Speaking on Nintendo Direct, Nintendo’s digital announcement service, Shibata confirmed that the Wii U will make its European debut on 30th November. More, it turns out that the console’s choice of colours – there’s a white version and a black version – is more than simply cosmetic too, with the white, or ‘Basic’, system (featuring 8GB flash storage) and the black ‘Premium’ bundle (with 32GB of flash memory) pitched at different price points.
Due to the various currencies and exchange rates throughout Europe Shibata was unable confirm console prices, but advised gamers to check the sites of retailers for pricing specifics. What is worth noting however is that the Premium bundle comes with game Nintendo Land, which no doubt Nintendo will be hoping acts as a sales catalyst as Wii Sports did for Wii.
In a simultaneous US broadcast from New York Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime outlined his regions’ launch plans with the console due to release on 18th November too for $299.99 (Basic) and $349.99 (Premium), meaning that the system will be available on Black Friday and so is in position to take advantage of the bumper US sales day before Christmas.
By a rough currency conversion that makes the US models weigh in at a relatively reasonable sounding £186 and £217, but we’d expect to pay slightly more than that given the past history of hardware and games being priced way over their American counter-parts on these shores. We would however hope for pricing more in-line with Japanese prices which roughly converts to £199.99 and £239.99.
The complete run down of what’s included with each package is as follows:
8GB flash memory
Wii U GamePad
Wii U AC adapter
Wii U GamePad AC Adapter
Wii U Sensor Bar
All of the above
32GB flash memory
Wii U stand
GamePad stand and charger
It seems certain that the on board flash memory space will be recommended for storing smaller files such as save games, downloaded DLC, Virtual Console games and so on; for those wishing to download digital copies of full games the Wii U also supports external USB hard drives.
Beyond the price and bundle details little of the actual power of the system has been announced with Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announcing Wii U will be ’20 times more powerful’ than its predecessor, and Shibata later confirming the system will feature 2GB RAM divided between games and system processes.
Further details on launch day games were announced too with New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land announced as the only first-party games available on launch day; Pikmin 3 having slipped to 2013.
Elsewhere launch day games from third-party games included ZombiU, FIFA 13, Rayman Legends, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, and Trine 2. While the big news as far as games to come was the announcement of Platinum Games’ Bayonetta 2 which will be a Wii U exclusive, as well as confirmation of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for launch day and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate HD Edition which also supports interchangeable save games with the 3DS version.
Interestingly, it has also been divulged that gamers who adopt the Nintendo Network Premium – seemingly Nintendo’s answer to PlayStation Plus – will receive 500 Nintendo Points back for purchases which can subsequently be put towards future online buys.
As ever, expect an update as and when we get any further information.