"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nintendo Announces Price, Release Date of Wii U

Yesterday Nintendo held an Apple style press conference where they announced the price, release date and details for their next generation game system the Wii U. The system is basically an evolution of the Wii system first released six years ago. Even though it is "next gen" for Nintendo, graphically it just puts them almost level with the Playstation 3 and XBox 360. Both of which are in their twilight and expected to be replaced in next year or so.

Wii U
- Release Date: November 18th
- Two versions of system, the Basic ($299) and Deluxe ($349)
- GamePad: special controller for system with 6/2" screen, 2 analog thumbsticks, facing camera, gyro sensor
- Basic: White color, one GamePad, 8GB memory, AC adapters, sensor bar, HDMI cable
- Deluxe: Black color, one GamePad, 32GB memory, AC adapters, sensor bar, HDMI cable, console stand, GamePad charging cradle, membership to Deluxe Digital Promotion (digital downloads discount), and Nintendo Land game
- Both systems allow for USB external hard drives, backward compatible with all Wii games and accessories, built in wireless and 1080p output; full specs
- Supports TVii powered by i.TV so can find TV shows from Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and DVR in one interface instead of switching around to search.
- GamePad's screen allows for split screen, control screen, co-op mode and wide variety of possibilities.
- New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land only confirmed launch titles for now (videos below)
- Around 50 titles coming in launch window that goes through March 2013.
- Games include Bayonetta 2 (Wii U exclusive), ZombiU, Pikmin 3, Assassin's Creed III, and more
- Average game price will be $59.99
- Wii U can handle up to 2 GamePads, not selling second one separately yet until have games that need it. Based on info from Japan's launch current price would be $150-$200 but might be less once officially released separate GamePads

Should you buy it? Depends if a fan of the Wii or not. If the Wii didn't impress you from a game library perspective (ignoring graphics) this system will do little to change your mind as the games will probably continue along the same Nintendo tradition. One I like and enjoy except it looks like Nintendo will continue its streak of having a poor game library at launch. There will be more than 2 titles (Mario Bros and Nintendo Land) but those two titles are probably going to be about the only ones worth getting with the rest just being filler until the bigger guns come out later. Unless you just are too excited to contain yourself, I recommend waiting until next year, after the 4 month long launch windows closes and then see what the game library looks like. If going to get one and color doesn't matter, you might as well go with the deluxe (black) version. When are already spending $300, the extra $50 for a digital discount, $30 video game and GamePad docking station seems worth it and likely cheaper than trying to get same items separately if change your mind later.

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