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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Nintendo to Sell Wii in Europe For Below $215

Japanese video game maker Nintendo expects to price its new Wii gaming console below 250 euros ($321.50) in Europe, its head of German operations said on Wednesday.

The company has earlier said the Wii would cost 25,000 yen ($215) or less in Japan and $250 or lower in the United States.

"The price has not been decided yet, but I expect it to be ... less than 250 euros," Bernd Fakesch told Reuters on the sidelines of a gaming industry conference.

The Kyoto-based company will release the Wii, which features a motion sensor-enabled controller, in time for the Christmas shopping season, going head-to-head with market leader Sony's PlayStation 3 console in the nearly $30 billion global video game market.

Fakesch said the exact date of the launch was not yet decided, but that it would be "in due course."

He said the firm hoped to sell 4 million units of Wii globally by the end of the year, and reach sales of 6 million by the end of March 2007.

The company also unveiled two new games for Wii: a jump and run soccer game called Mario Strikers Charged, and Batallion Wars 2.

Unlike Microsoft's new Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, which boast more power and high-definition graphics, Nintendo aims to win over customers with an affordably priced unit and ground-breaking games. It also hopes to attract a broader audience than the young males who usually make up the console gaming market.

A key feature of the Wii is its one-handed controller that looks like a television remote control and uses motion-detection sensors that allow players to control the game by wielding it like a sword, waving it like a conductor's baton, or swinging it like a baseball bat.

PlayStation 3, which will hit the U.S. market on November 17, will be priced at as much as $599, while Xbox 360's premium version that is already in stores costs $399.

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