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:
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.
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