Mark your calendars, importers and Japanese gamers, for December 8th, 2012 is when Nintendo are putting the Wii U, their latest piece of home console hardware, out on shelves. Note that these are the Japanese prices, which are almost always higher than elsewhere, so take the info with a grain of salt. European and North American fans will be getting their announcements in just a few short hours over livestream and at an event in New York City.
The machine will be sold in two packages, the "Basic", which contains a white Wii U console, its spiffy touch-screen-equipped Gamepad, and 8GB of flash storage, costing ¥26,250 (about $335). The "Premium" package contains a black Wii U, black gamepad, and 32GB of storage, as well as two stands and two AC adaptors, an HDMI cable, and a two-year membership to the Nintendo Network Premium Service, a sort of loyalty plan conferring benefits such as discounts on downloadable purchases.
Folks who want to buy an extra gamepad (the machine supports two) will find them sold separately at ¥13,400 (about $172) each. Pricey! The Wii U will be backwards-compatible with Wii software and controllers, but doesn't include a Wii Remote, Nunchuck, or Sensor Bar by default, so you'll have to buy those if you don't already own a Wii. To play more traditional games with, a Xbox-like Pro Controller is also available at ¥5040 (about $65).
Nintendo also revealed two first-party launch games, New Super Mario Brothers U and NintendoLand.
I'm intrigued by the Wii U, but admittedly haven't turned on my Wii in ages, the last game I played being Trauma Team (though I did rip my copy of Xenoblade to play on PC via emulator instead). I may end up holding off for either a 3DS, or until I see what Sony and Microsoft are up to. How about you?
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