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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Christmas debut for Wii in Europe
Screenshot from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be available when Wii launches
Nintendo's Wii console will launch in Europe on 8 December reveals the games firm.

At launch, Nintendo expects the console to cost 249 euros (179) and will come bundled with the Wii Sports series of games.

The first games for the console will go on sale at prices between 49 and 59 euros (34-39 in the UK).

Nintendo said about 20 games would be available on launch date including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Price comparison

The launch price confirms information Nintendo let slip in August that the Wii would cost less than 250 euros when it launched in Europe.

British gamers will pay a slight premium for the console because, at current rates, 249 euros translates to about 168. Shops will begin taking pre-orders for the console from 16 September, Nintendo said.

The price is much lower than the rival Xbox 360 game console which is on sale in the UK for about 279. The PlayStation 3 is not due to launch in Europe until 2007 and early reports suggest it could cost more than 500.

With the Wii console Nintendo is hoping to win fans among people who rarely or never play games. In a bid to make it easier to play, on-screen actions are performed using a motion-sensitive controller.

Nintendo said four million consoles would be available by the time the first launch date arrives.

In early September Nintendo revealed that the console would go on sale in the US on 19 November about two weeks before its Japanese launch.

The Australian launch is due to take place on 7 December.

See Nintendo's new handheld device in action

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