Is the Black Nintendo Wii Console Coming to America?
Both Europe and Japan have received special edition black Nintendo Wii consoles. Speculation about a similar North American launch has run rampant. Given Nintendo's history, combined with the recent release of the black Wii Remote and Wii Motion Plus, chances of a US release are good.
Black Nintendo Wii Console Coming May 9th
As suspected, Nintendo officially announced their intention to release a Black Nintendo Wii just days before it is to hit shelves. Eager gamers can get their hands on the black console along with a copy of Wii Sports Resort and a Wii Motion Plus on May 9th.
Nintendo has been taunting eager gamers with pictures of multi-colored Wii systems since months before the console's launch. For the first few years of the system's existence, supply difficulties and system shortages made any speculation about Nintendo releasing additional colors unnecessary, they were having enough trouble keeping the systems on the shelf so it was doubtful they had time to work on a redesign, even something as simple as a color swap.
Now, recent announcements have reignited the colored Wii firestorm. Shortly before Christmas, Nintendo released a special edition black Wii Remote controller and Wii Motion Plus add on here in the states, and they quickly became must-have gifts.
Additionally, the Japanese market received a special edition black Nintendo Wii last summer. Nintendo has historically been stingy with special edition hardware, often offering special items in Japan that never make their way to the United States, so this alone doesn't necessarily guarantee that there are any plans for a US version.
Speculation further ignited when a special edition black Nintendo Wii bundle hit Europe last November. This EU-only package included the Wii Console, Black Motion Plus, Black Wii Remote, and Wii Sports Resort.
Nintendo has yet to confirm the existence of a North American black Wii bundle, but all signs seem to be pointing towards a US release. The black accessories released just before Christmas could have been some sort of test, and judging by the huge sales numbers, interest in colored systems and accessories seems to be high in America.
With so many gamers owning all three systems, a black Wii would certainly fit in nicely next to a Playstation 3 and a black Xbox 360 Elite. Many gamers would be willing to trade in their original Wii for a black one simply for the sake of symmetry.
Check out page two for more on the black Wii in North America, including a run-down of Nintendo's past system re-releases.
Nintendo's Colored Past - Black Wii Console
Nintendo is certainly no stranger to hardware re-releases. Most gamers lost count of the different iterations of the Game Boy Advance that hit US stores over the years. The DS has followed a similar pattern, evolving from the original DS (or "DS Fat"), through the redesigned DS Lite, and into the currently-on-shelves DSi.
Next up is the redesigned DSi XL, due out in the early months of 2010. The XL is quite a bit larger than the DSi, boasting a 93% larger screen, better view angle, and a redesigned stylus. The XL is mostly identical to the DSi in other respects.
Of course, the DS and GBA were both handheld systems, and the Wii is not. Still, Nintendo is no stranger to offering different console colors, either. The Gamecube originally launched in several colors, and went through a large number of special-edition redesigns throughout its life cycle. The N64 likewise received several different-colored iterations over the years.
For now, Nintendo is remaining tight-lipped about the existence of a black Wii console in North America. Gaming sites are currently afire with rumors about it, however, and that is typically a good sign of an upcoming announcement. Nintendo has never been a company that shows their cards too early, ever vigilant against giving an advantage to their rivals. The European black Wii bundle, for example, was announced barely a month before its release, so expect them to wait until the last possible moment to announce their plans.
Still, I'd say we have a pretty good chance of receiving a black Wii sometime this year, around Christmas at the latest. Nintendo knows that the system would be a huge hit, and that many who already own a Wii console would not hesitate to pick up a second in a different color.