Making Wii appeal to us

With Sony's pricing the focus of so much debate at E3, relatively little attention has been paid to the pricing of Nintendo's Wii and its unique (yes, even in spite of Sony's motion-sensing PS3 controller) controller. Some have speculated that Nintendo may sell Wii for under $250 — well below popular configurations of its next-generation rivals — but Nintendo is still mum on the price, for now saying only that it will deliver "more fun for less money."

Assuming that Nintendo could sell Wii for $250 profitably, I'd suggest a $299 bundle that included the casual Wii Sports game shown at its media event and a second Wii Remote controller. Part of the appeal of early consoles was how easily they facilitated family play by including a second controller. Wii Sports nicely highlights the controller's versatility and interaction model and would not cannibalize any league-licensed sports offerings from, say, EA.

Discussing this idea with friends at E3 led to the trivia question of which US console was first to ship with only one controller. I now think it was NEC's ill-fated Turbo Grafx 16. The system lacked a second bundled controller partially because it had only one controller port. For even two to play, one needed to purchase the five-player TurboTap accessory.

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