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Wii're not getting shafted! - helen-louise
Wii're not getting shafted!
I am sitting in a cyber cafe near the Game in Oxford Street, following the announcement of the European launch of the Nintendo Wii. Apparently:

  • It's coming out on 8th December 2006, one week after the launch in Japan
  • It'll cost £179.99
  • It's coming with a free game - Wii Sports. This includes five sports: baseball, bowling, table tennis and, er, 2 others. This is the first time a console's been launched with a free game since the launch of the SNES!
  • If you buy a second controller, you get another free game - Wii Play.
  • All first-party games will be widescreen!
  • And the best news of all: The console and all first-party games will be region-free, so you can legitimately import and play games from any region! I'm not entirely sure that the console itself is region-free. One guy was saying it's only the first-party games that are guaranteed to be region-free, third-party developers don't have to stick to that. But I'm unsure how many third-party Wii developers there are apart from Sega, or how many of them will want to go against what Nintendo itself is recommending.

'Scuse my language for a minute as I say "Holy fuckin' shit!". Finally one of the major games companies learns that those of us obsessive about rhythm action games don't care that we can't read them, and those of us obsessive about Japanese RPGs will willingly learn to read Japanese to play the game first.

The console will initially be available in white only, but other colours will follow. The controllers will be available in four colours: white, black, blue and pink (for the girls), and will be customisable in some way.

What Europe's getting isn't exactly the same as Japan. Apparently they're not getting the free game, instead getting six months free use of Opera, the web browser that'll be available for the Wii.

Also - Nintendo have finally decided to stop treating Europe like the third world of gaming. Now, all first-party games are going to go straight from Japan to Europe for translation, rather than having to go through America first. We had to wait 18 months for some games (e.g. Animal Crossing on the GameCube) because of the need to translate them into American English before sending them here :/ No more!

So - this is hot news!

Oh yeah, I met the guy who's the voice actor in the Mario series too. He plays Mario, Luigi, Wario, basically all of the characters. Edit: Photos now up :)

Current Location: Somewhere just off Oxford Street
Current Mood: excited excited

4 comments or Leave a comment
jinian From: jinian Date: 15th September 2006 15:32 (UTC) (Link)
That's great! And a free game, even a sports game, sounds way better than a web browser.
syphonboa From: syphonboa Date: 15th September 2006 15:58 (UTC) (Link)
I want the blue one.

i thought that games went from japan to US because both countries were NTSC vs Europe/Australia's PAL?
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th September 2006 19:28 (UTC) (Link)
Nope. It's been the translation that's slowed things down. Look at the difference between when Australia & New Zealand got Animal Crossing on the GameCube, compared to when Europe did. GameFAQs doesn't include Australia as a region, but I know for a fact the game was on sale in Australia by December 2003. It didn't come out here until September 2004 - a whole two years after it was released in North America.

Another point is that, up til now, the delay has been across the board for Nintendo - including on the Game Boy Color / Advance and the DS - where there's no NTSC to PAL issue! "Big" games have had more-or-less simultaneous translation and so limped out in Europe a mere 3 or 4 weeks after North America - see Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen. However, look at the difference between the release dates of Pokemon Emerald in NorAm & EU: 30th April for the US, 21st October for the EU. That's six freaking months! And Emerald was a sodding "director's cut" of Ruby and Sapphire, so the amount of brand-new text that needed to be translated was... minimal!

The first game that went to the translators in Europe at the same time as America was the Minish Cap. Notice that we got it before Christmas, on 12th November 2004 - whereas North America didn't manage it until 10th January 2005, that... well-known post-Christmas post-January sales no one has any money at all left, er... slump. Congratulations, Nintendo of America! Here's your rotten eggs.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: 15th September 2006 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
This is a console I'd actually want to have a play with, just for the controller.
4 comments or Leave a comment