Wii Play Now Available in the U.S.

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Nintendo has finally unleashed Wii Play on the North American market, following strong launched in Europe and Japan. Like Wii Sports (bundled with Wii consoles here in the U.S.), Wii Play is a collection of nine simple games designed to offer hours of entertainment to gamers of all ages. To emphasize the multiplayer nature of the Wii console, Wii Play comes packaged with a Wii Remote—a shortage of Wii Remotes has been cited by some industry followers as a reason for the delay introducing Wii Play to the U.S. market.

Wii Play builds on the types of games and experiences people have come to love in Wii Sports,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior VP of marketing and corporate communications, in a statement. “Millions of people around the world are recognizing Wii as the future of gaming. We are changing how people play games, who plays and how many play.”

Wii Play includes Fishing (which uses the Wii Remote like a fishing rod), Billiards, Tanks, Shooting Range, Duck Hunt, Table Tennis, Charge! (a game where players control a charging cow), and Laser Hockey. Two other games use player’s “Mii” caricatures/avatars: Pose Mii has players orient their Miis in positions to match silhouettes, and Find Mii has players locate specific Miis in an ever-expanding crowd. Nintendo characterizes the games as “easy to learn and difficult to put down,” following the company’s ethos of developing games which appeal to everyone from hard-core gamers to grandparents.

Wii Play is priced at $49.99 (compare that to the $39.99 suggested price for a Wii Remote) and is rated E for “Everyone” by the ESRB.