Nintendo rented out a few floors in a building in Manhattan's trendy Chelsea district today to hold a massive press event where they announced the release information for the upcoming Wii U console, as well as presented demos of a bunch of the launch window titles.
To make a long story short, the Wii U will be hitting stores well in time for the holiday shopping season on November 18. As far as pricing, you've got the Basic Set for $299.99, and the Deluxe Set for $349.99
To make a long story long? Make the jump!
The Wii U Basic Set will feature a whilte Wii U console with 8GB of internal storage, one white GamePad controller, AC adapters for both the console and controller, a sensor bar and an HDMI cable.
In the Wii U Deluxe Set, the console, GamePad and components are all black. The bundle includes everything in the Basic Set, but the console will have 32GB of storage. You'll also get a console stand, GamePad charging cradle, and a stand that allows users to place the GamePad vertically on a table. You'll also get a copy of Nintendo Land. In addition, purchasers of the Deluxe Set will be enrolled in the Deluxe Digital Promotion, which basically gives you reward points for buying digital content, and you can redeem those points in the eShop. (The promotion is currently planned through 2014.)
Personally, the Deluxe Set is really the better deal, since you're going to want to have Nintendo Land anyway, and that's gonna cost $50 on its own, I would think. Then you get all the other extras for free, really. I also like the black color better than the white, but that's just me. The internal storage isn't really an issue, because regardless of what the console has, you can always upgrade with an SD card like with the Wii.
After Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime explained the basics, they segued right into some games, starting with a demo of one of the Metroid games included in Nintendo Land. It was essentially the same concept as the tech demo I played two years ago at E3, but obviously polished, and with a Metroid theme laid over the bones.
Then Reggie revealed that the Wii U would also focus on entertainment, and introduced everyone to what they called Nintendo TVii. I'm not so sure about his claim that lots of people use the Wii to connect to the internet, but okay. This sounds way better than that anyway. The gist of Nintendo TVii is that the GamePad acts as a TV remote on crack. It connects to the internet and your cable TV service provider, and you can then call up your Mii and watch your favorite shows, either live on TV, on your TiVo, or on streaming services like Amazon Video, Hulu Plus or Netflix. There are all kinds of interactive elements to use while watching the show, like Tweeting about it or looking someone up on the IMDb with just a tap or two, and there's even a full-featured remote control in the app. While I'm not so sure how the interactive elements are going to play out, the framework seems solid, and it'll be interesting to see it develop. Nintendo TVii will be available out of the box on launch day, and doesn't cost anything extra. (Because you're already paying for Hulu Plus, Amazon Video and Netflix.) I'll also look forward to Nintendo TVii expanding into other cable providers beyond TiVo so I can access my DVR from my Wii U GamePad. I got a demonstration of Nintendo TVii, so further details on it will be in a whole separate article.
Nintendo also revealed that Bayonetta 2 will be a Wii U exclusive (and she seems to be wearing a robe didn't recognize her all covered up like that!), and Project P100 got a shiny new trailer and a shiny new name: The Wonderful 101. (The extra 1 is because they forgot to inlude you!) Capcom will be bringing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate to the Wii U, and it will have interconnectivity with the 3DS version. Details to follow, I'm sure. Activision showed off a trailer showcasing a bunch of games, including Skylanders Giants, Wipeout 3, 007 Legends, and Transformers Prime: The Game. None of them looked too terribly impressive, but I'm going to chalk that up to being because they're still in development. Their footage of Call of Duty: Black Ops II looked much better, and it uses one of my favorite Wii U features you can play directly on the GamePad while your husband watches TV so you don't feel like you're hogging the set to play games all the time when he wants to watch his shows.
Reggie closed by declaring that while they couldn't guarantee which games would definitely be available on launch day yet, he swore it would be the best launch lineup for any Nintendo system ever. I guess thinking back, that shouldn't be too difficult to achieve... although the Wii did have a Zelda game...
After the press conference closed, we all went down one floor to play a slew of demos. I got my hands on a few more Nintendo Land games, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin's Creed III, New Super Mario Bros. U, Trine 2: Director's Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and Mass Effect 3. I'll be doing hands-on articles for each of those titles all next week until they're all covered, so if you're really eager to hear about any of them in particular, let me know and I'll move it to the front of the queue!