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Talking Point: Wii U Preview - What To Expect

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Our predictions

Today is Wii U day, with multiple events and broadcasts for each region lifting the lid on launch details. We've already had an initial broadcast from Japan, which was a rather busy 20 minutes of details about the hardware, as well as confirmation that the system will be released on 8th December in that region. You can read our summary of what we know so far, including information on the bundles, memory options and the all-new Nintendo Network Premium.

With the European and North American events getting ever closer, we thought we'd outline our expectations based on what's been confirmed for Japan.

Two Hardware Bundles

Like Japan, we expect there to be two bundles. Previous rumours have suggested as many as three SKUs, but we'd be surprised if Nintendo goes beyond two for fear of confusing customers. In terms of bundles, we'd predict the following prices:

  • Basic model (~£250/$300): White system, 8GB storage, AC Power, GamePad, GamePad stand, HDMI, and Nintendo Land.
  • Premium model (~£300/$350): Black system, 32GB storage, AC Power, GamePad, GamePad stand, HDMI, Nintendo Land and Nintendo Network Premium for 24 months.

If we're being optimistic we'd love to see those prices at $250 and $300 dollars for the bundles, with equivalent UK prices of £230 and £270. Just because we'd like those price-points, however, doesn't means it's workable for Nintendo; Japanese costs are typically higher than in the West, making a straight currency conversion unreliable, but considering the prices that have been confirmed we think a basic bundle at $250 may be a stretch.

Software

Nintendo Network Premium was confirmed during the Japanese unveiling as a pack-in with the premium console, which provides 10% discount on download software for two years after launch: details on whether the discount has limitations will no doubt emerge as the day progresses. Those bundle predictions are also optimistic on the grounds that they include Nintendo Land. We have our doubts about this due to the size of the title, and whether Nintendo would be willing to essentially give it away; the lack of a Nintendo Land bundle in Japan hasn't influenced this, as Nintendo's homeland didn't bundle Wii Sports with Wii systems. Another possibility is that Nintendo Land will be bundled with the Premium pack only, or perhaps alternative software will feature instead of the mini-game collection.

Those are the basics, but unlike the streamlined information from Japan we expect more salesmanship and hype in the North American and European broadcasts — it's also encouraging that another Japanese event will take place, showing that reveals are planned. We expect details, perhaps a conclusive list, of launch day titles, and would be amazed if this list doesn't include New Super Mario Bros. U, which is already confirmed for Japan.

Miiverse

Much is likely to be made of Miiverse, and we also expect to catch a first glimpse of the Wii U digital platform, likely to be branded as the eShop like its 3DS brethren. At this late stage a tour of the system's operating system seems likely, and it would be no surprise if there's a heavy emphasis on download games and online functionality.

New Game Titles

Our most optimistic hope, also, is for a big, previously unannounced first-party game. It won't necessarily be a launch game, but could be a project planned for release by Holiday 2013. We'd love to see what Retro Studios has been working on, for example, especially as whisperings online suggest it may have been withdrawn from E3 at the eleventh hour. We've written previously about the importance of the Wii U press event, and believe that Nintendo should come out with at least one large-scale and brand new announcement.

Discounted Wii

Along with Japan we would expect Nintendo to offer a heavily discounted Wii console for the immediate future; when they withdraw the old console from the market is yet to be seen.

We'll find out in a few short hours, of course, so its not long to wait before we know what Nintendo has in store for us. Until then, we'd love to read your own predictions in the comments below.

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User Comments (34)

mizumaru

#1

mizumaru said:

I am prepared to write a formal letter to Reggie, Miyamoto, and Iawata stating:
Dear Reggie, Miyamoto, and Iwata San('s). Please, take my money.
Sincerely, mizumaru.

DestinyMan

#2

DestinyMan said:

I'm not going to speculate what the new game annoucement might be, but as far as the list of launch titles, I hope Game & Wario is among them. I'm obviously looking forward to the software focus.

Shiryu

#3

Shiryu said:

So far so good IMO. Looking forward to picking up the black premium edition. If it is indeed released around the same time over here, then I will be picking it up exactly 6 years after I bought my Wii.

acelect24

#4

acelect24 said:

S far, the japp prices seem just a bit high, but im sure theyll be lower for NA...only concern is launch date, and whether its bundled with ninland...i dont wanna be payin 60bucks for a game which should not just be part of the main bundle, but should be free on all versions...if they compare it with wii sports, they should atleast bundle it...

Linkstrikesback

#6

Linkstrikesback said:

Ugh. It's just occurred to me that Nintendo won't be announcing a UK price, and instead we will end up with the usual "RETAILERS DETERMINE PRICES" crap for Europe again.

Chris720

#7

Chris720 said:

If the price is around £250-£300 then I'll definitely be able to afford it!

DarkNinja9

#8

DarkNinja9 said:

@acelect24 i agree they should bundle it with all of the versions

im hoping its around $250 and the premium at $300 if so i will be able to get the black version for sure if not then lame i will have to wait :(

shake_zula

#9

shake_zula said:

I think it'll be less than £250 for the basic bundle. The Wii and 3DS were both launched at 25,000 Yen and were sold at £180 and £220 respectively in the UK. £220 for the 3DS, remember, which was quickly recognised to be a mistake and dropped to £180, like the Wii! So I really can't see the Wii U being priced at OVER £220.

Lalivero

#10

Lalivero said:

Whatever the price for the premium(black), I'm definitely getting that one, just hoping that it does end up to be around $350.

@NintyFan I hope Game and Wario is at launch, too.

kyuubikid213

#11

kyuubikid213 said:

I only want the system to be cheaper so I can get more games at the get-go. If it's $250 (the lowest possible price imagineable), I can get two (should the games be priced at $60). If it's $300, only one game comes home with me. If it's $350 (the highest price I can pay right now), I get no games. Don't get me wrong, I'll still pre-order the hell out of the Wii U, but I know I'll get bored of Face Raiders U and AR Games U very quickly.

19Robb92

#12

19Robb92 said:

The Japanese preview was a really nice appetizer. Now I'm definitely ready for Reggie and Shibata. Looking forward to it.

Drewroxsox

#14

Drewroxsox said:

I'm predicting that it'll release in NA on December 9th. Most people do their Christmas shopping on black Friday in America, so it'll be launching a little bit too late, because Japan always gets the console first.

Emaan

#16

Emaan said:

Hopefully North America makes the right decision to bundle Nintendo Land, or at least with the Premium bundle only. I need to save up more I guess. :p

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

My US launch predictions.

White $250 8GB VGA cable no game
Black $300 32GB HDMI cable Premium network no game

If you look around at tablet pricing - Amazon, Apple, Google - you'll see an extra 16GB usually costs an extra $50, so an extra 24GB w/ the Premium Network service eats up the extra $50. Plus US gamers will pay more for black anyway.
They could throw in Nintendo Land at the rumoured $349 price point w/ a Pro controller.

I still don't know which 1 to get. 2:30 and counting.

mudjo

#18

mudjo said:

What about a date!?!?

Well, at least it looks like the Premium isn't too much more than the Basic.

ajcismo

#20

ajcismo said:

I can see why they'd max out at 32GB for cost reasons, but it seems quite tiny compared to how much space the discs can hold. Which leads me to my question, can we expect something to be said about outside storage? SD card slot that will read 64 GB or higher cards? USB port for an external drive for storage, and will it be compatible with most models?
I hope the eshop has something cool today too, a surprise to add a little more spice in the sauce.

hydeks

#21

hydeks said:

I kinda like everything I hear so far, but I'm getting this weird feeling the system is gonna cost alil too much for my liking :(

ThomasBW84Admin

#22

ThomasBW84 said:

@mudjo Oh yeah :) Early December for NA I reckon, maybe a little before Japan. I'm hoping early December for Europe, with the horror scenario being January 2013.

WiiLovePeace

#23

WiiLovePeace said:

Can't believe it's the end of Wii soon... Just seems like yesterday I was getting a Wii with Wii Fit Balance Board & Mario Kart Wii for ~$400 iirc in Sept. 09 (might have been Sept. 08 though, I'll have to check.). End of an era! Best console ever imo, with such amazing games & new control methods to bring a level of immersion not possible before... Good times :D (I ain't getting rid of my Wii systems though so the good times will continue anyway! :P)

DiaperSystem

#24

DiaperSystem said:

300 for an 8GB system without Nintendoland packed in would be a bit much IMO. But, as a Nintendo fan, I want/need a Wii U ASAP. And, In a way, the whole experience of a new Nintendo console is priceless.

sonik

#26

sonik said:

Is this for NA launch only or will it be a "europen wii u event" too?

HOPE nintendo give us HD remakes of (for example) SM64 or Oot to nibble on before the big new mario/zelda games arrive in late 2013/2014. That was the 3ds biggest mistake crap launch games and zelda 3d remake trhee months away, nowonder anyone buyed.

Xiao_Pai

#27

Xiao_Pai said:

Please Nintendo, don't screw this up...bundle up Nintendo Land for us or something...good amount of launch titles...I know about 3rd parties, but NL and NSMBU better not be it from you. T.T

Samholy

#28

Samholy said:

wait people. wait.
the console will fail, then they will drop the price. then it will be at a reasonable price for you to buy it.
plus, you dont even know the launch titles.
they had me with the 3DS last year. i had to wait 6 months before playing a great 3ds game, which was at the same time they cut their system price. :-p

that console will be fun for sure. but not at this price, and certainly it will NOT follow the game trends in 2-3 years due to the lack of raw power. Devs will have to reduce their game engiens for nintendo while they will have freedom for the other consoles. making third party titles...less attractive, or rushed. or simply not present.

shinpichu

#29

shinpichu said:

I'm hoping, but not expecting, that we get some solid SSB4 details so Sakurai can put to rest all these crap rumours that have been spreading around the Internet.

Samholy

#30

Samholy said:

wait. i have a better idea. i will stop my trash talk and stop following nintendo.
ill come back when super smash bros 4 will be out and hte console much cheaper.

burninmylight

#33

burninmylight said:

@ajcismo

Nintendo announced way back in 2011 that the Wii U supports external storage in the form of SD cards, HDDs, and I even think I remember flash drives. So chill.

ThomasBW84Admin

#34

ThomasBW84 said:

Well well, those hardware predictions were pretty accurate. I'm not often right, so I'm going to enjoy it (even though Anthony Dickens may be due some credit).

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