I love retail outlets. They always get information before the press when it comes to new console launches. One of the more mysterious consoles has been the Wii U with Nintendo remaining tight-lipped regarding their next console's launch later this year. Barring a leak from Ubisoft last month, there hasn't been much in the way of details, until now.
Amazon.com has an updated Wii U page with more details about the console itself. Under the details, we now know the final size of the Wii U - 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long. It's much smaller than what I originally anticipated, but I'm not complaining.
The tablet-based controller is also detailed as having a 16:9 display at 6.2 inches. The controller also features a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble, camera, microphone, stereo speakers, sensor strip and a stylus. While we knew most of those features, it's still nice to have them confirmed by a retail outlet.
For those concerned over the Wii U's ability to play games and media in high-definition, the listing says that it supports all screen resolutions up to 1080p. It's compatible with everything from HDMI to composite video. It can also output audio either through AV or six-channel PCM through HDMI.
Now here is where things get interesting. We always knew that the Wii U would allow users to expand its onboard memory with SD cards, but Amazon confirms that the Wii U will also have an external USB hard drive. The CPU is listed as an IMB multi-core processor while the GPU is an AMD Radeon-based HD graphics card. All in all, it should be on par, if not a little more powerful, than current generation consoles.
The Amazon listing also reveals the current Wii U launch line-up. The games included are New Super Mario Bros. Mii, Darksiders II, DiRT, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Ghost Recon Online, Metro Last Light, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden 3 and other unnamed Mii-based software. The only problem with this list is that Metro Last Light was announced as delayed until 2013 back in February. Unless Amazon knows something that we don't, the Metro 2033 sequel probably won't make the Wii U launch. Everything else is entirely plausible though.
Amazon is also listing Wii U games as being only $49.99. That's extremely good news for those concerned that Nintendo would join Sony and Microsoft in the trend of charing $60 for new games. Since the development costs for this generation have gone down since its debut five years ago, it makes sense to keep the prices lower. It will also make people more likely to buy more games.
Sure, a lot of the information here was already assumed, but retail information is more than assumptions. Nintendo and other hardware manufacturers regularly meet with retailers to provide the most up-to-date information about their consoles. We can assume that Amazon isn't just assuming things, but rather got this information from Nintendo themselves.
It's less than a month until E3 and you can expect that Nintendo will reveal more about the Wii U there. For now, we can just look at the Amazon listings and just speculate what the company has in store for us come June. Just going off of this limited information, however, it looks like the Wii U will have one hell of a launch.[h/t: Daily Game Sales]