Nintendo Wii Rumor Roundup: Price, Launch Date and More

Here we go again with the Wii guessing game.

That’s in reference to the Wii, Nintendo’s entry in the next-gen console race, which might cost $200-$250 in the US. But a UK preorder claims Ã?£149.99, which due to higher European prices fits the bill nicely. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated for Kids predicts a November 6th US launch.

First, the preorder rumor: HEXUS Gaming reports on a Web sighting of a preorder page for the Wii with the Ã?£149.99 price I just mentioned, and a possible October 15th launch in the UK. According to HEXUS, the price appears “slightly steeper than expected, but still way cheaper than both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.” That begged the site to ask if Shopto.net merely was taking a wild guess, or if they “let the cat of the bag before Nintendo have had a chance to announce the price” which, of course, would be quite the surprise. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily provide a clear indication that the pricing and/or launch date is indeed finalized, but it’s a start.

As for the US launch, Sports Illustrated for Kids (the version of the venerable Time Warner sports tabloid for younger readers) is standing firm on the November 6th rumor, which has been mentioned time and again as it is, with everything from gaming enthusiast sites such as CubedÃ?³ and even a [literally] drunken videogame exec pinpointing the date, even going so far as to say a Japanese launch would happen within ten days before the US launch happens. Now this isn’t finalized, either, so I’m eating it lightly salted – but it does fall in line with the rumors that have already hit the Internet. And there’s another side to the launch rumor: another Time Warner journalist (from the CNN/Money website, no less, and in that site’s Game Over feature to boot) has said that a late-September/early-October launch isn’t out of the question, either.

And we already know about the SD card slot that the Wii will utilize for data storage, of course – but the fact that the flap that hides it away almost destroyed the next rumor before it got off the ground – because of Fils-Aime’s own words, no less – is also in question. “That is where an SD card goes,” is what Reggie had said, to many disappointments. “That’s storable media. And on top are the attachments for the GameCube controllers.” Reggie had also said that SD cards are not the only available option, of course: “It will be one of the memory mediums, and it’s the only one that we’ve announced.” And with that, the rumor seemed to die. Or did it?

Now, unbelievably, a photo posted to Play-Nintendo.com reveals there’s also a Sync button under there. But just what does that button do? Hard to tell at this point – it could be for just about anything: the DS functionality, the storage of media to the SD card (that I thought of from looking at the button’s positioning), or even some yet-to-be-announced capability. We’ll just have to wait and see – but rest assured, someone will be playing with the Wii soon enough that can solve this one for good.

As for the other two rumors, whether either of them is true or not, I have no way of knowing. But I will tell you that I intend to keep a close watch on these and other rumors concerning the Wii, as well as finalized launch details (read: confirmed date, launch games, etc.) For now, I’ll take these rumors as-is and let you all decide for yourself if you’re ready to believe these rumors or not. I’ll leave you now with Nintendo’s official answer to the launch rumor, which is simply that launch information is due to be released “in September,” and that it’s entirely possible that the coming occurrence of that announcement may have ben misunderstood.

And in the meantime, I’ll keep you posted.

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