Today has been a huge day for the video game wizards at Nintendo.
Starting in Japan, and extending to the US and Europe, 3 separate press conferences were held to announce the release dates and pricing for their next generation home console, the Wii U.
The Wii U is built around the innovation of the tablet-esq “GamePad” bundled with each system, serving as a Nintendo DS-esq second screen for certain games, and even allowing you to play the game without use of a television on others.
The system will be rolled out world wide at the end of this year, with the United States releasing first, on Sunday, November 18th, followed by Europe on Friday, November 30th and Japan receiving the Wii U last on Saturday, December 8th.
The console will be released in two variants – a basic version for $299.99 (US) featuring a white 8GB Wii U console, a gamepad, AC adapters, a sensor bar, and an HDMI Cable. For $349.99 (US), you get the Deluxe package, which includes all that found in the basic pack, and upgrades to a a black, 32GB console, with charging cradles and a free copy of Nintendoland (the WiiPlay-esq game to show off the GamePad, which now includes a Metroid themed level, as shown at the press conference).
Of note – owners of the Deluxe package also get enrolled in what is called the “Deluxe Digital Promotion”, which promises subscribers discounts for digitally downloaded content with frequent purchases.
Additionally, a new product called Nintendo TVii (yes, really) was shown, a mixture of DVR and social network integrating the Wii U with your TV watching, allowing you to choose programs to watch, suggest programs to friends, and discuss live TV with your fellow Wii U owners. The press conference also showcased a number of games, including launch titles New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendoland, the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and the surprise announcement of a Nintendo exclusive Bayonetta 2, a sequel to the Devil May Cry-esq shooter released a few years ago.
Personally, having yet to spend any hands on time with the system, I am still on the fence, but Nintendo is planning a multi-city mall tour to showcase the new games and control system, to take people like myself and convert us in time for the November release. Will it pay off? We’ll know soon enough.
Source: The Verge