The Seattle PI has an article from the NY Times stating that the Wii will be released in North America on November 19 (Sunday is a traditional release date for Nintendo) and cost $250. It will be bundled with Wii Sports. How many controllers and such it will come with remains to be seen.
Other news is the ability to surf the web on your TV, check news and weather, and $5-$10 per game on the Virtual Console.
I’m not surprised at the price. They said earlier it would be $250 or less. Why would anyone expect them to go less? Particularly when their rivals are already priced much higher.
I’m also not surprised that Wii Sports is bundled with the system. That doesn’t have the ring of a game folks would go out and buy. Plus, it’s good to have a solid game to get used to the controls with and demonstrate to folks. Who doesn’t know how tennis, golf, baseball, or bowling are played? Pretty basic. This is also the first home system to be released with a game by the manufacturer in a while, I think.
What should definitely happen is bundle the nunchuk attachment with the system. So many games seem to be making use of it that to not would be ludicrous. Then again, it could be a guaranteed $20 purchase for every gamer (in which case, bump the price and bundle it, please). Here’s hoping they don’t go the route of bundling it with every game that would use it. I don’t want to have several attachments floating around after a while.
Other news to look out for is how many controllers will it come with. Typically systems have only one, but with the “play together” feel of the Wii, two makes more sense (maybe just one nunchuk, though).
UPDATE: This will come with one wii-mote and a nunchuk attachment. You can buy a wii-mote for about $40 and a nunchuk for another $20. A bit high, but not bad since it looks like many of the multiplayer games will only need two controllers or have everyone share a single controller at this stage. But how much is the classic controller?
Other excitement is about non-game content. The Wii Channels look slick and easy to get addicted to, particularly if there isn’t any boot time to get to the screen. I could see that becoming my first point of access for breaking news and weather quite easily (though I’ll still rely on my RSS Reader for the bulk of my news).
I’m glad to see it comes with batteries for the controller, but I’ll be picking up some rechargeables and a decent size SD card for extra storage pretty quickly.