The Wii U has been engulfed in secrecy ever since its reveal two years ago at E3. The veil of secrecy is going to lift this morning at 10 a.m. EST, but Nintendo of Japan saw fit to unveil most of the mysteries behind the Wii U at their own event this morning.
The Japanese Nintendo Direct live stream from this morning confirmed pretty much everything we needed to know about the Wii U console. We now know price, date and the launch games. Granted, this is the information from Japan, but we can make some specific educated guesses as to how the Wii U event is going to go down in New York.
First up is the official specs. It was speculated that the Wii U would have 1GB of memory. That was partially correct. The Wii U will have 2GB of memory, but 1GB will be reserved solely for the onboard OS. The other half will be used by games. Wii U game discs will also feature a new proprietary format that can hold up to 25GB.
The Wii U will launch in Japan on December 8. You can expect the U.S. launch to be much earlier. The Japanese holiday shopping season begins later than ours. You can expect the Wii U to launch in the U.S. before Thanksgiving.
Much like the previous rumor, the Japanese WIi U will be coming in multiple SKUs. The console will ship as a basic bundle and a premium bundle. The basic bundle is in white, while the premium bundle is in black. The basic bundle features the bare minimum which includes the console, a controller and an 8GB hard drive. The premium bundle will feature all of the above plus an HDMI cable, power cradle for the Wii U gamepad and a 32GB hard drive. The basic bundle will retail for the Japanese equivalent of $321 and the premium will go for $385.
Before you freak out, know that the Yen is very strong right now. The U.S. price will undoubtedly be much lower. Going off of precedent, we can expect the basic bundle to retail for $250 and the premium bundle to retail for $300. There was a third rumored SKU that would retail for $350, but we’ll find out if that turns out to be true this morning at 10 a.m.
The Wii U gamepad controller might go down in history as the most expensive controller ever made. Nintendo of Japan said that it would cost around $172. Once again, the strength of the yen will knock that down a bit, but it will still be really expensive. I’m expecting the controller to retail for under $150 in the U.S.
As for launch titles, Nintendo of Japan only announced two – Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. The omission of Pikmin 3 is a cause for concern as the much anticipated sequel may miss the console’s launch. This could just be for Nintendo of Japan, however, and we may get Pikmin 3 confirmed for launch today in New York. Expect plenty of third-party love in New York today as well with ZombiU and Rayman Legends being announced as launch titles.
You can expect most of the information here to be repeated at Reggie’s presser today in New York City. Check back at 10 a.m. for up to the minute details on Nintendo’s newest game console. It’s sure to be an exciting day for the Nintendo fan.