Nintendo has announced a number of key details regarding the release of its upcoming Wii U home console. The release date, launch line up and pricing were all confirmed by the company during a series of detailed broadcasts on the Nintendo Direct website.
The company today confirmed that the system will launch worldwide within a three week time-frame. The US will be the first region to get access to the system, with the launch day confirmed as November 18. Europe will follow shortly after on the November 30, and the system will hit Japan on December 8.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told IGN that the gamepad will not be available as a stand-alone accessory in the US, at least not at first. “If I were to take additional gamepads and make them available as an accessory, then I would have less Wii U console hardware to sell into retail,” he said, adding some credence to the rumors surrounding manufacturing difficulties.
It was also revealed that Nintendo will release two versions of the console, the Basic and Deluxe models. The former of these will come in at US$299 and will include a white console with 8 GB of memory, as well as a gamepad, HDMI cable and sensor bar.
The Deluxe package will cost $349 and comes with the black version of the console, featuring 32 GB of storage. In addition to everything that's included in the Basic package, the more costly version also comes with a charging cradle and stands for both the gamepad and console. It will also include the Nintendo Land game.
Interestingly, the EU edition of the Basic model will not include the sensor bar, with the company claiming that a large number of users will already have the item, having purchased the original Wii console.
The launch line up for the system was also confirmed for Europe, with the US line up likely to be largely the same. A total of 51 titles were confirmed, including Nintendo Land, FIFA 13, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, Mass Effect 3 and Darksiders 2. In addition to this, New Super Mario Bros U, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and Alien: Colonial Marines were also confirmed.
The biggest surprise of the day came in the form of Bayonetta 2. While the title won't hit the launch window, its announcement as a Wii U exclusive will go some way to assuaging fears that the system is relying too heavily on ports and rehashes of titles already available on competing systems.
Lastly, Nintendo confirmed in its EU presentation that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be released on the system and will feature cross functionality with the company's popular 3DS handheld device.
Nintendo's US launch reveal presentation can be seen below.