Nintendo’s Wii console is to launch in the US on 19 November at $250 – half the price of the lowest-spec Sony PS3 and two days later. Microsoft’s Gears of War game for the Xbox 360 is released on 7 November so all three will be neck and neck for Christmas. Four million Wiis will be shipped by the end of 2006 and the console is also compatible with older NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 games. The buzz among gamers is that the Wii is the most anticipated, not just because of features like the photo gallery, news channel, Opera web browser, IRC and that crazy wireless controller, but also because it’s more social and less “gamer focused”. That reflects what an analyst said yesterday about Apple’s move into the living room – it’s considered “one of the key, untapped consumer electronics markets”.
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This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.