On September 13, 2012, Nintendo finally revealed the price and launch details of their new video game console, Wii U.
While the New York conference, held at 10:00 a.m. EDT, dragged a bit in the beginning, we cleanly avoided a repeat of E3 2012 with some solid information on upcoming games and Wii U features.
First, the Wii U will be launching in North America on November 18 with the choice of two SKUs.
The “basic” console will contain an 8GB white Wii U console, gamepad, and HDMI cable. This standard package will cost $299.99.
The “Deluxe” version, however, will include a 32GB black Wii U console, gamepad, HDMI cable, Nintendo Land, extra stands for the gamepad and console, and Nintendo Network Premium, which will give gamers at least two years of discounted digital purchases (ten percent points back on each). The Deluxe weighs in at $349.99.
At the moment, both versions of the console can still be pre-ordered online at Gamestop, Toys ‘R Us, and Best Buy, but pre-orders seem to be filling fast. No news yet on when (or if) Amazon will accept pre-orders.
Some have been put off by the lack of storage included in both versions of the Wii U. While Microsoft and Sony hit 160-250GB per bundle, Nintendo’s maximum of 32GB internal memory (much less 8GB) seems poor in comparison.
However, Nintendo has pointed out that users will be able to use their own external hard drives to compensate for this. Nintendo Of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has stated plainly, “We’ll let the consumer buy as much as they want, as cheaply as they want.”
Unfortunately, details on the Wii U’s operating system and online Miiverse network were oddly absent during the conference. We did, however, get a peak at Nintendo’s leap into television with their Nintendo TVii feature.
Nintendo TVii is an all-in-one hub for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Streaming, and live television programming. Users will be able to effortlessly find their favorite programs and movies using the Wii U gamepad, all in a single integrated program.
The New York conference had a slow start. We got the launch details, the price, everything we expected. But then we plunged right back into Nintendo’s flagship Wii U launch title, Nintendo Land.
Those of us who sat through the Nintendo E3 2012 presentation began having terrible flashbacks of fake fireworks displays and wind-up F-Zero racing. But all was not lost.
Metroid Blast looks like a fun diversion, and with the news that Nintendo Land will be a pack-in with the Deluxe Wii U, a light began to shine at the end of the tunnel. Then, we got to the good stuff.
Nintendo has been ever-so-slightly more aggressive with courting third-parties this time around, and the shocking revelation that they’ll be exclusively publishing Bayonetta 2 caught everyone by surprise. Even better? Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is set to release in March 2013, also exclusive to Wii U, and will be cross-compatible with the 3DS version.
Finally, we can expect a pretty strong day-and-date launch lineup for Wii U, with games like New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Zombi U, and Assassin’s Creed 3 appearing alongside the console on day one. Pikmin 3, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, and The Wonderful 101 will arrive by the end of March 2013.
For more information on Nintendo’s Wii U console, including game videos and other details, be sure to check out the official Wii U website.
ComputerAndVideoGames.com, Nintendo Network Premium reward scheme details
The Verge, These are the games hitting the day the Wii U arrives
IGN, ‘Monster hunter 3’ To Be Bundled With Wii U In Japan
Engadget, Nintendo Wii U expandable memory explained, TiVO hardware not built in