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Nintendo to pitch Wii at under $250

Low Wii fee to drive demand

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Nintendo has revealed its next-generation console, the Wii, will retail in the US for $250 or less, and no more than ¥25,000 ($220/£119/€174) in Japan. It also expects to have shipped more than 6m of the machines by March 2007, the company said today.

That's as many machines as the total number of PlayStation 3 consoles Sony is expecting to ship in the same period. Sony's box is more than twice the price of the Wii. Both Sony and Microsoft have suggested consumers will buy a Wii alongside each company's more advanced console because the Nintendo machine is relatively so cheap.

Nintendo made the announcement in Osaka this morning after reporting a 12.5 per cent rise in full-year net profits to ¥98.38bn ($876.7m) but a 19 per cent drop in operating profits. The gain arose from the relative strengths of the Yen and the Dollar during the 12-month period, which ended 31 March 2006. Annual sales were down 1.2 per cent to ¥509.25bn ($4.54bn).

For the current fiscal year, due to end on 31 March 2007, Nintendo said it expects to announce an operating profit of ¥110bn ($980.19m). The boost will come largely from sales of the Wii and ongoing demand for the DS, particularly now the redesigned DS Lite will soon ship in Europe and the US. ®

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