Wii U information hot from Japan

13 September, 2012 - 12:53 pm by

Nintendo have started their day of presentations for the new Wii U console. They have lifted the lid so far on the Japanese release date, price and key guts of the machine itself. We only have a few hours left of waiting until we know what we are getting in Europe but let’s take a look at what information we have to go on.

Updated: 13.24

In Japan, Nintendo have confirmed a release date of 8th November for the Wii U. Here is what we know so far:

Bundles

The Wii U will have two launch bundles. The Basic bundle will feature the White coloured console with an 8GB Flash Memory. It will come with AC adapter, one White Gamepad, charging cable and HDMI cable.

The Black Wii U will come as the Premium bundle with the same AC Adapter, Black Gamepad, charging cable and HDMI cable. However it will have a 32GB flash memory, charging dock for the Gamepad and also a stand for the controller AND for the console itself. It will also include a 2 year subscription to the Nintendo Network. This allows gamers 10% off titles from the Wii U e-Shop.

While the storage will seem low to gamers used to the 100s of GB available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Nintendo have said memory cards and USB flash and hard drives are supported. We know memory cards are up to 32GB but nothing has been said on hard disk limits, if there are. Also we do not yet know if the memory is interchangeable like the PS3 yet.

Price

Is reasonable for a console, 26,250 yen (around £210) for the Basic White version and 31,500 yen (£250) for the Black Premium bundle. This is just the Japanese cost for the consoles. Regional pricing when it comes to Europe will be different. Until 15.00 BST today, take this and the following prices as a guide. Not gospel.

Gamepad

Will be sold separately in either White or Black flavours (maybe a second white pad for the black console to distinguish). As previously stated Nintendo have made the Wii U support two of them. Although the first wave of games will not support two, it is a step in the right direction.

Cost wise, it’s not cheap. Nintendo have always said it wasn’t going to be as it is a effectively a half tablet computer. For 13,440 yen (around £105), it is yours. The European prices will follow today.

Pro Controller

The Xbox 360 looking beast will be available as an extra. Again, in Black or White flavours, it comes in at the more reasonable 5040 yen (£45 give or take). This is competitive, if slightly more than the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers.

Games

Loads more details will emerge when Nintendo take to the European and American stages today. However, what we do know is that Nintendoland and New Super Mario Bros U will be launch titles. Nintendo Japan released the official box art for them and it looks like they have brought back the GameCube swoosh at the top of the box and coloured them blue to stand out from Wii games. Neither game are included with the consoles and cost around £35 & £45 respectively. This is in line with the Wii pricing structure – shorter games you pay less for.

For those getting hopes up that at least Nintendoland will be included in the console price can still hope. Nintendo never included Wii Sports with the console in Japan. It is also the first time since 1996 that Mario launched in a new adventure on a Nintendo console. (Mario 64 DS launched with the DS but wasn’t strictly new).

Other

If you are looking at the White Bundle and are sad you miss out on the console stands, or the GamePad charging dock, fear not. Nintendo will sell them separately starting from around 300 yen.

There will be no sensor bar. Again, Nintendo will sell you one but they expect everyone to use the standard one from the Wii or you can pick up a wireless one from places such as Amazon cheaply. This is to reduce costs. However, it is strange that this specific item gets left out. Surely after the 100 million sold with the Wii, it would be cheap to produce.

That’s it for now. We will know more at 15.00 BST when the European direct presentation kicks off. Nintendo America will be taking to New York around the same time for their release information. Nintendo Japan will close today’s proceedings with details on the full launch window list later this evening. A busy day for the big N. But things so far seem… promising?

Update: it seems that we will not have a Nintendo Japan showcase of software this evening. This has now been confirmed at 15.00. So we have the big three Nintendo offices broadcasting at 15.00 BST. Tune in to VGamingNews for all of the information!