With the recent announce of the iPhone and its coming launch it is difficult to focus on anything else. Whether you love it, or hate it, the iPhone is such a vital product in the tech world today.
That being said, another remarkable product has been readied for launch with an official release date, the Wii U. The Nintendo Wii-U is set to launch November 18, 2012 in the US and November 30, in Europe. Obviously, that is just in time for the holiday season.
Unfortunately, the Wii U is quite a bit pricier, in terms of total cost, over the original Wii. That means Nintendo could end up alienating the casual gaming audience that skyrocketed the first Wii to success. Though, in many of their public presentations involving the latest console, Nintendo has made clear their desire to get back into the hardcore gaming market. We’ll see if they can handle maintaining both sides of the gaming spectrum in the coming days.
The Wii-U will be available in two separate bundles at launch.
Wii-U Bundles Available at Launch
There will be two separate Wii-U bundles at launch, each for varying types of consumers.
The first bundle will be the basic level that includes a white console with 8GB of internal storage for $300. The basic bundles contains the Wii-U console, a Wii-U GamePad (the touchscreen version), a stylus, a sensor bar, and the necessary power and A/V cables (HDMI).
The second bundle, will be the deluxe level, and it includes a black console with 32GB of internal storage for $350. The deluxe bundle includes a black themed console and GamePad, and everything from the basic bundle. In addition, the deluxe bundle comes with the Nintendo Land video game, a Wii-U GamePad stand, a Wii-U GamePad cradle and a Wii-U console stand.
There is no difference in how the consoles perform, that means you are getting the same Wii-U console no matter what bundle you purchase. The deluxe edition just comes with additional accessories and a game that you would otherwise have to purchase separately.
Also worth mentioning, the Wii-U console is compatible with original Wii controllers including the Wii Remote, Wii Remote Plus and the Nunchuk. Nintendo is also offering a “Wii-U Pro Controller” for purchase separately that looks similar to the Xbox 360 controller and offers more “precise button-based gameplay.”
The Wii-U Console
Just to establish some of the basic features of the console, we’re going to do a quick rundown here. We’ve covered the Wii-U in more depth before, so if you need more information make sure you check out that story.
The biggest feature of the Wii-U is the revolutionary GamePad controller that includes a 6.2″ LCD touchscreen display built right into it. The GamePad screen can be used in conjunction with a TV screen, it shows, touch-interactive content. For example, while playing the game on a TV you can browse a character’s inventory via the smaller screen, while the game world is still visible on the larger screen. Nintendo demoed a Ninja like training game that saw players using the GamePad to throw Shurikens on screen while the TV panned across a scene simultaneously.
The best part about the new controller though, is that if someone else is using the TV connected to the console, you can play Wii-U games directly on the GamePad. That means when your significant other kicks you off for the night and heads to bed, you can take the GamePad into the bedroom and continue playing. If that concept, alone is not considered remarkable, than we don’t know what is.
The Nintendo Wii-U will also be powered by an AMD Radeon high-definition GPU, which means that Nintendo games will now by in real high-def resolutions. The first Wii was on par with the PlayStation 2 concerning graphics, maybe slightly better. The new Wii-U is more powerful than the Xbox 360 and the PS3, although we would hope so considering both of those consoles are now six or seven years old.
Nintendo will see a return to more hardcore gaming titles with the Wii-U console, unlike what was seen with the first Wii’s catalog. The Wii-U will see a plethora of sophisticated game titles like Aliens: Colonial Marines, Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders 2, Ghost Recon Online and many more.
Isn’t The Price Kind of High?
A lot of critics are saying the $300 price is a little too high, and it is not ideal for casual gamers. Casual gamers actually make up most of the customer base that purchased the original Wii. It goes without saying, the Wii-U is an entirely different console altogether, and as such, it will be competing in a different market.
The first Wii was not competing with current gen consoles per say. In fact, a lot of consumers who bought a Wii did not own a Xbox 360 or PS3. While the Wii was clearly in the same market, it didn’t take part of the consumer base from the other consoles but instead drew from a different audience entirely.
The Wii-U, on the other hand, will be competing with Microsoft and Sony’s new consoles when they release. Many speculate that the other next gen consoles will launch sometime in 2013. If that theory holds true, then the Wii-U will have been on the market for at least a year, maybe more. That means by the time the new consoles release, there will probably be a price drop.
Until then, it looks as if we’ll have to cope with Nintendo’s current prices. Although, considering what the console comes bundled with (a GamePad), we’re okay with the price. Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think!