So, Nintendo's European Press Conference is drawing to a close as I'm posting this, and after two days of speculation based on information from the Japanese and American conferences, we finally know the important facts about the Wii launch here in Europe: -
Launch Date: December 8th 2006
Price: GBP 179 / EUR 249
Package: White Console, 1 Wii Remote, 1 Nunchuck, Wii Sports
Game Price: GBP 34 - 39 / EUR 49 - 59
First Party Launch Titles: Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, Wii Sports
Third Party Launch Titles: Red Steel, Rayman: Raving Rabbids, Need For Speed Carbon, Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
I think that generally, the message is pretty positive; Â£180 is perhaps a little bit steeper than the Â£150 mark everyone was expecting to pay, but it's not a big enough increment to cause too much upset. Additionally, the lower cost of games (compared the the Xbox 360 and projected PS3 cost of around Â£50) certainly sweetens the proposition. Throwing Wii Sports into the package was unexpected, but it seems like a no-brainer to include the game that showcases the console's technology most effectively. It does seem rather odd that the "vital, emerging european market" is getting the Wii launch dead last, even after Australia, but at least it's before Christmas. I'm still very, very excited.
The European part of the Wii site has also just launched over here, so you can have a look at the Mii (character avatar) creation process, as well as the various other channels that will be accessible through Wii Connect 24.