Nintendo revealed an absolute ton of information about the Wii U today, including launch details for every territory and new game details. Here’s everything that happened during the Japanese, North American and European Nintendo Direct broadcasts, all in one place.
The Wii U will launch in North America on November 18th, Europe on November 30th and on the 8th December in Japan.
It comes in two models: Basic and Premium. Basic comes with 8GB of memory, the console, a gamepad, sensor bar, HDMI cable and AC adaptor in the US, and without a sensor bar in the EU. Premium comes with 32GB of memory, console, gamepad, charging cradle and stands for the console and gamepad, and Nintendo Land.
Premium also comes with a Nintendo Network Premium Subscription, which gives you discounts on Nintendo games bought online. According to Nintendo EU’s press release, it is “a reward programme that grants points for digital purchases in Nintendo eShop. Valued at around 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price, this credit can be used against future purchases once you reach a minimum of 500 points.”
The price in the US is $299 for the Basic and $349 for the Premium. Nintendo never announces prices for Europe due to previous issues with the EU, so it’ll be up to retailers to decide. Early listings ranged from £210 to £320. Tesco currently has it at £249 for Basic and £299 for Premium.
The launch day games in Europe have been confirmed as New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, FIFA 13, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, Mass Effect 3, and Call of Duty Black Ops 2. There’s no definite list for the US, but we can assume it will be very similar.
The biggest surprise of the day was without a doubt Bayonetta 2 (yay!), which was announced as a Wii U exclusive. Wow. Platinum Games’ other Wii U title, cute superhero-strategy mashup Project P-100, was retitled The Wonderful 101.
On the multiformat side, Activision and Nintendo finally confirmed Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for Wii U. Activision is also bringing Skylanders Giants to the party. We’ll be seeing Aliens: Colonial Marines in the “launch window” as well. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will have new, Wii U exclusive content - including Nintendo costumes and power-ups. An Ultimate edition of Monster Hunter 3 will be coming to Wii U as well as 3DS from Capcom. The full line-up of Nintendo Land mini-games is also now out in the open.
Nintendo released a list of over 50 launch window games in North America and Europe - that’s games released between November and the end of March. You can read the full list right here.
Rumors suggest Nintendo’s latest system is facing a “manufacturing nightmare.”
Rumors suggest that manufacturing trouble could cause Wii U’s international release to slip into December. Anonymous sources have revealed to CVG that Nintendo is facing a “manufacturing nightmare” in preparing the GamePad controller due to its complexity and may have to push the system’s release to December in Europe.
According to the sources, Wii U’s intended launch window was November, a deadline that is still expected to be met in North America in order to benefit from Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales. CVG notes that the manufacturing issues “are believed to have hampered Nintendo’s plans on announcing a Wii U launch date.”
Nintendo has said several times that Wii U will launch globally by the end of 2012 but has yet to target a specific release month. Rumors in the past suggested Wii U will launch on November 18th but were never confirmed by Nintendo.
A delay into December is only a rumor for now, as Nintendo isn’t ready to release price and release date info just yet. For a more in-depth look at Nintendo’s launch strategy for Wii U, check out our interview with Nintendo of America president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime.
METROID PRIME WII U IN DEVELOPMENT?
New ‘leaks’ posted on the French site Nintendotown seems to indicate that ‘The Big N’ maybe working on a new Metroid Prime title with developer Retro Studios. Allegedly this new Metroid title runs on the Unreal 3 Engine. A full reveal would be feature at Nintendo’s booth at this June’s E3.
Retro Studios began a frenzied hiring spree earlier this year for a as yet unannounced title. It’s likely that that the mystery game is being developed for the Wii U, as Retro Studios did receive Wii U development kits some time ago. They’ve also stated that they’re working on “something everyone wants to see” which led some people to believe that they are in fact working on a new Metroid Prime title.
After Team Ninja’s poorly received Metroid Other M, many signs pointed to the Metroid series being put on the back burner. But for fans of the series this could possibly be great news.
Series producer Eiji Aonuma has confirmed that an all-new Zelda is in development for the Nintendo 3DS. Aonuma says the game will be closer to console games than to previous DS Zelda titles.
“We are already preparing a new game, a game in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, but don’t think that it is a direct sequel to the Zelda titles released on DS,” he told Portugese site MyGames. “We are talking about a new game, but it takes much of what has been done on previous consoles.”
According to Aonuma, Nintendo is also still considering a new version of Majora’s Mask for 3DS, but would rather release an all-new Zelda before another remake.
“It’s something I’m asked about often and I assure you that it is something I’ve spoken to Miyamoto about. But recently we released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D as a remake. We are considering the idea, but it didn’t seem right to launch a remake one after another, so the next Zelda game on 3DS will be original.”
The Nintendo 3DS Must Relaunch
Nintendo has potentially opened a door it can’t shut.
September 9, 2011
While Nintendo has established a long history of releasing new versions, designs and models of its hardware, it’s now entering dangerous territory with the Nintendo 3DS. Inside a year of its release, the system is seeing a peripheral that can and will fundamentally change the way companies approach game development.
The market for the Nintendo 3DS will soon be fractured, split in a way that the GBA SP, Game Boy Color and DS Lite never were. This peripheral is, of course, the circle pad expansion. A second circle pad was certainly necessary for the 3DS, but now Nintendo is faced with a critical choice – relaunch its system or fail to truly keep the peripheral viable in the long term.
Nintendo’s lack of foresight in packaging the 3DS with a second circle pad is a critical failure on the part of the company. Virtually all modern games require a second analog input, and movement and touch-based solutions are inadequate replacements. Moreover, the PlayStation Vita features two sticks and is more powerful. Although it’s (now) more expensive than the 3DS, it could still potentially prove more alluring than the 3DS if Nintendo doesn’t fix its error. That the publisher is attempting to do this now is certainly reassuring, but the fact that Nintendo has to do it speaks volumes about how it approached this system in the first place.
This is what is causing Nintendo a headache…
A number of poor choices have plagued the 3DS since its launch, and in some respects the system’s first year will be remembered as one of Nintendo’s roughest ever. The question now is what to do about it. A price drop, expanded content and a functioning eShop go a long way, and certainly have had an impact, but the circle pad is a fundamental product feature unlike any of the other “upgrades” Nintendo has provided. It changes how games are made. Now the company faces a tough choice – support the add-on full force and accept the consequences, or watch it fade into oblivion, giving its competitors a significant advantage in accepting ports and remakes of modern titles.
If Nintendo wants developers to support this extra circle pad, the first model of the Nintendo 3DS must be replaced immediately. It cannot remain on store shelves, because its continued presence furthers a splitting of Nintendo’s marketplace. Developers will be forced to either support a platform of millions with only one circle pad or a platform of few with two.
That’s the biggest problem the company faces – convincing developers to start over. The current system is just now gaining steam, selling over 200,000 units in August after its price drop. For Nintendo to introduce a seismic change to its system’s control interface could potentially undo all of its progress thus far. For all intents and purposes, the 3DS would be starting over, barring some sort of massive recall or free distribution of the expansion device. Quite obviously, both of those would have huge financial implications.