Friday, 14 September 2012

Wii wish U you a merry Christmas

For the first time in sixteen years a new Nintendo console will launch with a Mario title!

Wii U launches in Europe and the US this November ahead of December's debut in Japan. New Super Mario Bros. U is a day one title and Bayonetta 2 a surprise platform exclusive. She'll shift additional units to hardcore gamers.

Three UK bundles have been announced: Basic Pack (8GB), Premium Pack (32GB) and ZombiU Premium Pack (32GB).

Here's a breakdown of each bundle:

Basic Pack (8GB)
Wii U GamePad
GamePad stylus
Wii U AC adapter
Wii U GamePad AC Adapter
HDMI cable

Premium Pack (32GB)
As Basic Pack
Wii U Sensor Bar
Wii U stand
GamePad stand and charger
Nintendo Land
Nintendo Network Premium

ZombiU Premium Pack (32GB)
As Premium Pack
Wii U Pro Controller
ZombiU replaces Nintendo Land

Prices are at the discretion of retailers and wildly fluctuate from £250 for the Basic Pack to £330 for the ZombiU Premium Pack and that's before any shortages this holiday season. Best Buy, Toys "R" Us and Target have stopped taking pre-orders in the US. Amazon maybe your best bet!

“The standout feature is the quality of the software line-up – the strongest we have seen on a new Nintendo console,” said Tesco’s games buying manager Jon Hayes.

GAME boss Martyn Gibbs added: “It is safe to say that anybody that gets their hands on it and plays it for half an hour will see exactly why they should be excited.”

I've pre-ordered a Premium Pack for £264, which is less than a N64 sans game pak in 1998. We're in a double-dip recession and new games consoles are not a priority for most consumers. However, the pack-in is excellent value when you factor-in a bundled game (Nintendo Land), accessories, Nintendo Network Premium and increased memory. It's worth noting there's no sensor bar included with the Basic Pack! There'll be a few unboxing faux pas on Christmas Day!

The Wii U is backwards compatible with most Wii games and accessories. However, there is no native GameCube support (including WaveBird controller). Storage space is expandable via external HDD, SD card and USB flash drive.

What do you think of the Wii U? Are you interested in pre-ordering one before its release? Let me know in comments.