Wii U Pricing and Launch Details

Wii U Pricing and Launch Details

At a time when so many Wiis are carefully stacked at the bottom of families’ junk closets (leaky batteries and all), PS3s are used mainly as Netflix players, and many people have watched their Xbox 360s melt through the floor and return to the molten fires of the Earth’s core, pricing details for the new Wii U have at last been presented by Nintendo.

For the United States, the Wii launches on November 18th, 2012 in two packages.

Both packages include the Wii U system, one gamepad, two AC adapters (one for the gamepad and one for the system), and a HDMI cable.

The Wii U Basic comes in white with 8 GB of internal storage, and will retail for $299.99.

The Wii U Deluxe comes in black with 32 GB of internal storage, and will retail for $349.99. It also includes two stands (one for the gamepad and one for the system), a charging cradle for the Gamepad, the ‘Nintendo Land’ game, and a program that returns 10% on eShop purchases for one year. It also comes with a Wii sensor bar.

Naturally, neither pack comes with a Wii Pro Controller. As has been mentioned by Nintendo before, Wii purchases will transfer to the Wii U, which sounds like a one-way trip.

Other Details
  • The Wii U supports 1080p and 720p.
  • It will have 2 GB RAM (1 GB for the system and 1 GB for games).
  • Wii U discs have a 25 GB capacity and a 22.5 MB/s maximum read speed.
  • The Wii U supports 2 Gamepads, but Nintendo will not offer extra Gamepads right away.
  • The console has four USB ports, two in front and two in the rear. The Wii U has built in Wi-Fi but requires a Wii-style LAN connector for an Ethernet connection.
  • The Wii U supports SD and external hard drive storage.
Launch Games

Here’s my gathering of what Nintendo is calling the launch window line-up:

‘Nintendo Land’
‘New Super Mario Bros. U’
‘NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge’
‘LEGO City Undercover’
‘Bayonetta 2’
‘Pikmin 3’
‘Wii Fit U’
‘The Wonderful 101’
‘Game & Wario’
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’
‘Skylanders Giants’
‘Transformers Prime’
‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’
‘FIFA Soccer 13’
‘Madden NFL 13’
‘Mass Effect 3: Special Edition’
‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’
‘Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed’
‘NBA 2K13’
‘Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper’
‘Darksiders II’
‘Assassin’s Creed III’
‘Just Dance 4’
‘Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth’
‘Rabbids Land’
‘Rayman Legends’
‘ESPN Sports Connection’
‘Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013’
‘Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition’
‘Game Party Champions’
‘Scribblenauts Unlimited’
‘Trine 2: Director’s Cut’
‘Toki Tori 2’
‘Nano Assault Neo’
‘Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate’
‘Tekken Tag Tournament 2’ (featuring Link?)
‘Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game’
‘007 Legends’

Here’s the European feed of the Wii U preview:

Even as part of an announcement, this information is preliminary. I expect Nintendo to issue clarifications over the next few days. For now, I’ll quickly say that the pricing is OK, and I like the inclusion of an HDMI cable. Bundling ‘Nintendo Land’ in the Deluxe pack was also a shrewd move.


      • JM

        6.2″ 480p lcd, with a 3-hour battery life, doesn’t sound like a 2012 tablet.

        Michael Pachter predicts the US will only get 300,000 units per month, and will be sold out until April. With a price cut coming holiday 2013.

        I never had a Wii, and was thinking of getting a U, but I feel comfortable waiting 4-5 years. Until we see how Mario 9 and Zelda 9 turn out…

  1. Chaz

    No way I’m falling for this again, I still cant figure out how the Wii sold so well and this looks even worse, 32gb of storage space in 2012? We got 250 gig drives in all our consoles now that gives us room to do almost anything, why would I want to stare at a tablet playing a game when I already have a tablet to play games on? Plus I have a 50″ Plasma, I dont need a small crappy tablet to display to distract from playing the game on my nice HDTV.

    I have no idea what Nintendo is trying to do here but I have no interest in this and I wouldnt even buy it for my son if he wanted one and was old enough to play it….

  2. I bought a Wii on European launch day (8 December 2006) and I’m still quite happy with it. I could be called a Nintendo fanboy, but I also have a soft spot for Sega. I’m interested in Wii U, but I had hoped for a lower price.

        • The majority of Wiis still play GameCube games, so it may be worth keeping for that alone. Otherwise, I would think that you bundle enough pieces for someone to boot up the system, the Wii unit, power brick, composite cable, sensor bar, and Wiimote. (maybe a nun chuck or a game) Too bad you need to have both systems to do the purchase transfer.

  3. JM

    The DS and the Wii both launched in the pre-smartphone / pre-tablet era.

    Before Microsoft and Sony and Apple and Google and Amazon doubled down on moms and kids and family.

    Sales of ‘Zelda: Skyward Sword’ suggest that Nintendo has lost half of their core fan base from the N64 / GC generation.

    What is Nintendo’s definition of success? I think they’re comfortable retreating to Japan and living off a small install base.

    2017 – Nintendo will probably go 100% portable, with wireless to the tv.

    The unknown variable is when Nintendo’s shareholders will overthrow management and remake the company into a third party publisher.

    Hiroshi Yamauchi is 84…

    • As long as Nintendo can remain independent and pull all the profit from their first party titles, their hardware, and their licensing of Japan-dominating titles like ‘Monster Hunter,’ I think that they will resist becoming a money-maker for someone else’s platform. Their years of treating third-party companies like barnacles suggest that they won’t willingly give up first party status.

      • JM

        Nintendo’s “TVii” app, with its series of concentric dials controlling volume, source, and playback… will surely take the remote control to the next level.

  4. William Henley

    I also have a bit of buyers remorse from my Wii. The only Wii title that I genuinely enjoyed was Mario Kart. Zelda Twilight Princess makes me wish I had got the Gamecube verison – I just am not in physical enough shape to sword fight for more than 10-15 minutes at a time – which I can’t even get between save points in. I pretty much have my Wii for the Virtual Console and for the Gamecube compatability. However, it is currently in storage – I will probably dig it out when I get a new apartment in a couple of months – there just wasn’t enough room in my current living conditions for everything