Following up from last week's potential price and availability of the Wii U, Nintendo's Wii U press conference in New York City finally confirmed the details that we've been waiting to hear about since E3 of last year. One of our favorite company heads, Reggie Fils-Aime, took the stage and started off by addressing the three biggest aspects of the Wii U we wanted to know about: pricing, availability and specs. We now know that Nintendo's next flagship console will be available in the US on November 18th and will start at $299.
There will be two versions available for purchase, a Basic Set (in white) will run you $299 and a Deluxe Set (in black) will cost $349. Contrary to our speculation last week, neither will come with two GamePads. Instead, the Basic Set will include the 8GB console, one GamePad, a sensor bar and an HDMI cable, while the Deluxe Set will feature the 32GB console, one GamePad, sensor bar, HDMI cable and the addition of a charging and console stand for the GamePad and console, respectively. It will also include a copy of Nintendo Land so you can start to figure out the confusion that appears to be a kid carnival with your favorite game characters.
What else is there to know about the Wii U? A lot! We go into more specs, along with game announcements and the addition of Nintendo's TVii after the break.
The console doesn't look too far off from it's predecessor, the Wii, and weighs in at just under 3.5 pounds. Under the hood, the console rocks an IBM Power7-based multicore processor, custom-tailored AMD Readeon GPU chipset, 8GB or 32GB of internal SSD, expandable SD and USB slots, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and, thankfully, an HDMI port.
The highlight and most interesting aspect of the Wii U, the GamePad, has a 6.2 inch touch-screen display, capable of single-input only with a finger or stylus, built-in stereo speakers and mic, an accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, sensor bar and NFC support. While we don't know how many games will either allow gameplay to happen on the GamePad's screen or merely allow it to be a secondary experience, we do know that this might be the best thing for Nintendo if developers are able to make it feel like a natural extension of your gaming style. It should be noted that Nintendo will also be selling a Wii U Pro controller as well, which will be a sold-separately controller that is used for first-person shooters.
Reggie also announced a list of games, along with the developers who were there to present them. It's sad to say, but many of them, while great additions to, or sequels for, the Nintendo platform, look "cartoony" and still appear to be an age behind the current-gen consoles from the company's direct competition. Even the Wii U version of Call of Duty looks worse than what TreyArch usually puts out as a finished product. However, we should expect to see the following games launch in Nintendo's "launch window" of November 18th, 2012 to March of 2013. It's weird, but developers have this weird infatuation with the month of March for some reason.
- Nintendo Land
- New Super Mario Bros.
- NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor's Edge
- LEGO City Undercover
- SiNG PARTY
- Bayonetta 2
- Pikmin 3
- Wii Fit U
- The Wonderful 101
- Game & Wario
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- Skylanders Giants
- Transformers Prime
- Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Madden NFL 13
- Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
- TANK! TANK! TANK!
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- NBA 2K13
- Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
- Darksiders II
- Assassin's Creed III
- Just Dance 4
- Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
- Rabbids Land
- Rayman Legends
- ESPN Sports Connection
- Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
- Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
- Game Party Champions
- Scribblenauts Unlimited
Lastly, I want to make sure we don't leave out Nintendo's latest product that will launch on the Wii U - TVii. Yes, in keeping with Nintendo's way of spelling things, TVii, as the Regginator puts it, will help users find and watch TV shows, moves and sports shows. The "channel" comes with Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video on launch, and also includes support for TiVo DVRs, which I guess is pretty cool if you still have TiVo. To me, it feels like another iteration of Xbox LIVE's TV & Movies channel, with all of the apps included inside of a hub. However the ability to click on a show via your GamePad seems like a realy cool idea that might catch on with the casual gamer who doesn't own a Kinect yet. Perhaps I'd be more inclined to get along with the idea if it wasn't a watered-down version of Microsoft's SmartGlass. Either way, I think it was about time Nintendo brought on several media partners and gave its users a way to interact with the content in an easy, intuitive way.
With all of that being said, there are still so many questions that haven't been answered yet and we're just over 60 days from launch. I want to know how MiiVerse will work. Will there be a second GamePad that will work with any launch title and how much will the Pad cost me? For that matter, what's the cost on a Wii U game? Is Netflix, Hulu and Amazon the only media content we'll see? Finally, we know Nintendo is going big on DLC, but with only 8 or 32GB of storage, how big can you go? My 320GB Xbox is almost filled right now.
Even with those questions left unanswered, do you think the Wii U will still sell well? This is make or break time for Nintendo and I think they have a lot of work ahead of them in order to not end up purchased by Google. How do you think Nintendo will fair? With a game like Bayonetta 2 being a Wii U exclusive, things like that might actually get them the results and sales they need. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.