Everything You Want To Know About Wii U — Launch Date, Bundles, Nintendo TVii, Newly Announced Games And More

So, today is “Nintendo actually gives us specifics about the Wii U” day, and as Dan reported the news out of Japan was, well, cause for concern. $400 for a Wii U? Nintendo Land as a $65 stand-alone game instead of a pack-in? Uh oh.
But hey, that’s Japan — the land of things not making sense and being too expensive. What did Nintendo’s western branches have to say regarding price, bundles, games and what have you? Hit the jump to find out…

info via GoNintendo, screenshots via NintendoEverything, videos via Nintendo’s Youtube channel

Launch Date

November 18th. Hey, in time for my birthday.

Price and Bundles

There will be two color-coded Wii U bundles — the Basic Set, which comes in wussy white, and the Deluxe Set, which comes in badass hardcore black.

Of course the cool set is black.

The Basic Set, which will sell for $300, includes…
8GB of flash memory
– A GamePad
– AC adapter
– A sensor bar
– An HDMI cable
The Deluxe Set, which will sell for $350 includes all of the above, plus…
– More internal memory. 32 GB to be exact.
– A console stand
– A GamePad charging dock
– A GamePad stand
– A copy of Nintendo Land
– A “Nintendo Network Premium” subscription
So yeah, there’s absolutely no reason to buy the basic package — the Deluxe Set more than justifies the extra 50 bucks. The inclusion of Nintendo Land as a pack-in, in North America is a big deal. The Wii would not have been the success it was if Wii Sports was sold separately in America.

This will be a pack-in, so Nintendo hasn’t entirely taken leave of their senses.

The Nintendo Network Premium subscription is just a points program that rewards people who buy a lot of stuff digitally as opposed to at retail.
Hit the next page for some Wii U specs and, I promise, a brief run down of Nintendo TVii (the “ii” thing is no longer cute Nintendo)…

Wii U System Specs

– Can support up to 1080p
– Uses a GPGPU (whatever that means)
– RAM for games – 1GB
– RAM for the operating system – 1GB
– Can import all your Wii virtual console and WiiWare games

Nintendo TVii

Nintendo spent what felt like an excruciating several hours detailing this at their press conference. Basically it’s an integrated guide that lets you search Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, cable and your DVR for stuff to watch. Actually looks fairly handy, but it’s not exactly mind-blowing. Also, I’m never going to mention it on this blog again, because typing “TVii” hurts me physically.
Hit the next page for, uh, what are those things called again? Oh right…games!

Nintendo And Platinum Games Are Now Best Pals

So, probably the most surprising news to come out of the press conference was that Bayonetta 2 is coming, exclusive to the Wii U and going to be published by Nintendo. Wow. Way to jump right into the deep end of the M-rated pool guys.

“Heeey, sorry for pretending your game didn’t exist at E3. How can we make it up to you? Fund and publish Bayonetta 2? Uhhhh, welll, okay.”

Also, Nintendo didn’t completely ignore Platinum’s other Wii U game, Project P-100, like they did at E3. It got a full trailer and a new name — The Wonderful 101. Eh, I kind of like Project P-100 more. Oh well.

Hey Look, Activision Isn’t Shunning The System After All

Activision showed up, and yes, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Skylanders: Giants are both coming to the Wii U. Also some crap like a game based on the Wipeout TV show, and some Transformers thing.

Launch Titles

Nintendo of America is still being wishy-washy and only announcing “launch window” titles, but Nintendo of Europe actually nailed down some day one games…
– Fifa 13
– Mass Effect 3
– Nano Assault Hero
– New Super Mario Bros. U
– Nintendo Land
– Rayman Legends
– Trine 2
– Toki Tori 2
– ZombiU

Mario actually being there at launch is no small thing.

Minus Fifa, which Americans don’t give a s–t about, I imagine the North American day one line-up will be pretty similar to Europe’s.

Full List of “Launch Window” Games

For the record, Nintendo is calling any time between November 18th and the end of March 2013 the “launch window”…
– Nintendo Land™
– New Super Mario Bros.™ U
– NINJA GAIDEN™ 3: Razor’s Edge
– LEGO® City: Undercover
– Wii Fit™ U
– Game & Wario™
– Pikmin™ 3
– The Wonderful 101™
– Funky Barn
– NBA 2K13
– 007™ Legends
– Call of Duty®: Black Ops II
– Wipeout 3
– Skylanders Giants™
– Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
– Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
–  Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate
– Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
– Ben 10: Omniverse™
– Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
– Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
– Mass Effect™ 3
– Madden NFL 13
– FIFA Soccer 13
– Trine 2™: Director’s Cut
– Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
– Zumba® Fitness Core
– Jett Tailfin™
– Aliens: Colonial Marines™
– Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
– Nano Assault Neo
– Darksiders® II
– Wheel of Fortune®
– Toki Tori 2
– Assassin’s Creed® III
– Just Dance® 4
– Marvel Avengers™: Battle for Earth
– Rabbids® Land
– Sports Connection™
– Your Shape®: Fitness Evolved 2013
– ZombiU™
– Rayman Legends®
– Scribblenauts™ Unlimited
– Game Party Champions
– Batman: Arkham City™ Armored Edition

Yup, looks pretty funky.

Not a bad line-up. I’m particularly looking forward to Funky Barn. Hit the final page for a bunch of new trailers and stuff…

My Take

Price-wise, this is about what I was expecting. $250 for the basic bundle and $300 for the deluxe would have been more ideal, but $300 and $350 isn’t outrageous. Nintendo’s western branches were mum on how much an extra Wii U GamePad would cost — I doubt it will cost nearly $175 like in Japan. I’m guessing it may cost as little as $100, which is still a lot for a controller, but again, it’s to be expected.
On the games front, there weren’t any super exciting announcements, but Bayonetta 2 was pretty surprising. Activision bringing Call of Duty to the system was not surprising, but it was necessary. The “launch window” line-up actually looks pretty strong, with a good mix of triple-A multiplatform stuff, and exclusives. Also Funky Barn.
I wouldn’t say I’m terribly hyped for the machine, but the Wii U will be on my Christmas list. Right now the Wii U looks like it’s probably going to be a pretty solid Dreamcast-esque bridge system, which isn’t a put-down — the Dreamcast was awesome while it lasted.
What do you folks think? Did Nintendo sell you on the Wii U today, or smother your last embers of enthusiasm?