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Wii U launches November 18 in U.S. at $300, $350 price points
Wii U launches November 18 in U.S. at $300, $350 price points
September 13, 2012 | By Staff

September 13, 2012 | By Staff
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    45 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Nintendo of America is kicking off its next generation of consoles on November 18 in the U.S. with the launch of the Wii U "Basic" and "Deluxe" variations, the company announced at a Thursday press event in New York City.

The Basic offering will be $300 -- a $50 increase from the 2006 launch price of the original Wii -- and come with a GamePad and 8 GB of storage space.

Wii U's Deluxe model will sell for $350, and include the game collection Nintendo Land, 32 GB of storage and a discount that gives shoppers a "Deluxe Digital" 10 percent discount on certain downloadable titles until 2014.

Europe will receive the same Basic and Deluxe sets on November 30, though pricing will be left to distributors to decide. The Wii U hits Japan on December 8 at 26,250 ($339) for the Basic set, and 31,500 ($407) for a Deluxe set that doesn't come bundled with Nintendo Land.

None of the sets includes the Wii U-compatible remote and "nunchuck" controllers that were popularized by the original Wii. Nintendo said it didn't want to require people to buy something that they already own, although the company will sell Wii U-branded remotes, nunchucks and accessories.

Beyond games

Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime also announced what he called "probably the most different, non-gaming initiative Nintendo has ever introduced" -- TVii.

"We saw the Wii become the singular device most people used to connect their TV to the internet... We had to wait for the right technology to come along, and it has with Wii U," Fils-Aime said.

TVii is an entertainment pillar for Wii U that offers TV, movies, and sports programming. A demo video for TVii showed popular streaming services from Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video, selectable from the Wii U's touch pad.

TVii is tied to users' profiles and friends, and offers a "personalized program guide" that also works with users' DVR and TV channels. It has an icon-based home page that users can personalize, as well as internet-based recommendations.

The games

Nintendo highlighted a number of games, including first-party titles Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U.

The company also touted third-party developer support, announcing Capcom's Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS next March, and Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops 2 this November.

One of the more surprising Wii U game announcements was Platinum Games' Bayonetta 2 -- a Wii U exclusive published by Nintendo. The original Bayonetta, also developed by Platinum, was an M-rated multiplatform game published by Sega for only PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.



Nintendo made sure to highlight support from Activision, a key partner for the console maker. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg took the stage, emphasizing that the Wii U is "the most capable Nintendo platform ever, particularly for the types of games we like to make."

Activision's Wii U lineup includes Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Skylanders Giants, 007 Legends, Wipeout 3, and Transformers.

[Update: Polygon reports that most titles on Wii U will have a suggested retail price of $59.99. That's a $10 increase from the typical suggested price of games on the original Wii, bringing Wii U games more in line with the pricing structure seen on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.]

In all, Fils-Aime called the Wii U launch library the "the strongest for any home console in history." Nintendo of America and third-party publishers plan to release more than 50 games for the system between this November and March 2013.


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Comments


kevin Koos
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Not buying until there are at least 3 games I really want. Dont need another devise to watch tv...

Jeremy Alessi
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At least the US price is more reasonable than expected from the Japanese price points. Unfortunately, I think a repeat of the 3DS price drop is possible unless the games are insanely fun. Right now there doesn't appear to be a killer app though.

Nintendo Land does look fun... for Nintendo fans but it may not have the wide reaching appeal of Wii Sports. I'm probably on board though.

Nick Fraker
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I think I'm going to be buying one this year, though I'm not that happy with a $350 price tag. Maybe it's something to do with being a lifelong Nintendo customer but *not* purchasing one as close to launch as I'm able is an idea that I just don't have the ability to comprehend.

Gern Blanston
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I think for what is offered it is $50 too expensive for either tier. I would need much more HDD space, so I'd have to go out and buy some SD cards or another external HDD. Either way, it's more money. On top of that, not having software bundled in with the Basic version is a big letdown.

I feel that a $199 PS3 Super Slim would be the much better deal (pending the TGS announcement). For $100 less, it's a bigger HDD, hundreds more games in the library, and far more 3rd party support... Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 6 just to name a few that will not be available on Wii U.

The value's not in it as far as I'm concerned, but I don't doubt that it will sell just as many units as the original Wii did in its lifetime. Just having Monster Hunter and a proper Call of Duty will push good sales in both the west and the east.

Ardney Carter
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"I would need much more HDD space, so I'd have to go out and buy some SD cards or another external HDD."

What could you possibly have to put on it that would come to more than 32GB, especially at launch??

Gern Blanston
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Ardney,

Game downloads. Lots of them. You must be new to gaming if you don't think that digital downloads can fill up a 32GB HDD in no time.

Ardney Carter
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No, I'm not 'new to gaming'and yes, I do have a hard time believing that you would fill up the HD on the system at launch.

Now, granted, I was not thinking in terms of digitally downloading each and every game for the system. But in my defense, I was (again) thinking in terms of launch where one would presumably actually be physically present at a retailer to purchase the system and therefore the games as well. This coupled with the fact that you were decrying the size of the library at launch led me to ask precisely what it was you saw yourself putting on the HD that would max it out so fast.

Chris Hendricks
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My initial thought was the same... $50 too expensive for either tier. But then I read Gamasutra's other article about price comparison, and seeing prices adjusted for inflation did make me reconsider.

I know I'll buy a Wii U, but I'm not sure when.

Gern Blanston
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Ardney,

Whether I would need an external HDD on launch day, or a month later, is a moot point. I'll need one regardless. And I never said that the launch list was small. In fact their launch is one of the biggest ever. But compare any launch lineup to a console's library after 6 years and the difference is incredible. You misunderstood what I was saying.

And I certainly don't have to download every single game available in order to fill up 32GB of space. We're talking 3 or 4 retail games, and it's about done. I prefer to download rather than own a physical copy in order to cut down on the production of plastics and build-up of unnecessary waste. So considering the fact that Nintendo stated their plans to offer downloadable versions of several retail games at launch, that little HDD wouldn't be able to handle it.

If you think I'm the only person these days that prefers digital downloads, then you are mistaken. I'm also not the only one that appreciates not having to purchase extra parts outside of a console bundle. There are phones with more memory than Wii U. Think about it.

Matthew Mouras
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I'd like to get one this season. Wonder when Bayonetta 2 will launch? If it remains exclusive, I would purchase the console for that game alone.

Ian Fisch
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Really weak launch lineup, in my opinion.

There are already like 3 versions of new super mario bros floating around on various consoles. A slightly different one on Wii U is not going to persuade me to spend $300.

Cordero W
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Well, let's hope 3rd party developers finally develop for Nintendo again. No excuse now that the technology of the current consoles are there.

Bob Johnson
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@Ian

There is only one console version of SMB made in the last ~16-18 years afaik.

David Marcum
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@Cordero
There is a reason for developers to take a wait and see for developing a cross platform game that includes Wii U. The tablet controller can't be ignored and that takes money and time. Whether or not it's worth spending development resources depends on how many units they expect to sell on the Wii U.

I expect the Wii U will sell well. Will that translate into 3rd party sales? I don't know but I hope so.

Craig Page
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I'll get one when there's a Wii U Mario bundle for $149.99 like the current Wii...

E Zachary Knight
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So you are going to wait 4-5 years for it? Ok.

Adam Bishop
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I waited 2-3 years into the 360 and PS3's life cycles to buy them this time around. I think it was a smart choice. My game library from this generation of consoles is more than big enough to give me games to play while I wait for the next generation of consoles to

a - come down in price
b - develop a decent library of games

Bob Johnson
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@E Zachary Knight

I like how people take time out of their day to declare they won't buy a product for 4 or 5 years.

William Johnson
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Done. Rage quitting Nintendo. It was a good run, I bought every system, even the ill fated Virtual Boy. That's not true, I didn't buy the 3DS for the same reason I'm not buying the WiiU. Nintendo no longer wishes to target me as a consumer by now starting to price their systems in the realm of premium hardware.

Those bells and whistles should be incentives to help push me over the edge, not a reason to push the edge further away from me by marking up the price.

So even though games like Bayonetta 2 and Kamiya's Wonderful 101 look amazing and normally would be day one purchases for me, I'll be passing them up for now. By the time the WiiU drops to a price point I'll pay for, those two games will probably be in the bargain bin anyway.

Keith Thomson
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I think the economics have changed. Japanese companies have been struggling with their currency being overvalued for 3-4 years now. They need the prices to be a bit higher to make a profit on the console hardware this generation. Not to mention that even a cheap 7 inch tablet is still almost $100, so that gamepad is going to push their price up a bit.

Still, I'm hoping that Sony stays below the $400 mark this next generation. It shouldn't be too terribly difficult if they're using A8 and 6670 chips for their new console. I recently bought an A6 laptop for $320.

As for me buying the Wii U? We'll see if they can release more innovative games like Xenoblade... When they do, I'll probably grab one.

Karl E
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The scary thing is that this thing can really bomb. Nearly everyone who wants to play HD games already have an HD console in their home. How many bona fide Nintendo enthusiasts are there, really? I am one of the 3.4 million who bought and enjoyed Skyward Sword, but I am nowhere near to buying this console.

Dave Troyer
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@Anthony - I agree. And the controller itself is nearly $200.(!) Imagine breaking one by mistake like so many TV's when Wii-motes went flying during the Wii release or heaven forbid, you want to play with a friend, you're shelling out enough to get another system from a competitor with an established library of proven titles.

The functionality of the touch screen controller will have to be explored and expanded to make it truly viable. Though, I imagine that a traditional controller will become more popular for gaming and the Wii-U screen'd controller will be more of a gimmick that I hope developers will avoid integrating too heavy in their games.

But that's just my thoughts. :|

A W
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I like the fact that I will be able to game on it while watching the news or something on my big screen at the same time. Because of the smaller screen on the controller that supports Wii-motes as well it makes this item a family room system.

Dave Troyer
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@Anthony - Oh the horror that the WiiU will bring to the game industry! lol

Thom Q
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Lol, so 1 article on the launch in Japan, 1 article on the launch in the US. And 1 sentence for the European launch: "Europe will receive the same Basic and Deluxe sets on November 30, though pricing will be left to distributors to decide."

Is it the lack of info coming from Nintendo about the European launch? There is more info to the European launch, isn't there??

k s
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The pricing falls in line with my expectations so I'm not bothered, now I just have to pre-order my Wii U so I can pick it up on launch day.

Rodolfo Camarena
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Heck yes! Probably will be my cheapest console purchase (excluding the Wii). Remember how much the PS3 60gb launched for? Then the extra controllers and games...

Anyway, I already have at least 3 games reserved, going to snatch another controller, and a MadCatz TE fighstick for it for my fighters (Tekken Tag 2) < x2. I'm so hyped!

Rodolfo Camarena
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...yeah, I didn't say it was the same thing. Let me check. Yup. Didn't say it at all, lol. The Wii U has an LCD touch screen controller that is NFC compatible, features a front-facing camera for video chat, and can also be use to stream game play with the absence of a TV.

So what was the point in your reply? Were you attempting to compare the console's MSRP based on features? Given the MSRP for the controller alone, I expected it to be close to $399.99 and am so glad that it isn't. Think about it.

Kenneth Wesley
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Yeah, that PS3 launch didn't have nearly enough to justify that price tag. I'll take The Wonderful 101 over Resistance on any console at any time. There was nothing on Blu-Ray worth getting excited about. All the PS3 did for me at launch was allow me to flip it for a profit and buy a Wii.

Cordero W
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I'll probably buy it once a game like Zelda or Super Smash Bros comes out for it. Or we can cross our fingers for a Dark Souls amirite?

Eric Pobirs
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I've long since gotten out of the habit of buying new platforms at launch. Too much backlog of unplayed games on my existing consoles. The last time I jumped on a launch day purchase was the PSP, and the DS before that.

I used to be a launch day fanatic. I actually went fromt he show floor at E3 to a TRU to buy a Sega Saturn when they did their surprise launch. But the motivations have changed and I just don't have the combination of job incentive and excess cash to make it something I can justify anymore.

Jay B
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I just don't know. I'm not yet convinced.

I've purchased most Nintendo consoles day-1, but I'm still disappointed by the number of must-have releases so far for the 3DS. So, I'm going to take a "wait and see" approach on this one, jumping in only when they have a compelling (for me) line-up of games ready to play. I'm going to play it safe this time. The industry is changing so fast, it's just not a good bet right now.

warren blyth
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I think console (and gadget) launches are driven by the desire to try something you've never had before (first it was graphics, then wii tennis, then kinect). People just really want to see what this magic new experience is like, so they'll buy it to find out.

The only reason the wiiU tablet isn't drool worthy MUST-HAVE, is we're jaded techies with iPads. but. I think Nintendo will offer some magic tablet experiences. They've just bungled the message for hardcore gizmo techies.

I do want to try it. I do want to see what a second screen feels like, adding blocks and level elements in a new mario bros game, and rayman. I do want to see if ZombiU offers big frenzied scares with second screen. I do want to see if i'll use WiiU Fit more when I don't have to kick my family off the big TV. I do want to see if Pikmin and TheWonderful101 deliver cool RTS gameplay on a console, finally, thanks to the touch screen.

In May, if MS and Sony don't announce some new magic that we all HAVE to try, then WiiU will stand out as the only interesting new shit for the next consoles.

warren blyth
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And at E32013, there's a good chance MS and Sony could bungle their next gen pitches.

I expect microsoft will have too many chefs involved, eager to make money off dashboard ads and bullshit distractions from gaming. All they need is an HD kinect that can detect finger gestures (ie. "actually work" for all the growing pool of haters out there), but I expect they'll focus on some sports/tv/facebook Windows8 integration shit.

I hope sony will stay away from Move, and push some other innovation (broader Steam/PC support?). but. I dunno. I expect they'll hype some strange games.

Kenneth Wesley
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I'm all up for camping out on for a day 1 launch. This is a way more stellar launch lineup than its getting credit for. The Wii only had Wii Sports and Twilight Princess for months. Today showed an indication that software drought won't be a problem, something that plagues all software launches. Now that publishers can actually talk about their games, I bet we see more previews on how the third party games uses the Gamepad screen and I'm liking what Black Ops 2 is doing for split screen co-op.

That said, Nintendo really needs to talk about the Nintendo Network some more. Is it a free service? How will downloads and updates be handled? Can I transfer between consoles? How will I create an account?

Adam Bishop
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Lots of people predicted the DS would fail. Lots of people predicted the Wii would fail. Lots of people predicted the 3DS would fail. Nintendo isn't perfect, but at this point it seems silly to bet against them.

Karl E
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Do you consider a prediction of Gamecube-like sales to be a bet against them?

Dave Troyer
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@Adam - True, but Nintendo's losses this year has made this release a little more interesting.
To me, it seems like a gamble to put out a slightly high priced system when there isn't direct competition in the market with a higher price console.

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Remember, the Wii was released at $200 while the 360 and PS3 were being sold for hundreds more at same the time. Some could say that their initial success came from being (slightly) newer, cheaper, innovative, and from a brand more generations know and trust.

Steve Fulton
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I like the idea of getting one, even if my kids don't really care about it. The TVii thing is a must for Nintendo, so they can compete with the other consoles, but it's not a seller for me since I have that kind of functionality multiple ways already (XBox360, Blu-Ray player, Apple TV, Vizio TV Apps).

A couple things I'd like more clarification on:
1. Is it possible to transferring purchases, Mii's, saved games, etc. from an existing Wii?
2. Why that there is no Wiimote included? Especially since many of the games are designed as multi-player experiences.

Eric McConnell
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I'm definitely getting that deluxe package. I thought this was a website for game developers, not nick-picking snobby consumers. This is awesome and new. I'm excited about the possibilities. Nintendo consoles are always worth their price. The price tag isn't bad at all, I was expecting $350 as the base price.

Bob Johnson
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Exactly. Too many whiners in here taking time out of their day to let us know they won't soon be buying a system they haven't played when they could be.......

I don't know, playing their favorite game on their favorite system...?? Going outside and enjoying the warm fresh air?

Geoff Yates
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Main issue I have is the concept of a "launch window" timeframe. There is little point Day 1 getting a shiny new system if the first game you really wish to play is March 2013.

TVii isn't widely available outside the US I believe which is a shame.

When I do buy it will be the Deluxe Package.

Denis Nickoleff
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I'm leaning towards not. I kind of want it, but all I can see myself doing with it is switching games to the controller screen and playing them on that when they allow it. I don't think nintendo reallly needed any kind of gimmick. I would have been happy (very happy) if it was just the console, wii compatibility, and those pro controllers.

A Anson
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Poor Nintendo. So many naysayers, but who can resist when you come out with that killer 3D HD Mario, HD Zelda, HD Metroid? All with innovations using that Tablet controller no other game company can offer. Its time Nintendo gets some respect for the work they've done for the gaming industry. You can't please everyone... until Smash Bros. comes out, along with the rest of their first party titles. If none of that compels you to buy Nintendo's Wii U, then too bad. You know Nintendo's track record with,not just their systems but their GAMES. Some of the highest rated games ever have been on the Wii, along with the rest of their consoles. Choosing to skip over this console simply because you don't like their launch line up? Give it some time. You don't have to buy their system at launch, but once those key games come out, Nintendo will get your money one way or another. Complainers will always complain, but Nintendo knows this business better than any other gaming company. In good and bad times, they've proven this time and time again. This new console will, given time, offer something for every kind of gamer.

I for one will thoroughly enjoy my Nintendo purchase, as I always have. If third parties figure it out, great. If not, well, Nintendo basically carried the Wii to the top single handedly, and I trust they can do it again.

BTW, Arkham City ftw!

Josh Foreman
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I have no interest in this system. The only game that remotely turned my head was the new Pikmin.


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