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Nintendo Games Hardware

Nintendo WiiU Price and Release Date Announced 282

Posted by timothy
from the water-sports-games-I-hope dept.
YokimaSun writes "Nintendo has revealed the release date of the Wii U: in Japan it will launch on the 8th December, and in the U.S. it will launch on November 18th. The console will ship in two versions: a basic version with 8GB of internal memory and a Deluxe version that has 32GB of internal memory and comes with a stand and docks. Both versions have 1GB of main memory and as much again for game memory. Nintendo claims the console is 20 times more powerful than the Wii and supports 1080p visuals out the box. It comes with an HDMI cable. All existing Wii accessories will work with the Wii U, but the new Tablet Gamepad will set you back around £100/$173 when you convert yen over. The price of the Deluxe SKU is $350." Here's a list of launch titles.
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Nintendo WiiU Price and Release Date Announced

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  • in being a big flop.
    The controller (the distinctive part of this box) is too expensive. You can by a PS Vita or a 3DS for the same price. And play on the go.
    All that CPU power is almost irrelevant. 2x would be enough. 10x is not different from a 2x from the user perspective.
    1080p is the maximum? No dual screen? What's all that power for?
    You can buy a PS3 for less and still have a very good gaming experience.
    In one question: is the WiiU a better gaming console than a PS3?
    I don't think so.

    • I hate to say it, but I have to agree with part this. An expensive controller kept me from buying a second controller for my Wii for well over 2 years (the price of a brand new game once you add in the nunchuk!).
      • by omnichad (1198475)

        And if you bought that controller then you already have an extra controller for the Wii U.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Huh.
        I just bought my first Wii a few months ago. Plus a stack of PS2 games that are still sealed & never played. I am soooo behind the curve. ;-)

    • by Liam Pomfret (1737150) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:45AM (#41322999)
      I can't help be amused at this post. People have spent years attacking Nintendo for its console not being powerful enough. Now it builds the more powerful console people have demanded, one that should serve it well into this next console generation....and people attack it for being too powerful, and talk about how you can still have great game experiences with a less powerful console? Now where have I heard that argument before....oh yeah, that's exactly what Nintendo fans have been saying for years as people have continued to attack them. There's just no satisfying you guys, is there? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
      • by JMJimmy (2036122) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:09AM (#41323231)

        It may bring the "power" but 8gb and 32gb of memory!? My Xbox is filled with 240gb of mostly arcade games at the moment. Add on the cost of an external HDD + the performance slowdowns due to the USB interface - horrible. You're going to have to install/delete the games every time you want to switch games or wear out the optical drive in no time.

      • by joocemann (1273720) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:38AM (#41323685)

        Wtf are you babbling about? This new one from Nintendo, in 2012, is barely comparable to the last generation of power from 2006/2007.

        Its almost laughable reading your post.

      • I agree with you about the apparent double standard, but...

        [...] and talk about how you can still have great game experiences with a less powerful console?

        Everything I've read about the Wii U indicates that it will be on par with the current generation of consoles. It's not a more powerful console than the PS3. It's not a next generation system. It's a current generation system... 5 years late... and potentially double the cost of its direct competition.

        • Might I ask what makes you think it won't be superior to the current generation of consoles? The HDD, I'll grant you, has significantly less space (though the fact it's a solid state drive does have a lot to do with that), but going by the spec sheets I'd estimate the WiiU is at least 1.5x the power of the PS3, probably much more (though I doubt we'll see all that power actually utilized in the launch titles). I mean seriously now, suggesting that it's not more powerful than the opposition is simply laughab
          • by non0score (890022)
            I think the WiiU is more powerful than current gen in many respects...but not the CPU. Some games will benefit from much more GPU horsepower and RAM, while others will suffer from less CPU power. Which is probably one reason why the GP doesn't believe it's superior.
    • by ledow (319597) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:46AM (#41323001) Homepage

      If it runs all Wii games and accepts all Wii peripherals, and puts out "HD" (even if that's just old Wii games and some scaling), it'll sell just so that people can replace their (now-aging) Wii's with it, use all their old stuff still and see a new game or two with even just one of the new controllers come Christmas.

      Predicting a flop is a little harsh. It probably won't be as successful as the Wii but if Nintendo make a loss on it, I'll be extremely surprised.

      • by drkich (305460)

        That is where I am at. I dropped my Wii a number of months ago, and I went to the kids and asked them if they wanted me to go out and buy the old on or wait to buy the new one. Since it is backwards compatible they decided to wait for the new one.

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Even if it's just to have 480p with no color fringing or dot crawl, it's an easy sell to current Wii owners. A component cable wasn't a big enough upgrade, and I shudder whenever I see composite cables connecting a Wii to a 42" HDTV.

        • Even if it's just to have 480p with no color fringing or dot crawl, it's an easy sell to current Wii owners. A component cable wasn't a big enough upgrade

          How so? When I was still playing Wii, I was using a Monster component cable that was cheaper than Nintendo's own, and I got 480p with no composite encoding artifacts. (On the other hand, several NES emulators for PC take pains to emulate the NES's composite encoding artifacts.)

          • by omnichad (1198475)

            Since you haven't seen any Wii games with HDMI, it's hard to go into detail, but the contrast range will be drastically improved, the color quality much improved, and sharpness as well.

            If your TV has noise reduction circuitry and sharpness enhancement turned on you might see a fairly clear picture, but it's really not as good as getting the real thing in the source video.

      • If it runs all Wii games and accepts all Wii peripherals

        If the Wii Family Edition is any indication, then I don't think it takes GameCube controllers, which is a negative for people who play a lot of Brawl. Nor is it likely to support the Homebrew Channel.

        • by anyGould (1295481)

          If it runs all Wii games and accepts all Wii peripherals

          If the Wii Family Edition is any indication, then I don't think it takes GameCube controllers, which is a negative for people who play a lot of Brawl. Nor is it likely to support the Homebrew Channel.

          That's the only downside I'm seeing on the U - the loss of GC compatability. On the other hand, I do realize that supporting two generations back is asking a bit much. But it means I'll have to keep my Wii around for the handful of GC games I have.

    • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:54AM (#41323099)

      You can buy a PS3 for less and still have a very good gaming experience. In one question: is the WiiU a better gaming console than a PS3?

      Nintendo hardware has seldom been leading-edge at any time, going back to the original NES. They succeed because of their software library. It's really that simple, and I see no reason it won't continue with the Wii U. As long as the rest of the industry continues to crank out cookie-cutter FPSes and MMORPGs, Nintendo will continue to have a profitable niche as the novice-friendly, family-friendly console maker.

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        and speaking of software library...will it have backwards compatibility? that's my main concern. i got a decent wii library, and a few gamecube games still since the wii could play them too. i bought a ps3 first gen after the fact specifically for its ps1 and ps2 compatibilty. sometimes they're nice and rerelease games, but lot of times they aren't.

    • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:13AM (#41323287) Journal

      It would have had a better chance if it was launching in late 2009 or early 2010. Back then, the Wii wasn't as completely moribund as it is now and successors to the PS3 and 360 were a lot further off. Plus Nintendo would have been able to throw more resource at the launch, before they'd suffered 2 years of poor results due to the Wii flatlining and the 3DS needing to be sold at a loss (a first for Nintendo) just to get it a half-way passable installed base.

      But launching now? Yes, I think "flop" is probably the likely outcome. The Wii managed huge success in its early years. I think there were two big reasons for this. First, the concept of the Wii was clearly and easily communicated. "Jump around and wave the wand to play games". Everybody can understand that - and it looks fun. Lots of non-gamers bought them (and then, being non-gamers, bought no more games for it after launch). Ok, ok, the motion control was actually hideously inaccurate (only partially rectified by the Wiimote-Plus) and far from jumping around, the best way to play most games was to sit still and make small movements. But by the time people noticed that, they'd already bought.

      The second advantage was a media zeitgeist working in Nintendo's favour. There was disillusionment with Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo were getting a lot of press goodwill and free publicity. They had lots of people happy to do their marketing for them.

      This time around, the console has a concept which may or may not be good, but which is much harder to communicate in a 15-20 second TV advert. It's a tabletty... touchpaddy... thing. That does something. But then, you're also playing on the TV. I wouldn't be surprised, given the focus on the controller, if a lot of casuals and non-gamers thought that the Wii-U was actually just a new peripheral for the Wii, rather than a whole new console. Just as happened with the 3DS, which a lot of people thought was just a DS with a 3D screen.

      And the media are also a bit bored of Nintendo now. They 3DS was a bit dull. The games haven't been that interesting for ages. And it's all so expensive. Meanwhile... ooooooooh.... SHINY NEW IPHONE! SHINY! ME WANT SHINY!

      Plus we now have the 360 and PS3 successors likely to be less than 18 months away and certain to pack a lot more horsepower than the Wii-U.

      It's the wrong console at the wrong time.

      • by slim (1652)

        This time around, the console has a concept which may or may not be good, but which is much harder to communicate in a 15-20 second TV advert. It's a tabletty... touchpaddy... thing. That does something.

        It just needs a simple game that shows that capability. Something akin to Pacman Vs. [wikipedia.org] -- a simple game where the player with the tablet has more information than his opponent, except with a Nintendo flavour. Show some gameplay; job done.

        • by RogueyWon (735973) *

          No, that wouldn't do it. Not in the same way that the Wiimote did it for the Wii. It would still look like a very traditionally video-gamsey experience to people who don't play (m)any games.

          The Wii looked like it was bringing a whole new level of physical activity to gaming. It wasn't, of course (except via Wii-Fit, which I've always had a soft-spot for) - but it was easy to market it as though it was. Remember all those early "I just through my Wiimote through my TV" stories. They were basically a result o

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>Wii-u just needs a simple game that shows that capability. Something akin to Pacman Vs.

          I find it amusing you cite a game that was a flop. It required one gamecube and 3 gameboys plus linkcable. Not counting the gamecube we're talking about a ~$400 investment in external addons just to play a game. Very few people had a chance to play Pacman Vs. since they couldn't afford it.

    • by hattig (47930)

      2x the CPU is certainly not enough. The Wii is hamstrung by it's ~730MHz early 2000s era PowerPC CPU. The PS3 is probably 3x as fast, CPU wise (ignoring SPUs), the 360 even more so (maybe even 10x).

      Having a controller make up half the cost of the device - that's a real problem. The consumer need for this controller has not been explained well IMO.

      1080p is what modern TVs top out at. No need for more.
      Dual-screen? Yes, it has it - the TV and the controller (two controllers even, apparently).

      The WiiU is more p

    • All that CPU power is almost irrelevant. 2x would be enough. 10x is not different from a 2x from the user perspective.

      Considering that the Wii was a single-core 729MHz machine, 20x the power would still only be the equivalent of a 3.6GHz quad-core processor.

      That's if 20x wasn't an exaggeration.

      Also, consider that the Xbox 360 is a triple-core 3.2Ghz machine that was made 7 years ago and that 3.6GHz quad is only 1.5 times its power.

      So, no, 20x faster than the Wii isn't exactly a stellar achievement. That and they've coupled it with 2GB of RAM.

      Granted, the RAM is 4x the amount the PS3 and Xbox 360 have, and the PS3 is furth

      • >So, no, 20x faster than the Wii isn't exactly a stellar achievement. That and they've coupled it with 2GB of RAM.

        But I read the summary and it clearly states the console will come with either 8GB of MEMORY or 16GB of MEMORY. Now I'm confused! /sarcasm

        It would be nice if a website that's supposed to be all about tech and geekdom could actually post stories on its front page that can distinguish between memory (RAM) and STORAGE, wouldn't it?

        I suppose I can dream. :)

        • 8GB of internal STORAGE. NOT MEMORY.

          8gb of memory would put consoles finally on par with PC's. Old PC's but PC's. The Wii U either has 1.5gb or 2gb of memory. Shared of course. So, less then a high end video card, slower and shared.

          The internal memory isn't also a speedy SSD but a flash drive. Holy load time batman! This thing will be SLOOOOOOOOW. And don't count on it caching from DVD to make up for DVD slow load times either, not with 8GB of storage.

          The more damning thing? Tablets and phones now already c

          • What makes you say the internal memory isn't a SSD? Solid-state drives are generally made using NAND flash memory. When they say a "flash drive", that's exactly what they mean.
            • Not all SSDs are alike in speed. There are slow SSDs with one cheap memory, used in USB "key" style drives, and then there are fast SSDs with multiple memories ganged up in what amounts to a RAID 0, used in 2.5" form factor PC SSDs. The term "SSD" is used for the latter more often than the former. The flash soldered to the motherboard of the original Wii was essentially a cheap, slow 512 MB xD-Picture card; saving to it was in fact slower than saving to some DS Game Cards' flash memory. (Compare WarioWare D
      • by omnichad (1198475)

        You can't go by just clock speed. A quad-core Core i7 is loads faster than a Phenom II x4, even at lower clock speeds. This is likely taking into account all of the speed improvements in the architecture.

        • This. Comparing mere clockspeeds should always include the same warning that the Slashdot polls have: "if you use these results for anything important, you are insane".
    • by synapse7 (1075571) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:42AM (#41323743)
      Well if the Wii U gets Skyrim Dawnguard that would put it a notch over the PS3 for some people.
    • You can buy a PS3 for less and still have a very good gaming experience.
      In one question: is the WiiU a better gaming console than a PS3?
      I don't think so.

      I'd take the WiiU over a PS3 if the WiiU played blu ray discs and supported DLNA for photo, music, and video streaming over the network.

      As far as I know, it doesn't support any of that.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>in being a flop.

      I feel like I've traveled back in time to 2005. I heard all the same stuff about how the Wii would be a flop, because it didn't have enough power, nobody wanted to use motion controllers, people would rather buy PS3s and X360s instead. (But of course that's not what happened; the wii outsold the rest 4 to 1.)

  • 173$ for the handheld bit, plus 400$ for the console? Did they not notice the problems Sony had launching the PS3 at 600$? It doesn't sound like the premium/not premium difference will account for more than 50$ in the end price.
    • I should have looked for this article first...Michael Pachter [wikipedia.org] at Wedbush Securities quoted a price of 300$ at most at launch, and ideally 250$. [vg247.com] Maybe 400$ is including one of the new tablet things...in which case they're only way overpriced, not ridiculously overpriced.
      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Yeah, I don't know why this article was posted just under 30 minutes before the official US announcement from NOA. Waiting just 30 more minutes would have made the summary a lot more useful.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      That's the "price in Japan, converted to dollars". AKA not the actual price at all, but /. couldn't wait to post the article (it was up before the press conference even started!)

      They actually announced it now - $300 for the console ($350 for premium).

      • I refuse to watch videos of things I can read instead - thanks for digging this up. 350$ is less unreasonable. Pachter wins again....
        • by gman003 (1693318)

          I've been reading Kotaku's liveblog - I normally avoid videos as well, although *normally* I make an exception for Nintendo, but I'm kind of at work right now.

  • by goruka (1721094) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:41AM (#41322953)
    The Yen is strong and it depends on the region, so it will likely be 250/299usd and 250/299eur. It's the same with the 3DS.
  • So what I'm understanding is its going to cost you $350 to play the 45th super Mario game, no thanks.

    • Guess it's better than $500 to play the 22nd [insert long running franchise name here] game on the [insert name of other console here]. Franchises exist and you don't like them all. Get over it.

  • ...whether there's any advantage to springing for the premium console, besides the colour. Stands and charging stations will be pouring out of China PDQ. The internal storage difference means little when you factor in the SDHC card slot built into this thing. Can't say I can see anything else to fault, except perhaps the replacement price of that tablet if it gets busted. Nice it's backwards compatible with the old controllers, extends their useful life considerably (if the lifespan of this generation of co

  • It's what's stopping me simply buying a new Wii to replace my black-screened Wii. For some reason, Nintendo took this feature out.

  • Nintendo have produced a console which is about on par with a PS3 or 360 only 5 years too late and they slap a premium on the device even compared to their rivals. It's ludicrous. About the only thing special about the device is some crappy tablet-like device which is itself overpriced. I just hope people with Wiis gathering dust in their cupboard remember the fact that gimmicks do not make a console succeed, good high quality titles do.

    At least for the time being all 3 consoles are about on par which mea

  • I love the Mario series, but I'm not ready to throw out my hacked Wii just yet. When I can replace my Wii with Dolphin running Wii and Gamecube games accurately on my HTPC, then I will get the Wii U for whatever the price comes down to.

    I just don't want to lose out on my USB Loader vs. using actual game discs and the ability to play the two Gamecube games that I have. And I don't want to have two Wii units sitting on a shelf together.

  • by RanceJustice (2028040) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:34AM (#41324487)

    To be completely honest, I oppose proprietary game consoles in this day and age. We no longer need a proprietary purpose built console to make gaming affordable. Modern consoles, especially those of the current generation seem to be nothing but moderate-spec'ed PCs that are locked down through various software (and hardware at times - see, X360 Hard Drives. No reason you couldn't use a "regular" SATA HDD, but you need to buy the overpriced proprietary crap). So you spend a few hundred dollars on a box that is essentially a small form factor PC that you don't really own, can't mess with or modify without being banned and everything you ever purchased deactivated (or, forced to buy another box) and that only links up to a proprietary network - you don't have the choice of saying "Sorry, XboxLive, I don't want to abide by your rules. I know, I'll connect to Bob's Xbox360 Matchmaking Extreme Network instead and play there - and paying constantly for the privilege to be locked in at every turn. The only reason to buy consoles (as opposed to other solutions) these days in my opinion, is the fact that so many titles are still "console exclusives" - basically, your games are being held hostage. If you want to play Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey, Valkyria Chronicles etc.. you have to capitulate to the consoles. Its time for this to end.

    Wouldn't it be nice if you weren't choosing which consoles you were going to buy based on which games they were expected to hold exclusive dominion over? What if every type of game was available for the PC instead, giving you the freedom to decide what hardware you wished. It would simply be a matter of recommended specs and peripherals, something that hasn't been any trouble for PC gamers for years. Those with existing computers that had the specs (CPU, GPU etc...) necessary could play the games on there, and should such a revolution occur it would revitalize the gaming PC industry with a huge infusion of cash. All those players that want "the console/TV/couch experience" would be able to build or buy a multitude of small form factor and home theater gaming PC. Peripherals would become a nice secondary market. Look at how the Xbox 360 controllers and headsets (or compatible XInput style controller) has become the "de facto" gaming controller on PC. Players just bought these controllers to play PC titles; because Microsoft was smart enough to make a USB dongle for the wireless versions and provide drivers at least on Windows (and really, make them pretty easy to implement even on Linux!) plenty of people without an X360 system buy the controllers if they want to play certain types of titles on their PC. Likewise, there are relatively simple 3rd party hacks (because the first parties lacked foresight, which is why these don't have quite the amount of presence compared to X360 pads) to use Dual Shock 3 and WiiMote+accessories on PC. In a console-less world, what if Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and others simply became peripheral manufacturers? I'm guessing there would be a lot more unified and open technologies used - it would be simple for some developer to say "Requires a Nintendo WiiUToo Tablet or compatible multitouch tablet device" for their gametype, the way that "X360 Controller for PC or compatible supported/suggested" is prevalent in PC gaming today. We just saw the launch of Steam's "Big Picture", a "console style" UI meant to be navigated with a gamepad or remote control, which despite its beta status seems to be greatly superior to Xbox Live's UI, which has tons of ads and "value added services" squirted all over its dashboard to the point that actual tasks on the unit are typically small windows that are given inferior focus! If Steam can integrate their Big Picture with XBMC and/or MythTV for instance, that pretty much makes for a better complete "console" experience than X360/PS3 offer today! You could take it one step further with a bootable Linux distribution that incorporated Steam, Desura, XBMC and other entertainment platforms, all wrapped in a "Big Pictur

  • What I really want to know is two things: (1) What are the graphics capabilities and (2) What new fun input methods will there be?

    Graphics: because the graphics on the current Wii are, frankly, sad. PS3 and Xbox 360 are way behind the state of the art on the PC, but that gap is small compared to the gap between either of those consoles and the Wii. I can see why a lot of game publishers wouldn't want to release for Wii: their games are going to look terrible.

    Input methods: I feel this has been the great dri

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