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Ninty wanted hundred-dollar Wii

Says Miyamoto.

Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that Nintendo initially intended its next-gen console to go on sale for under US $100 - but certain features pushed up the price.

Speaking in an interview with Business Week Miyamoto said, "Originally, I wanted a machine that would cost $100. My idea was to spend nothing on the console technology so all the money could be spent on improving the interface and software.

"If we hadn't used NAND flash memory and other pricey parts, we might have succeeded," he added.

At first Nintendo "didn't think it was possible to build a powerful machine for less than 50,000 Yen" (330 Euro), and there were concerns about power consumption, cooling systems and boot-up time.

In the end, "We had to compromise on graphics and give up on a powerful chip," Miyamoto conceded.

"Many of our employees initially wanted high-definition graphics. But they agreed with us that graphics wouldn't matter if the games weren't fun to play." However, Miyamoto observed, the Wii is "much faster" than the GameCube.

He explained that much of the thinking behind the Wii came from trying to imagine what would convince mothers to buy a console for their kids - "We talked about basic concepts and goals, not about the technical specifications of the console.

"Our goal was to come up with a machine that moms would want - easy to use, quick to start up, not a huge energy drain, and quiet while it was running," Miyamoto said.