Nintendo Direct Recap: Wii U Launch Details (North American Edition)

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for. Just when will we be getting our hands on Wii U (and how much will it set us back)?

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 09/13/2012 09:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

The Launch

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Wii U will be hitting North American stores on Sunday, November 18. The system will launch in two variations. The first, the Basic Set, will include the following items:

  • White Wii U console
  • White Wii U GamePad controller
  • 8GB of storage
  • 2 AC adapters
  • Wii U sensor bar
  • HDMI cable

The Basic Set will retail for $299.99. The second SKU, the Deluxe Set, will include a black Wii U console and GamePad, all of the aforementioned accessories, and the following items:

  • A copy of Nintendo Land
  • 32 GB of storage
  • GamePad charging cradle
  • GamePad stand
  • Wii U console stand
  • “Deluxe digital promotion”

The digital promotion will reward loyal Nintendo fans with points each time they purchase a game or application through the eShop; expect more information on the program closer to the system’s launch. The Deluxe Set will retail for $349.99. No Wii remotes will be included in either bundle, but Nintendo will continue to sell them (and the Nunchuck attachment) separately throughout Wii U’s lifetime. Stores will even receive Wii U-branded Wii remotes in time for the console’s launch. The Wii U Pro Controller will also be sold separately.

The Games

Reggie couldn’t confirm which titles will be launching alongside the console this November (outside of Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U), but he did guarantee that over fifty of them (most of which have been graciously listed in our European summary) will be coming to the system in the launch window, which extends from November 18 to the end of March.

The presentation began with a closer look at Nintendo Land, particularly the newly announced Metroid Blast attraction. The specific game demonstrated to the audience today, Mission Assault, has players teaming up to take on wave after wave of familiar Metroid enemies. The player with the Wii U GamePad controls Samus’ ship, which can hover around the battle arena and attack from the air, while the ones with the traditional Wii remote and Nunchuck setup (is six years long enough to start calling it traditional?) will be blasting them from the ground a la a typical third-person shooter. Nintendo’s Bill Trinen reassured attendees that this was just the first of many games to play within the Metroid attraction, with dedicated deathmatch modes (air-vs.-ground and ground-vs.-ground) also mentioned.

We also got a few new details on New Super Mario Bros. U. Trinen confirmed that the world map in this Mario adventure will be contiguous, much like it was in Super Mario World. He also revealed that there will be new modes in the game as well. The one he specifically mentioned, Boost Rush, will challenge players to complete forced-scrolling levels as quickly as possible. Collecting coins in this mode makes the level scroll more quickly, allowing you to achieve faster speed runs (while simultaneously increasing its difficulty). There will also be a number of skill-based missions that players can complete, and certain power-ups in the main game even have new attributes (Mini-Mario, for example, can now run up walls).

Beyond those two titles, Nintendo also announced that Platinum Games will be bringing Bayonetta 2 to the console. No details on the game were revealed, but it was confirmed that it will be a Wii U exclusive, and that Nintendo will be handling publishing duties. Reggie also revealed that E3 surprise Project P-100, which is likewise being developed by Platinum, will now go by the finalized name of The Wonderful 101.

There was a bit of good news for Capcom fans, too, as it was finally revealed that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be making its way to both Wii U and 3DS next year. The game will support wireless play, and will even allow you to share data between the two version so that you can continue your adventure even if you’re away from home (if you prefer to do your monster hunting on the go, of course).

Finally, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg took the stage to demo Call of Duty: Black Ops II for Wii U. He also announced that four other titles from Activision– Skylanders: Giants, Wipeout 3, 007 Legends, and Transformers Prime: The Game— will be coming to the system within its launch window.

The Entertainment

The real surprise of the presentation was the announcement of Nintendo TVii, an interactive– and personalized– TV guide of sorts that’s right in your Wii U console. Nintendo TVii brings together the various television services you use– Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, DVR, and cable– into one convenient place, allowing you to browse through all of the available programming on your Wii U GamePad.

You can also see recommendations based on your viewing preferences, see what’s currently popular (according to your friends list), and browse through reviews and trailers. Your most-watched channels will also automatically be added to your GamePad’s virtual television remote, allowing you to easily access your favorite programming with the push of a button. The service will initially be available in the United States and Canada, but Nintendo is looking to expand it into other parts of the Americas before long.

So there you have it! Was today’s presentation enough to convince fence sitters to purchase the console? Have you already gone out to preorder it (like I’m about to once I finish writing this up)? Let us know what you think in the comments!

5 Responses to “Nintendo Direct Recap: Wii U Launch Details (North American Edition)”

  • 360 points
    M. Noah Ward says...

    Great summary! I was surprised by the TVii announcement too. It’s a shame it doesn’t function as a DVR on its own.

    • 1 points
      Kevin Knezevic says...

      Thank you! I agree, it would’ve been really cool if Nintendo TVii was also a DVR (especially since I don’t have one of my own), but I suppose that was a bit too much to ask for. XD

      Still, pretty neat stuff!

  • 7 points
    Katharine Byrne says...

    Man, I wish Europe had TVii as well! I wonder whether we’ll get something similar… Then again, Netflix and Hulu and stuff isn’t so wildly popular over here, so I’m not surprised that it wasn’t announced for us. Still, very exciting stuff (and definitely a surprise!).

  • 30 points
    Lukeysounds says...

    8 gb and 32 gb?? No thanks. I have to delete things off my ps3 all the time and it’s at least an 80 gb not completely sure the total an that is very annoying to have to do. So are they selling external memory?

    • 432 points
      dmgice says...

      Any external hard drive will work as long as it is USB 2.0 and -most likely- FAT32 formatted. You can also use SDHC cards (It’s $19.99 for a 32GB one at places like Fry’s and Micro Center.) Since it’s like the 3DS XL, you can also use FAT32 formatted SDXC cards. Those go from 64GB to 2TB. This also does not factor in the idea that Nintendo may offer a “Cloud” service in the future. I honestly don’t see the PS4/XBOXMetro shipping with over 64GB considering the recent pushes toward Cloud storage by Sony/Microsoft.

      Space isn’t really an issue and it won’t be in the next generation of console.

      Besides, didn’t people rush to defend a $499.99 price tag for a 20GB PS3? Of course, there was the 60GB for $599.99 In today’s money that would be…$568.99 and $681.85 respectively.

      $349.99 for a 32GB system with what amounts to a Game Boy Next as it’s controller, a $30 to $40 game, a ton of accessories, and more…. is a bit of a steal really.

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