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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 15, 2006

Nintendo set to launch video-game console

By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Los Angeles Times

Nintendo Co. Ltd. plans to put its Wii video-game console on sale Nov. 19 in the United States for $249.

The Japanese company, best known for such whimsical game characters as the mustachioed Mario and Donkey Kong, will have the least expensive new-generation console this holiday season. And analysts expect its price along with its novel game controller will make it a strong seller.

Indeed, Nintendo and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 are poised to exploit anticipated shortages of Sony Corp.'s new PlayStation 3, giving them a jump over the dominant game system.

"Nintendo is going to shock people with how many they continue to sell, and Sony is going to dismay people," said Michael Pachter, an industry analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles.

Microsoft got an early if faltering lead on the next-generation console market when it introduced the Xbox 360 last year. Arcadia Investment Corp. analysts say it's on track to sell about 4.5 million units this year, based on the rate of sales this summer.

Nintendo said it began manufacturing its Wii game console this summer and plans to ship 4 million systems worldwide by the end of the year. It will come with the Wii Remote, an attachment called the Nunchuk controller and five Wii Sports games that take advantage of the remote's motion-sensing capabilities.

The Wii also will connect to the Internet, and gamers can access the Disc Channel to download classic Super NES or NES games that can be stored on memory cards.