Wii to launch below $200 with Opera browser?

— 7:05 PM on May 10, 2006

Nintendo has yet to announce a price or launch date for its upcoming Wii console, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from grinding all week. On Monday, Joystiq reported the console might sell for $249, and yesterday, Nintendo's own VP of Sales and Marketing Reggie Fills-Aime declared Wii would offer "more fun for less money." This remark was taken as a hint that the console would launch somewhere below the PlayStation 3's recently disclosed $499 price—and perhaps lower. Now, Sega's VP of Marketing Scott Steinberg is being quoted by Forbes as saying gamers can "bet on the Wii . . . selling for less than $200." Such a price would be at least a good $100 lower than even Microsoft's "Basic" Xbox 360 bundle, but it could make sense for Nintendo considering the Wii's apparently far from next-gen internals.

In other Wii-related news, Opera has announced Nintendo's upcoming console will feature the Opera browser. This move makes sense, since Opera is already working on a version of its browser for the Nintendo DS handheld console, which it expects to make available this summer in Japan. One could also see Opera integrating its mouse gesture functionality with the Wii's motion-sensitive controller to speed up browsing, although no such integration has been announced. Opera did not divulge a release schedule for the Wii version of Opera, either, but a Nintendo manager has said the browser is required "for [the] Wii console launch in 2006."

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