Wii U announcement summary and clarifications
Nintendo’s stream announcing the Wii U has just concluded. Among the highlights:
Pricing and Packages: Two systems will be available, a white unit with 8GB Flash storage for ¥26,250 or a premium black unit with 32GB and system/tablet stands for ¥31,500. The white unit matches Nintendo’s traditional launch console price of ¥25,000 plus tax, meaning US launch prices of $250 and $300 are also likely – check back at around 9AM Pacific for info from the European Nintendo Direct to get a better picture of how foreign markets are being handled. All units appear to be shipping with a HDMI cable; it is unclear whether component cables are being left out or are so obligatory they need no mention.
Wii U tablets are a massive and worrying ¥13,440; other accessories are more reasonable, at ¥5,040 for a traditional gamepad, ¥3,800 for a Wii Remote Plus with Wii U branded packaging and ¥1,800 per nunchuck, ¥1,890 for tablet charging stand, and ¥315 for the system stand itself.
Nintendo Network Premium: Not an XBL competitor; buyers of the premium package will instead receive 10% points back on accessories and digital content they buy directly though Nintendo until December 2014. The points can be redeemed for shop credit in 500-yen chunks.
System specs: The Wii U comes equipped with 2GB of RAM. Of this, 1GB is reserved for the “Miiverse” OS in order to shorten menu loads, leaving 1GB for the games. Games are stored on a proprietary disc format based around a 5X (180mbps; 2.5 times faster than the PS3) Blu-ray-type drive.
Up to two tablet controllers are supported at once.
The system itself measures 1.8 in x 6.8 in x 10.6 inches, and is rated for 75 watts but hovers around 40 in standard operation.
Launch software: New SMB U is officially ¥5,985, while Nintendo Land is ¥4,935.