Its low price and innovative controller could push Nintendo's Wii console to the top spot in Japan's multi-billion dollar video gaming market, two industry watchers said Thursday.
The Wii goes on sale in Japan on December 2, a few weeks after the November 11 launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 console.
The PlayStation 3 oozes powerful, cutting-edge technology. It's based on the Cell microprocessor, which was custom-developed for the console and promises to deliver graphics that are unprecedented in consumer video games. It also packs a Blu-ray Disc drive for playing back high-definition movies.
Nintendo's Wii is an altogether different machine. It runs on lower-specification hardware and won't do high-definition, but it does have an ace up its sleeve in the form of its controller. Fitted with motion sensors and a wireless link, the controller can be waved about to control the game, giving a new type of gaming experience. It can be swung like a bat in a baseball game or jabbed like a fist in a boxing game, for example.
The controller's intuitive handling is likely to allow Nintendo to attract people who've never played on a games console before, said Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Enterbrain, which publishes Japan's leading gaming magazine, Famitsu.