I'm comin' attcha live from the rainy Chelsea Piers, where Nintendo is kicking off their latest and greatest media event right now. We're not sure what exactly they'll be announcing, but there's good money on them finally (finally!) letting us know the price and release date of the upcoming Wii console (although that info looks like it may have hit the wire a little early). In any case, I'll be able to get a nice hands-on look at the Wii after the presentation, so look forward to my first impressions of the console later on today. For the big news, however, check it after the jump.
9:25 - Reggie is onstage now talking about the 5 landmark products that Nintendo has released that is expanding the number of gamers in the world:
-Touch Generations (Brain Age, etc.) - makes up 39% of first party game sales for the DS
-Nintendo WiFi Connection
9:30 - Wii comes out in North America on 11/19 for $249.99, "one price, one configuration, one color." The worldwide launch is here first. Four million consoles shipped worldwide between launch and the end of the year, with NA getting the largest chunk. A big focus on getting the Wii out to the masses without shortages.
9:35 - New games being announced today: Wii Bowling (part of Wii sports). Demo'ing the game, uses the remote like he's holding a bowling ball. The graphics are very simple. Wii Sports will include Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Bowling, and Boxing. Wii Sports will come bundled with the Wii system, the first bundle since Super Mario World and the SNES.
9:38 - 1st party launch titles: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Excite Truck, Wii Sports
9:40 - Loads of 3rd party titles, including Madden, Tony Hawk, Rayman, Super Monkeyball.
9:41 - About 15 games available at launch, with 30 games out total in the launch window. Games priced at $50.
9:43 - Wii Channels: a new way to expand the number of people who play video games. A universal appeal, a counterpart to Touch Generations for DS. An entrypoint for non-gamers. Channels is a menu that mixes the Wii, TV, and the Internet. When the Wii is in standby the Channel menu will come up. 12 channels by default. The first is the disc channel which lets you play the disc in the drive, second is Wii Shop which is the virtual console, allowing you to buy older games for play on the Wii.
On launch day, 30+ legacy titles on Wii Shop, inclyuding Legend of Zelda, Super mario World, Super Mario 64. 10 new games added per month.
Cost: 500 Wii points for an NES game, 800 points for SNES, 1,000 for N64.. 2,000 Will points will cost $20.
When a game is downloaded it becomes its own channel and you own it.
9:46 - New channel: The Mii channel. Avatars that represent you, your friends, your family. Basic character creator, lets you manipulate facial features, hair, etc. You can transfer your "Mii's" to your Wi iremote so you can bring them to your friend's house so they can populate their consoles. You can populate your games such as Wii Sports with your Mii character.
9:52 - New channel: Photo channel. Allows you to check out your photos via the SD card slot. You can also view videos and there are little games you can play tha manipulate your videos/photos.
9:55 - Forecast channel, news channel, calander, and a message board that all work when connected to the Internet.
9:57 - WiiConnect24 keeps the Wii connected 24 hours a day, downloading stuff when you aren't using it. Opera browser built-in lets you surf the web with the Wii remote. Nintendo wants people to use the Wii as a computer replacement in the living room.
10:00 - That's the end of the presentation, it's Q&A time.
Wiimote = $30, Nuntchatku = $20
Zelda for Gamecube will be out 12/11.
WiiConnect is free (except for standard net connections)
All 1st party titles are widescreen and so are most 3rd party games.
10:07 - Metroid Prime 3 will be a 2007 release.
Nintendo plans to have great games coming out steadily rather than all at once at the launch. New stuff all the time.
First online multiplayer game will be Pokemon in Japan at their launch, soon after that here.
10:11 - That's all folks! I'ma gonna go play the Wii, look for my impressions and photos later on today.