The suggested retail price for the next-gen Wii from Nintendo will be about $250, which is half the low-end price of Sony's two PS3 models (also set for a late-2006 ramp up), and about $150 less than Microsoft's available Xbox 360 (without an upcoming optional sidecar HD DVD drive).
The new Wii console is receiving widespread critical plaudits for incorporating a "freehand control" type of remote, but the "Wii generation" will not tap into either HD DVD or Blu-ray next-gen formats, unlike its two competitors in the lucrative games industry. Nintendo plans to begin shipping its initial 6 million consoles to retailers globally starting in November.
Sony's PS3 consoles will sell for $500 and $600; Xbox 360 now retails for about $400. Nintendo is reportedly projecting sales of about 17 million Wii units within several months of its launch. Bill Gates recently guesstimated total Xbox 360 sales of about 10 million by late 2006 (with and without HD DVD drives) -- prior to PS3 and Wii hitting store shelves for the first time.
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