Gamesindustry has the scoop that finally gives us a clue as to how much a Nintendo Wii will set us back come later this year. At a full-year financial report given recently by Nintendo's Yoshihiro Mori, it was announced that the system will retail for $250 USD or less when it is released in the fourth quarter of this year. They also will ship out 6 million units of the system by March of 2007.
Obviously this is in stark comparison to Sony's Playstation 3 which will release around the same time for literally double the price, if not more. Nintendo is banking on the low price point and innovative software and hardware that the Wii will offer to bring in new customers. Both Microsoft and Sony admitted that the Nintendo Wii would be viable as a "2nd console" and as such Nintendo could be in a position to capture a huge market share. By not getting involved in the escalating hardware war between Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo is in a unique position and can sit by and nab up everyone else who won't shell out $599 USD for a decked out Playstation 3 or even $399 for an Xbox 360.
Now while this is great news for Nintendo fans, I must also bring up some not so hot news on the Big N front that came out of that same financial report. Nintendo's annual operating profit fell 19% and this was due in part to the continued decline in Gamecube and GameBoy Advance demand, and also because of the startup costs for the Nintendo Wii itself. But there was also good news! Nintendo saw a 12.5% rise in its net profit, mostly due to the terrific demand for the Nintendo DS handheld. Nintendo aims to sell another 16 million DS units and over 70 million software units for the handheld this year, which would equate to a 22% increase in operating profit for this fiscal year.
All in all, great news today. We get a somewhat firm price point for the Wii. At least we know it won't cost over $250 USD or €195. We also know that the Gamecube and Gameboy Advance aren't doing that well for Nintendo, and the DS is making it up for them.