RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
A similar buying frenzy was repeated yesterday, this time for the coveted Wii, made by Nintendo. The two new systems, along with Microsoft's Xbox 360, are the biggest players in the multibillion dollar gaming industry.
Joining us now is Ralph Cooper. He's one of the hosts of the NPR podcast Press Start. And Ralph has brought with him the Wii gaming system. Hi.
RALPH COOPER: Hey, Renee. How are you doing?
MONTAGNE: Pretty good. So you've got that Wii gaming system. Describe what the device looks like.
COOPER: The device itself really looks like a stand alone disk drive that you have on the side of your computer. It's not really a big machine at all. And the killer of the Wii is the small remote control, which is built to look like a television remote. It can't be more than eight inches across and it weighs barely anything.
MONTAGNE: So using that, can you give us a demonstration that we make sense of on the radio?
COOPER: I'm going to try to. What you are hearing right now actually in the background is the game - we are at a bowling alley. The game that you're hearing is called Wii Sports. Right now my character which is called Amii(ph) in Nintendo speak is standing, looking down the lane, and you have to put your arm down like you're really bowling. In fact, there's a little warning that comes up before the game starts that says, please make sure there are no objects or anyone around you when you swing.
All right. Now, we're going to go down the lane. I'm going to try and strike here. Rolling. Oh, but I only got six pins on my first try.
MONTAGNE: Oh, sorry Ralph.
COOPER: It's all right.
MONTAGNE: How much do these devices cost? They're not cheap.
COOPER: Well, actually, the Wii is cheap in videogame world. It's $250 in comparison to $600 plus for the PlayStation 3.
MONTAGNE: We talked about people lining up. They are fighting to get - to be the first to get these games. The competition between the makers of these machines is pretty intense. And I'm wondering if that's because the games themselves are just the beginning.
COOPER: Yes, actually. The games are just the beginning for all of the consoles that are around. The idea is to be your central point of entertainment for your living room.
For example, on the PlayStation 3, supposedly, you can burn CDs. With the Wii, you can go online to either check out weather, check out sports, check out local news. You can go on and pull up your email and things of that nature. So the idea is to try and keep you, in so many words, in one place. So that you don't have to go to, let's say, upstairs to check your computer and then to another room to watch a DVD. We want to be you're all-in-one entertainment source.
MONTAGNE: Ralph, it's been a pleasure and we'll talk soon.
COOPER: All right, Renee.
MONTAGNE: Ralph Cooper is co-host of the NPR podcast Press Start.
COOPER: Thanks a lot.
MONTAGNE: Okay. Well, I'll let you get back to that bowling game. Go for that strike.
COOPER: All right, Renee.
MONTAGNE: And you can read a comparison of the Wii and PlayStation at npr.org.