Its a rare event that can make me leave the house of an evening without the promise of booze, but the launch of Nintendos new 'Wii' console is one of those such events.

Lining up with 100 of so of my fellow un-washed bretheren (read: geeks like me...) I waited patiently in line until midnight when the store began releasing consoles to those of us who pre-ordered. A quick taxi ride home (I wasn't about to chance a casual mugging on public transport) and I was setting up my new toy.

Nintendos Wii

For those of you who haven't heard about it, then heres a quick recap. The Wii is Nintendos latest attempt at world domination. Instead of chasing gamers who are slavishly waiting for Sony's polygon flinging box, Nintendo has taken aim at the far larger market of non-gamers. The hook with the Wii rests in its motion sensetive controller. The remote shaped 'wii-mote' senses movement in 3D space. You can swing it like a club, aim it like a gun or waving it like a lunatic. It also features online capability including a forthcoming web browser.

Other than that, the machine is a really simple console. No fancy high defintion, no digital outputs, it doesn't even play DVD's. Nintendo is keeping the entry costs down on this machine, instead making it rather affordable at $399. in contrast to Sony and Microsofts' offerings, its a bit more affordable and includes extras like a pack in game.

So after a quick bit of setup, I was swinging away at tennis with the included 'Wii-sports'. The consoles control is remarkable, very intuative and surprisingly accurate. Within half an hour I was able to apply spin to the ball and direct it around the court. When I brought it into work on thursday night, anyone who picked up the controller could return serve within a minute of two of playing. Its also very addictive, we ended up playing until 2:30 the next morning.

Its an interesting time to be playing video games. Three new consoles are vying for your attention or more importantly, your dollars. Whilst Sony and Microsoft are bashing each other about the head with media playback, high definition and more processing power than a lunar lander (actually my daughters old tamagotchi has more processing power than the landing module - Rab) , Nintendo has released a quaint little box that focuses on the enjoyment of the games.

I must go now, as Rab has just walked into the office with an X box 360...