By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: The Nintendo Wii will be the cheapest next generation video game console available when it hits US shelves in October this year, with a price which “will not exceed $250 in America.

Nintendo Australia has confirmed Australian consumers will spend less than $350 on the console when it is launched prior to Christmas, meaning it will occupy a completely different market space of its competitors the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 (PS3).

Nintendo projects an 18 per cent growth in the global video game industry, and hopes to ship six million Wii consoles between its launch and the end of the Japanese fiscal year on 31 March 2007.

Nintendo also hopes to sell 17 million software titles in that time and to have the Wii released prior to Sony’s PS3, which is planned to launch in November this year.

The price of the Wii will see it sitting at almost one third the price of the Sony PS3 (RRP $999), which according to, prompted Microsoft’s corporate vice president of interactive entertainment, Peter Moore, to say he “loves what Nintendo is doing.”

Moore believes Nintendo is in a different space to the Xbox 360 and PS3, mainly due to pricing, subtly discrediting Sony’s pricing strategy by adding that consumers may end up purchasing both the Wii and the Xbox 360, “you put the two together and it’s probably the same price as the PS3.”