Wii news from the Times. The official announcements
will come Thursday at an event in New York City. Prior to that (not
long now) will be a Japanese event.