Satoru Iawata the Director and President of Nintendo have given the world full details on the upcoming launch of their latest piece of gaming history, the Wii U, stating that the console will launch from the 30th of November in Europe and the US and launch on the 8th of December 2012 in Japan and offer not one but two retail sets for you to spend your hard earned cash on.
The "basic set" as its being called will be launched with a RRP of 26,250 Yen / $299 / £209, with the "premium set" launching at 31,500 Yen / $349 / £251. So lets take a look at just what the public will be getting for their money and see what that means for the rest of the world.
First lets take a look at the "Wii U Basic Set", you get the Wii U console 8GB, Wii U GamePad, Wii U GamePad Stylus, HDMI Cable, Wii U AC Adapter and Wii U GamePad AC Adapter, a fairly complete package, and its really nice to see the HDMI cable packaged in there, something I hope makes it over into the other international retail packages, as it adds great value for money, plus its not exactly common for a console to be sold with a HDMI cable over a standard AV cable, a clear sign of how much technology in our homes has changed over the years. The Basic set is to be shipped as the white edition, with the Wii U Console, GamePad & Stylus all being white.
Wii U - 'Basic Set'
The "Wii U Premium Set" on the other hand comes with everything you find included in the basic package, plus a few extras, which is of course a little more expensive than the basic, but for your extra money though you get the Wii U Console 32GB, which is a massive increase in memory over the basics editions 8GB, you get the Wii U GamePad Cradle, Wii U GamePad Stand, Wii U Console Stand, which basically translates as a memory upgrade and a bunch of stands. The Premium Set Console, Stylus and Gamepad will come finished in Black.
Wii U Console
This is what I find odd, the Basic Set comes in white, the Premium Set comes in black, why there isn't a choice of the colours I don't know given that the only real difference is peripheral stands and a bigger flash card installed, no doubt Nintendo will capitalize on this one in the future will a re-release of colours on each retail package, but I don't like the fact that at first glance people will know if you got what will soon be called "the cheap one" and "the good one".
Lets talk about the release games
In the European Nintendo Direct Presentation, Nintendo announced that from 30th November there will be plenty to play and do with your newly purchased Wii U, on top of the two launch hardware packs, there was a great selection of games announced too. These include third-party heavy hitters such as FIFA 13 from Electronic Arts and Activision’s Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, Ubisoft’s ZombiU and Rayman Legends as well as in-house titles like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. The Nintendo Direct presentation also revealed previously unannounced exclusives to Wii U, such as Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and BAYONETTA 2.
New Super Mario Bros. U
"The new 2D platform game introduces a giant world map full of distinctive courses to discover. The GamePad can be used to play solo when the TV is in use and can also be used to assist other players when playing co-operatively. An all-new test of players’ Super Mario skills appears in Boost Rush mode, where auto-scrolling courses scroll faster the more coins you pick up, while in Challenge Mode any course can offer completely different gameplay depending on the specific nature of the challenge at hand. From Time Attack to 1-Up challenges, even Mario veterans will need to bring their best game to beat the record!"
"Each of the 12 attractions in this theme park packed with famous Nintendo franchises is a standalone game with multiple levels and gameplay modes. New Metroid Blast footage showed both cooperative and versus multiplayer shooting action, with different roles assigned to players using the GamePad or Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers. In The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest players can clear nine quests leading to new unlockable levels on their own or working together, using bow and arrows on the GamePad or sword and shield using a Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, while solo players can also enjoy the game’s Time Attack mode."
"Built on the authenticity, innovation and connection to the real-world of football that the FIFA franchise is known for, the game delivers revolutionary new ways to play FIFA that bring players of all abilities together, making it the most accessible FIFA console game ever made."
"New footage from this exclusive survival horror first-person shooter revealed the Tower of London location, as well as the Survival Mode in which the player only has one life to survive. The new video also showed the Weapon Crafting feature that allows players to customise their equipment directly on the GamePad, the use of a spraycan to leave messages made up from symbols for other players, plus new online features in which online friends who are turned into zombies will then turn up in the player’s game. At launch, a limited edition Wii U Premium Pack will be made available: the ZombiU Premium Pack also includes the game and a black Wii U Pro Controller."
"A video featuring series creator Michel Ancel highlighted how this new 2D platform game creates a unique gameplay dynamic due to the different roles enjoyed by players depending on which controller they are using. The capabilities of the GamePad allow for a very tactile interaction with the game world – pulling objects, turning parts of the level around, protecting the other players and many other unique examples that require ongoing communication between all players to succeed."
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
"The most groundbreaking and visceral Call of Duty® experience ever. Set in the year 2025, Call of Duty: Black Ops II propels players into global conflict featuring advanced weaponry, robotics, and drone warfare in a new Cold War scenario whose seeds are being sown in today’s headlines. New graphics technology drives the stunning cinematic action of the single-player campaign’s branching storylines and non-linear missions."
Mass Effect 3 - Special Edition
"The Mass Effect 3 Special Edition plunges players into a gripping, emotional and action-packed story. Players will choose how to wage an all-out galactic war for survival against an unstoppable enemy. As part of this cinematic journey, Mass Effect 3 features intense third-person shooter combat - with the Wii U GamePad providing a whole new level of tactical control over the battlefield. The Special Edition will also include an interactive backstory feature covering previous events in the Mass Effect universe, all leading up to the beginning of Mass Effect 3. Wii U players will also experience the From Ashes DLC Pack, and Extended Cut ending as a part of their story."
Nintendo also lifted the lid on the previously unannounced title BAYONETTA 2, Wonderful 101, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, LEGO City: Undercover, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Toki Tori 2, and the stylish Nano Assault Neo, which can be played on the GamePad alone.
But I already own the original Wii, whats in it for me?
Existing Wii owners will be pleased to hear that nearly all Wii peripherals will be compatible with the Wii U console - with neither hardware pack including a Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii owners won't need to repurchase peripherals they already own. For players who don't already own a Wii console, Nintendo has created a Wii Remote Plus Additional Set containing a Wii Remote Plus controller, Nunchuk and sensor bar. Most Wii download software is also compatible with Wii U, meaning previously purchased WiiWare and Virtual Console titles will be transferable to the Wii U console.
Wii U launch window games, for release on and around the hardware release day
• NBA 2K13
• 007 Legends
• Call of Duty: Black Ops II
• TRANSFORMERS PRIME
• Skylanders Giants
• Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
• Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
• Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
• Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
• Madden NFL 13
• FIFA 13
• Trine 2: Director’s Cut
• Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
• TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 Wii U Edition
• TANK! TANK! TANK!
• Rise of the Guardians
• Ben 10 Omniverse
• Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
• Nintendo Land
• New Super Mario Bros. U
• NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge
• SiNG PARTY
• LEGO City: Undercover
• Game & Wario
• Aliens: Colonial Marines
• Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
• Nano Assault Neo
• Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
• Darksiders 2
• Toki Tori 2
• Assassin’s Creed III
• Just Dance 4
• Marvel Avengers™ Battle for Earth
• Rabbids Land
• Sports Connection
• Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
• RAYMAN LEGENDS
• Scribblenauts Unlimited
• Game Party Champions
• Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition
So there we have it, the all new Wii U from Nintendo, hype is slowly starting to build up as we approach launch, I must say I really haven't been that interested, or excited about this one, I think mostly from being disappointed by the original Wii on so many occasions has made a little more cautious this time around, but given the amount of hardware, features and one of the strongest launch window game release lists of any console launch ever, I'm slowly coming around to the idea of the Wii U.
The best thing to notice here though is the price, at little over £200 for the basic pack, which still plays all the same games as the premium, the only real difference is the colour and less internal storage, just might be the Christmas bargain we've all been looking for, so who's actually buying a Wii U this year? let us know what you think in the comments section.