Nintendo Wii wends its way to stores

Game console launches on Dec. 2

Nintendo will ship 400,000 units of its Wii game console for its Japan launch on Dec. 2, company sources disclosed. That’s about four times the number of PlayStation 3 consoles shipped by Sony Computer Entertainment for its Nov. 11 bow.

Nintendo is pricing the Wii at ¥25,000 ($214), compared with $508 for the 60GB model PS3 and $423 for the 20GB model.

The company plans to ship 1 million of the Wii consoles by year-end to satisfy what is expected to be heavy holiday demand.

Buyers will be able to play 16 new games designed for the Wii, including four released by Nintendo.

Although a simpler piece of technology than the PS3, the Wii features a motion-sensitive wand, called the Wii Remote, that allows players to realistically control onscreen action, such as swinging a tennis racket or golf club, roll a bowling ball down a lane or punch an opponent in the boxing ring in Nintendo’s Wii Sports game.

Nintendo releases the Wii in North America on Sunday, with an estimated 2 million to be in stores by year-end. This will place the console in direct competition with the PS3, which makes its U.S. bow on Friday, and Microsoft’s Xbox, which has been on the shelves for about a year and has sold nearly 6 million units.

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