Wii launch

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Wii launch queue in Hamburg
Busy inside a shop during the Wii launch in Hamburg

The Wii launch was the release of Nintendo's seventh generation video game console. This successor to the Nintendo GameCube was released in most territories in November and December 2006. It was the third (after the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) seventh generation console to be released in Japan and North America, but was second in Europe, being released before the PlayStation 3.

Announcement[edit]

At a June 7, 2006 policy briefing, Nintendo revealed plans to release 6 million console units and 17 million software units during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.[1] This included the 4 million or more console units they expected to ship by the end of the 2006 calendar year.[2] On September 14, 2006, it was announced that the majority of the 2006 shipments would be allotted to the Americas.[3]

The Spanish launch of the Wii console was moved to December 9, 2006, because December 8, 2006 is the celebration of the Immaculate Conception and thus all shops were closed.[4] For the same reason, the Italian and Swiss releases were also moved to the day before, December 7, 2006.[5]

Nintendo of Canada vice president and general manager Ron Bertram stated that the company expected to have one million consoles available in North America at launch, as reported by IGN on September 25, 2006.[6] The next day, Nintendo branded the information as a "misstatement about the number of Wii consoles that will be available in the Americas during the launch rollout," and reiterated earlier statements of expected shipments of 4 million consoles worldwide by the end of 2006 with the largest allotment available in the Americas. The company affirmed that they "are working to ensure a plentiful supply and a consistent flow."[2]

On December 26, 2006, Nintendo announced that they would release its console in South Korea by the end of 2007. However, on October 28, 2007, plans for South Korea were changed as Satoru Iwata announced that the Wii would instead be launched in South Korea on April 26, 2008, along with first details to release the Wii in China also in 2008, due to high demand for the Wii console.[7]

Release dates and pricing[edit]

Release date and suggested retail price by region*
Region Expected pricing at release Release
date
Accessories
Release price Approx. US$ equivalent Wii Remote Nunchuk Classic Controller
 USA USD $249.99[8] $249.99 November 19, 2006 $39.99 $19.99 $19.99
 Canada CAD $279.83[9] $265.31 C$44.99 C$24.99 C$24.99
 Mexico MXN $4,499 $410 ($355†) Mex$699 Mex$349 Mex$349
 Panama PAB B/.299 $299 B/.49.99 B/.29.99 B/.29.99
 Guatemala GTQ Q3,499 $450 ($375†) - - -
 Colombia COP $1,099,000[10] $480 ($410†) - - -
 Peru PEN S/.1,499[citation needed] $465 ($390†) - - -
 Chile CLP $219,900[11] $440 ($360†) CLP$34,900 CLP$14,900 CLP$14,900
 Brazil BRL R$2,399§[12] $1,440 ($274†) R$299.00 R$199.00 -
 Japan JPY ¥25,000[13] $215* ($205†) December 2, 2006 ¥3,800 ¥1,800 ¥1,800
 Australia AUD A$399.95[14] $315 ($285†) December 7, 2006 A$69.95 A$29.95 A$29.95
 New Zealand NZD NZ$499.90[15] $340 ($305†) NZ$99.95 NZ$49.95 NZ$49.95
 Italy €259[16] $340 ($285†) €39.99 €19.99 €19.99
 Switzerland CHF 399S₣‡[17] $330 ($310†) 69.90S₣ 34.90S₣ 34.90S₣
 Croatia HRK 2099.99kn $399.99 December 8, 2006 399.98kn 199.99kn 199.99kn
Europe Europe €249‡[18] $330 ($275†) €39.99 €19.99 €19.99
 UK GBP £179‡ $350 ($300†) £29.99 £14.99 £14.99
 Hungary HUF 70,000[19] $360 ($300†) - - -
 Ireland €259 $340 ($285†) €44 €25 €25
 Denmark DKK 2,199[citation needed] $390 ($310†) 449 kr. 249 kr. 249 kr.
 Poland PLN S/.1,099[citation needed] no info - - -
 Russia RUB 9,900‡[20] $380 ($335†) 1999 RUB 1499 RUB 999 RUB
 Latvia LVL 200‡ $400 ($330†) 50 LVL 20 LVL 20 LVL
 Norway NOK 2,499[21] $385 ($310†) 399 kr 249 kr 249 kr
 Sweden SEK 2,490‡[citation needed] $276 ($310†) 479 kr 299 kr 299 kr
 Iceland ISK 29,990[22] $440 ($335†) 5990 kr 2990 kr 2990 kr
 Finland €269.90[23] $355 ($290†) €49.90 €29.90 €29.90
 Turkey TRY TL799.90 $550 ($466†) - - -
 Spain €249‡[24] $330 ($285†) December 9, 2006 €41,95 €19,95 €19,95
 Singapore SGD 499.00 $330 April 25, 2007 SGD69.00 SGD39.00 SGD39.00
 South Africa ZAR 2899 $410 ($360†) September 28, 2007[25] ZAR 475.00 ZAR 239.00 ZAR 239.00
 Argentina ARS $2399[26] $760 March, 2008 ARS $320 ARS $200 ARS $190
 Malaysia MYR 1399 $410 ($360†) - MYR 139.00 MYR 69.00 MYR 69.00
South Korea South Korea KRW ₩220,000 $220* April 26, 2008[27] 28,000[28] 15,000[28] 15,000[28]
Taiwan Taiwan TWD NT$8,500 $280 July 12, 2008[29] NT$ 1,050 NT$ 525 NT$ TBA
Hong Kong Hong Kong HKD HK$1,799 $232 December 12, 2009[30] HK$299 HK$139
 People's Republic of China CNY CN¥TBA TBA TBA CN¥TBA CN¥TBA CN¥TBA
 United Arab Emirates AED 1,299 د.إ $354 unknown 199 د.إ 99 د.إ 99 د.إ
 Fiji FJD TBA TBA December 29, 2008 FJ$ TBA FJ$ TBA FJ$ TBA

* Wii Sports comes packaged with the console in all regions except Japan and South Korea.

† USD equivalent with local VAT, GST or sales tax removed for ease of comparison with territories that do not include taxes in consumer prices

‡ Retail price as estimated by, rather than suggested by, Nintendo[18]

§ Prices might be significantly lower on the informal market

Titles[edit]

On November 14, 2006, it was confirmed that 21 titles would be available on launch day in North America and South America, with another 12 games being released in the 2006 launch window. This makes 33 games total.[31] Wii Sports is included with the console bundle in all regions excluding Japan and South Korea. Despite the price point of US$60 quoted for many seventh generation games in the USA,[32] Wii titles cost at most US$50 at major US retail stores.

For a full list of all titles available for the console since launch, see List of Wii games.

Key:

  • NA/SA North America/South America
  • EU Europe
  • JP Japan
  • AUS Australasia
Launch title Region(s) released[33][34] Launch title Region(s) released
Avatar: The Last Airbender NA/SA[35] Barnyard NA/SA[35]
Call of Duty 3 NA/SA EU AUS Cars NA/SA EU AUS[35]
Crayon Shin-chan: Saikyou Kazoku Kasukabe King Wii JP[36]
Elebits JP[37] Ennichi no Tatsujin JP[38]
Excite Truck NA/SA The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy NA/SA
Gottlieb Pinball Classics EU GT Pro Series NA/SA EU AUS
Happy Feet NA/SA EU[39][40] Kororinpa: Marble Mania JP[36]
Machi Kuru Domino JP
Madden NFL 07 NA/SA EU Marvel: Ultimate Alliance NA/SA
Monster 4x4 World Circuit NA/SA EU Necro-Nesia JP
Need for Speed: Carbon NA/SA EU AUS Open Season NA/SA EU AUS
Rampage: Total Destruction NA/SA EU AUS Rayman Raving Rabbids NA/SA EU AUS
Red Steel NA/SA JP EU AUS SD Gundam G Breaker JP[36]
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab NA/SA EU[35] Super Fruit Fall EU
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz NA/SA JP EU AUS Super Swing Golf JP
Tamagotchi: Party On!/Tamagotchi's Sparkling President JP[36] Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam NA/SA EU AUS
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess NA JP AU EU
Trauma Center: Second Opinion NA/SA JP
WarioWare: Smooth Moves JP[36]
Wii Play JP EU AUS
Wii Sports[1] NA/SA JP EU AUS
Wing Island JP[36]

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was pushed as a launch title, but was eventually delayed to a release date of August 27, 2007 in North America.[41] Satoru Iwata also initially wished for Super Smash Bros. Brawl to be released at launch.

[1] Wii Sports came bundled with the Wii in all territories except Japan and South Korea.

Sales[edit]

See also: Wii sales
Wii sold out at HMV on Oxford Street

On November 28, 2006, Nintendo reported that it had sold over 600,000 consoles in the first eight days of launch in the Americas. Including the sales of accessories and games, Nintendo's Wii-related revenue had hit $190 million in its first week.[42]

The Wii launched in Japan on December 2, 2006. Japan initially received 400,000 Wii consoles,[43] with around an estimate of 370,000 sold in two days, with Wii Sports and Wii Play being the top two selling games.[44] While many PlayStation 3 consoles were resold on online auctions for a much higher price, the average Wii price on Yahoo! Auctions were only 30,000 ¥ (USD: $260).[45] This is perhaps because more people wanted to use the consoles, rather than resell them, as the Wii software tie ratio was 1.69.[45]

On December 12, 2006, sales data analysis firm Chart-Track and Nintendo confirmed with several press outlets in the United Kingdom that the Wii had become the fastest selling video game console in the region's recorded history, selling 105,000 consoles in its opening weekend, trumping the previous record holder, Xbox 360, which posted sales numbers of 70,000 units.[46] Nintendo announced on the following day that the Wii had sold 325,000 units across Europe in its first two days of sale, making it the fastest selling console across the entire European continent.[47]

In the United Kingdom, gamers lined up at the midnight launch of the console at Game and HMV. Queues from both retail stores stretched into back alleyways and side streets. Game even provided them with slices of pizza and Wii branded umbrellas. HMV, meanwhile, handed out goodie bags containing Wii-branded T-shirts and The Legend of Zelda posters. Celebrities such as Pat Cash and Ian Wright appeared to promote the Wii.

On December 14, 2006, it was announced that the Wii console had become the fastest selling console in Australian history with 32,901 units sold in just four days, beating the Xbox 360's opening weekend record of 30,241 units.[48]

In Singapore, local distributor Maxsoft said that 2,000 consoles were sold in the first two days of retail, much greater than for the launches of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and that many preorders remained unfulfilled due to a low stock inventory.[49]

While the Wii launch was considerably smoother than that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it was not without its problems. Due to the scarcity of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, widespread price gouging began to form.[citation needed] Initial consumer reaction to the Wii appears to have been positive, with commentators judging the launch to have been successful.[50]

According to the Financial Times, as of September 2007 the Wii became the market leader in worldwide console sales.[51]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Bozon, Mark (September 26, 2006). "Nintendo Sets the Record Straight". IGN. 
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  7. ^ "Wii in Korea – 2008". Retrieved October 28, 2007. [dead link]
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  38. ^ Anoop Gantayat (October 20, 2006). "Ennichi no Tatsujin Update". IGN. Retrieved October 20, 2006. 
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