Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Wii set for Taiwan launch in time for Lunar New Year

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The long-awaited Nintendo Co's Wii game consoles are expected to arrive at local stores before Lunar New Year, a dealer source said yesterday.

"The latest game consoles will be available no later than February before the long Lunar New Year holiday," a dealer source, on condition of anonymity, told the Taipei Times yesterday.

The company is one of the resellers which will place orders with Hakuyu Ltd (博優), the general distributor of Nintendo's game consoles in Taiwan.

But Hakuyu declined to confirm the debut date, saying that it is still talking to the Kyoto-based Nintendo to finalize details for the first shipment.

"We are not sure on the launch date, pricings or specifications of Wiis for the Taiwanese market," a spokesperson said.

With rival Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 (PS3) consoles already on sale here, eager fans are already getting their hands on a number of imported Wiis from Japan, the Chinese-language DigiTimes reported yesterday.

A check on Yahoo-Kimo Inc and Ruten.com -- the nation's top two auction sites -- revealed that Wii machines were posted for sale, with some prices reaching NT$13,900 (US$428).

This is nearly double the Wii's official price tag of US$250.

The Wii, which made its US debut on Nov. 19, sold a total of 476,000 units

in the market last month, New York-based NPD Group Inc said last Friday.

Introduced in the US two days earlier than Wii, the PS3 has generated sales

of 197,000 units, falling short of Sony's target of 400,000 units.

While the PS3 sells for as much as US$600, more than twice the cost of the

Wii, it is attracting customers with its graphics, online gaming features

and Blu-ray DVD player.

The Wii is primarily luring buyers with a motion-sensor that enables them to

play virtual tennis and golf.

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