Nintendo's Wii console will likely arrive much earlier than expected:
While Nintendo has not made any formal announcements about the launch date for the Wii, most of the industry has expected the machine to hit retail at approximately the same time as Sony's PlayStation 3 (which is set for November 17). Now, industry observers - and insiders - say they expect the system to be available in October, with late September a dark horse candidate.
Indeed, the company appears to be already manufacturing final retail units of the Wii, according to a June 21st analyst's note from P.J. McNealy of American Technology Research. That would give it a significant head start over Sony (Charts), which has yet to begin final manufacturing of the PlayStation 3. Microsoft's first Xbox 360 did not roll off the assembly line last year until 69 days before the on sale date of Nov. 22. (That late start in production is the root cause behind last holiday's shortages.)
"October is a reasonable timeframe," wrote McNealy.