News Article

Wii U Arrives in Japan on 8th December

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Two bundles, pricing and hardware details confirmed

The Wii U preview event in Japan was 20 minutes of flat out information on the Wii U concept, and then a lot of details about the hardware and release details. So, let's get to it.

First off, Wii U's release date in Japan is 8th December, and will arrive in two bundles. There's a basic white model with 8GB of storage which will cost 26,250 Yen ($337), and a black model with 32GB of storage which will cost 31,500 Yen ($405) — these currency conversions don't necessarily reflect the to-be-announced North American or European prices, of course. Separate GamePad controllers will cost 13,440 Yen, though one is bundled with the system. In Japan, meanwhile, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land are confirmed as launch day releases. The latter isn't bundled with the system, but it's worth noting that Wii Sports wasn't bundled in Japan, either.

The other big news was the unveiling of Nintendo Network Premium, which is included with the 32GB system and will offer benefits such as a 10% discount on games for, we believe, two years. System specifications were also clarified, such as confirmation that Wii U discs will hold 25GB, while the system memory (not the external storage offered) comes to a total of 2GB — 1GB for system memory and 1GB for game memory, which should be useful for developers. Backwards compatibility with Wii titles was also confirmed, and it seems as if it will be possible to transfer WiiWare and Wii Virtual Console software. One little extra sure to please consumers, meanwhile, is that Wii U will ship with a HDMI cable.

So there you have it: two bundles, two console colours, Nintendo Network Premium and an all-important launch date of 8th December. We'll update this article and post more news as we get it, and eyes now turn to the Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe events later today; check out those pages for full details.

You can watch the Japanese Nintendo Direct in full right here:

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So what did you think, and which console bundles interest you? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and you can also vote in our poll.

Which Wii U bundle will you be going for? (264 votes)

8GB Home Type


32GB Premium


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (56)



Aviator said:

I'd most likely buy premium, but it would be nice if you could get home in black too.



kyuubikid213 said:

I won't vote until 4pm EST. I want to see the NA prices first since I'm under a slightly tight $400.



Void said:

@19Robb92 No, not really, I'm not much of a fan for retro games either, if you count all the games I've purchased from the Wii's store and the 3DS eShop, you would get 6.



FlaccidSnake said:

I'll take the premium one. As just said in another post, i hope this is going to be a worldwide Dec 8th launch. Nintendo cannot miss Christmas in Europe or the US



Silvervisiona said:

US scores are always rounded down from Japan scores. $300 and $350 it is (TBC later today). Not too bad, considering the gamepad represents a bulk of the price.



FiveDigitLP said:

Based on this new info, and if the rumors are to be believed, I'm betting that the NA bundles are 8 GB, 32 GB, and then 32 GB with Nintendo Land.



FiveDigitLP said:

Also, regarding the date, if you look up the Wii, you'll see that it launched in November in NA and December everywhere else. Nintendo can't miss Black Friday.



Zombie_Barioth said:

@Kyuubikid213 Same here i might just have to wait until after the holiday rush and everything settles down, not thats its such a bad thing after all that means no crazy long lines or pushy customers. Assuming we don't see a repeat of the Wii's release of course.



Lin1876 said:

I'll get the premium version if I can afford it, but money is pretty tight right now so there's no guarantee.



shake_zula said:

The Wii launched in Japan at around that price, so I guess whatever price you paid for a Wii, is about what you'll pay for a Wii U?

This Network Premium had better be more similar to PlayStation+ than Xbox Live Gold. If it's needed for any necessary functionality, I swear to God I will just buy it because I'm an idiot. But I won't be happy.



ThomasBW84 said:

@madgear Wii U is backwards compatible. It also seems, if translated accounts are correct, that there'll be an option to transfer WiiWare and Wii Virtual Console.

In any case, I've added those details to the article.



Gamer83 said:

Can't base everything that's going to happen with the system here in NA on what they're doing in Japan, but based on how this market has been treated by Nintendo lately along with the underwhelming news out of Japan, I've got a feeling I'm going to be very, very disappointed when NoA's press conference has ended. Hope to be wrong, I want to get excited for this system but it's like Nintendo has done everything in its power to prevent me from doing so.



DarkNinja9 said:

yeah now im doubting i will even have enough money to get it the premium sounds nice but i rarely download retro games but would be nice if the ylater had add on contents to games which i could see why i would get the premiums ugh decisions >.>



Sabrewing said:

@madgear The only thing not backward compatible is GameCube discs, and they eventually removed that from the current Wii anyway, plus they're supposed to join the Virtual Console at some future date.



SilentHunter382 said:

Err seeing those prices (if they are converted the same) europe will have the same price as europe. If that does become the case I will have to hold out and get it at a later date and $160+ for a second pad wow. Sure I know why its that price but still.....



Gamer83 said:

It feels like Nintendo is dropping the ball and the damn thing isn't even out yet. I really hope the NA and Europe conferences are not complete disasters.



shake_zula said:

I don't know how anyone can be disappointed with the news we've had so far :/ it's as cheap as it could ever have been ($200 wasn't going to happen, let's face it), and other than that all we've had are a pre-Christmas launch date and some generic premium bundle/premium service stuff.



WiiLovePeace said:

What I don't get is that they're making the "Nintendo Network Premium" something you choose to join before you've even got the console. As in, what if I as a consumer get the 8GB one & then feel like getting a subscription to Nintendo Network Premium, hence I have to go buy the 32GB one to join? Seems dumb if they are literally halving the market for the subscription service by not allowing all consoles to join in.



kyuubikid213 said:

@WiiLovePeace I don't think they're being randomly exclusive like that. I think it just means the Premium Wii U will either come with a membership card you have to input on your system's eShop or it'll already be downloaded in. It'd be a bad move if they made it console exclusive just to get cash. But then again, it's also impossible to think that. The subscription you get with the premium bundle only lasts 2 years. Why wouldn't they give you a way to reload it or add more time?



Wyvernqueen said:

You guys do realize more info is to come. at 11pm Japan time they will have another Nintendo direct that shows first and 3rd party Wii u games. And since that runs around the same time as the NY conference we will get that stuff here as well. And by that stuff I mean games news.



rjejr said:

I'm going to guess that HDMI cable only comes with the black Premium edition and the white basic comes with the white basic cable, as I think that's the way it worked with the Xbox360 Elite or Pro. Unless Japan is just way more advanced on the HDMI front than America, which they probably are, but that's how it will probably work in the US anyway. Need to make the Premium, well, Premium.

I was really caught off guard by the white vs black difference this morning. It's a great move though and makes perfect sense as all the "hardcore" get the black "premium" 32GB HDMI cable edition and the casuals buy the white just to upgrade to a social media Wii. My only problem is I'm not sure which 1 to buy now ;-(

The $249 - $299 - $349 price rumour makes sense, though I'm not sure what color the $299 one will be. Only 2:45 to go.



Moshugan said:

This is good! The price is in line with what I hoped for, and this Nintendo Network Premium seems promising. Can't wait!
But will Europe slip to December also? I expect USA to be November.



Firejonie said:

Don't give up hope for a pack in Nintendo Land overseas. Wii Sports wasn't bundled with the Wii in Japan.



TheKingOfTown said:

Do you have to subscribe to something if you get the premium, or are you paying for it through the extra price?



Burning_Spear said:

Kind of concerned that the tablet costs half of what the entire package costs. What does that say about the console's power?



WaveBoy said:

I would snag the premium, but the problem for me is that it's in Black.
Also, that was one ridiuclously lifeless and dreary presentation. Geez, throw in a green screen behind Iwata for crying out loud and have some funky Mushroom kingdom motion video playing with music thrown into the mix.



Abcdude said:

I won't vote until I hear the NA price, but hell, so excited! Nice to see bundles.



aaronsullivan said:

Seems like a smart pair of bundles. I didn't expect black availability. The different memory/cost will help avoid the problem of hardware sitting on shelves just because of color preferences.

No surprise game previews at all?

Oh wait! Another Nintendo Direct in Japan is scheduled to coincide with the NA and European ones later today? That IS promising.



Samholy said:

402 for premium ? too much for me. i was hoping a 299 price point.
32gb for premium, what the hell ? i got a 150gb ps3 and its barely enough. think about it.
they offer 25gb disk for games. a 32gb system will barely hold 1 to 3 digital games. ive seen many ps3 games running around 10gb easily. So for a ''premium'' system, i would at least hope a 100gb. or 80 ? Seriously, 32gb was good years ago, now they already start their new console with outdated memory. hahahaha
Also, at 400, at least include another tablet or to a minimum, nintendo land. not including nintendo land is a ripoff.

That confirms that I will yet skip another nintendo console, sadly. cause in due time, when it will get cheaper, their competitors will have launched theyre next console, and no way in hell i will skip the PS4, and no way in hell i can afford 2 consoles.

oh yeah, just to let you know. that offer 78$ for adding 24GB to your system. for 78$ you can get a TERABYTE harddrive. 100gb for 78-100$ is a standard price. not 24gb? are they insane ? what a major ripoff.
(you can also get 32gb memory sticks for 10-15$....)

nintendo, i mad at you. at least your 3ds is great. godammit. i still cant believe it.



aaronsullivan said:

Not sure where you live, but the price will probably be lowering in NA, at least. Also, although it might not be that compelling to you, the Premium bundle also comes with a stand for the Wii U and a charging stand for the GamePad and is black and comes with 2 years of Premium subscription (possibly).

Also, go and get that cheap hard drive and hook it up. It's supposed to work, I think. So no problem there.



Samholy said:

dont make me laugh. it comes with a stand ? hahahahahahahahaha
its a chunk of plastic that costs NOTHING.
i had a charging stand with my 3ds. you know where it is ? in its original box. its a waste. a gimmick.
mind that im sure i can have fun with it, im not worried there. the problem is they ask way too much for hardware that is already outdated. nintendo failed at making it come with a tablet instead of a standard gamepad, boosting their price point for a gadget while reducing the console hardware power to cope with the tablet production price.

id rather get the next sony (or microsoft for xbox fans) where I will have a multitask console with raw power to accept the latest game engines,physics,graphics and that for a longer time period. plus, ive grown to enjoy sony exclusive more than the latest mario/zelda games.



ThumperUK said:

Assuming of course you'll be able to attach an external HDD, I think the move is a very sensible one - at least we'll be able to choose our own external device (or use one we already have) rather than be tied into buying an overpriced console-branded version (Xbox I'm looking at you).

So long as European release is also before Xmas, I'll be happy.



AVahne said:

Nintendo has announced again and again and people have ignored them again and again: WII U SUPPORTS EXTERNAL STORAGE.
I don't necessarily mean you of course, but some people act like it's the end of the world just because there's only 32 gb max of internal storage. To those people, exactly how many games use that much memory on PS3 and are NOT interactive movies (MGS4 and FF13)?



Judah_83 said:

@KOTO ^^^^^Preach! Some people will always find a reason to hate Nintendo. 32GB is fine for me and if I need more I buy a cheap external hard drive instead of spending a gazillion dollars for a 280GB console. Nintendo FTW!



GreenDream said:

@Samholy If those issues are all you are concerned with, you may as well just get a good PC. Good PC's will trump consoles on all of those issues you mentioned any day. Maybe it's just time for you to bow out of console gaming? Unless you're an RPG type of person... but even then, none of the next-gen consoles will have any of those any time soon. Almost none of the western Sony exclusives can hold a candle to PC exclusives, or the PC versions one-up the Sony/console versions.

Yeah... just stick to handhelds and PC's.



GreenDream said:

Personally, I'm more interested in the uses of the technology moreso than the games. The Wii Remote was an interesting modding device, and I'm sure the Upad will be too.

I'm also pleasantly surprised with the physical engineering upgrades of the 3DS XL over the 3DS. I think it will last 5 years or more, just as every Nintendo console and handheld has for me. My NES, GBoy, SNES, GBoy Color, N64, GBA, GCN, DS, and Wii all still function to this day. That's probably one reason for the relatively high price tag of Nintendo hardware compared to PC hardware that is rarely ever mentioned - Nintendo hardware just doesn't DIE.

Whereas with just about every other console or system (PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox/360, PSP, Vita), you really have to go out of your way for them to last any more than 5 years of heavy use.



ThumperUK said:

@ Koto
Calm down dear!
I said 'assuming of course' - I expected the WiiU to have external HDD facility hence my comment.



AntiGuy said:

With Gamecube games comming to the VC, there's absolutely no point in getting the 8GB Home version...

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