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4/14/2009
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Nintendo Wii MotionPlus Due In June

The latest device, which brings one-to-one control to games, will only work with games that have been coded for it.

Nintendo on Tuesday said MotionPlus, the add-on device that improves performance of the motion-sensing remote control for the Wii video-game console, will be released to U.S. retailers June 8.

In addition, Nintendo said it would launch the Wii Sports Resort, a collection of beach-themed games that take advantage of MotionPlus capabilities, on July 26. The games and hardware will be available as a bundle for a manufacturer suggested retail price of $50. MotionPlus alone will sell for $20.

The latest add-on takes the price of a fully outfitted Wiimote -- MotionPlus and the previously released Nunchuk controller attachment -- to $80. The latest device, which brings one-to-one control to games, only works with games that have been coded for it.

"The variety of fun games in Wii Sports Resort show off its incredible precision," Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive VP of sales and marketing, said in a statement.

Nevertheless, the success of MotionPlus will depend on whether developers embrace the technology in games. Working in Nintendo's favor is the popularity of the Wii. The company has sold more than 50 million units of the video-game console since its release in November 2006. During his keynote at the Game Developers Conference last month, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata attributed the success of the Wii to software built for the device.

Earlier this month, Nintendo released in the United States the DSi, the latest iteration of the DS portable gaming devices. Nintendo has sold more 100 million units of DS handhelds.

Sales of consoles overall, including the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360, rose 11% in February to $532.7 million, according to NPD. The Nintendo Wii and the company's portable console, the DS, continued to lead the market in terms of unit sales at 753,000 and 588,000 units, respectively.


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