Finally, after more than a year of speculation, Nintendo has announced it will start selling its Wii U video game system starting November 18.
There'll be two versions: a white Basic Set for $299.99 and a black Deluxe Set ($349.99), which will include more storage capacity, additional accessories and the new "Nintendo Land" game – less than expected and on a par with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.
I got a chance to preview the Wii U, a successor to the popular and ground-breaking gesture-controlled Wii, back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show ("Hands On With Nintendo's New Wii U").
While I'm no dedicated gamer, but after playing for a bit with Wii U's 6.2-inch tablet controller, it's easy to see the appeal of the new dual-screen system. Suffice it to say, Wii U represents a whole new way to play.
However, Wii U does not include a Blu-ray player. Of the three major videogame consoles, only the PS3 includes a Blu-ray player, although there are rumors the next-generation Xbox will as well. Including a Blu-ray player or not is noteworthy because of the limited number of HDMI inputs many TVs and AV receivers have.
But if you're a heavy gamer, maybe you're not a movie watcher. And if you are a movie watcher, Nintendo also announced Nintendo TVii, a TV watching that gives Wii U users access to live TV as well as a TiVo and online video services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube.
Basic and Deluxe features
Wii U Basic Set includes:
- a white Wii U console with 8 GB of internal storage
- a white GamePad controller
- AC adapters for both the console and controller
- a gesture sensor bar
- an HDMI cable.
The black Deluxe Set includes all the above Basic components plus:
- 32 GB of storage in the console
- a console stand
- GamePad charging cradle
- a stand to stand the GamePad vertically on a table
- the Nintendo Land game
First Wii U games
There will be more than 50 games for Wii U by mid-March, but it isn't clear from the list of games released by Nintendo which or how many will actually be available at launch.
For the sake of completeness, here's Nintendo's list of initial Wii U games. I'll bring you more Wii U info when I get it.
- 007 Legends (2K Sports)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (Sega)
- Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft)
- Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition (Warner Bros.)
- Ben 10: Omniverse (D3Publisher)
- Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 (Activision)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2K Sports)
- Darksiders II (THQ)
- Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (Disney)
- Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade (D3Publisher)
- FIFA Soccer 13 (Electronic Arts)
- Funky Barn (505 Games)
- Game & Wario (Nintendo)
- Game Party Champions (Warner Bros.)
- Jeopardy! (THQ)
- Jett Tailfin (Maximum Games)
- Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft)
- Lego City: Undercover (Nintendo)
- Madden NFL 13 (Electronic Arts)
- Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (Ubisoft)
- Mass Effect 3 (Electronic Arts)
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Capcom)
- Nano Assault Neo (Shin'en)
- NBA 2K13 (2K Sports)
- New Super Mario Bros. U (Nintendo)
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (Nintendo)
- Nintendo Land (Nintendo)
- Pikmin 3 (Nintendo)
- Rabbids Land (Ubisoft)
- Rapala Pro Bass Fishing (Activision)
- Rayman Legends (Ubisoft)
- Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game (D3Publisher)
- Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Gaijin Games)
- Scribblenauts Unlimited (Warner Bros.)
- SiNG Party (Nintendo)
- Skylanders Giants (Activision)
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Sega)
- Sports Connection (Ubisoft)
- Tank! Tank! Tank! (Namco Bandai Games)
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition (Namco Bandai Games)
- The Wonderful 101 (Nintendo)
- Toki Tori 2 Two Tribes
- Transformers Prime (2K Sports)
- Trine 2: Director's Cut (Frozenbyte)
- Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Tecmo Koei)
- Wheel of Fortune (THQ)
- Wii Fit U (Nintendo)
- Wipeout 3 (Activision)
- Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 (Ubisoft)
- ZombiU (Ubisoft)
- Zumba Fitness Core (Majesco Entertainment)