15 months after shipping out the Wii to stores in North America, Nintendo will officially debut the localized console in South Korea this April 26th.
Despite the Wii's worldwide success, Nintendo has been hesitant to release the system in South Korea and China due to software piracy concerns and their PC-dominated gaming markets. The Korea Times reported from a press conference in central Seol that Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata apologized with a bow
to the audience, "We are very sorry to keep you waiting so long."
The Wii will retail for 220,000 Won ($225) and will not include Wii Sports
as a pack-in. The system's two most popular titles, Wii Sports
and Wii Play
will both be available individually for 39,000 Won ($40).
Other launch games include Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
, FIFA 2008
, Namco Museum Remix
, Pangya Golf 2nd Shot
, the last of which being the only Korean-developed title. Pricing will range from 38,000 Won ($39) to 48,000 Won ($49). Activision also plans to bring Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
to Korea the following month for 88,000 Won ($90).
Though South Korea's Virtual Console initial selection will be limited to Famicom, Super Famicom, and Nintendo 64 games, pricing for those titles will be significantly less than in other territories, with Super Famicom and Nintendo 64 downloads being $2 cheaper than their North American counterparts.
Comparing the Wii's potential to the DS's success, Iwata said, "I remember that the general sentiment was skeptical when we first launched the DS in Korea. But as we all know, it is now played by many customers here, even aged people who were unlikely to play video games before."