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.

8 comments:

  1. Having seen the announcements earlier in the year I was aware of the Wii U but had found that the wii I owned had become 'that console under the TV that never gets turned on'. I'd decided that it probably wasn't for me. I ended up missing most of the excitement on the Internet around the release date/features reveal due to working late and as a result missed most of the fun and games with the ever changing pre-order pricing.

    Once I had time to sit down, gather my thoughts and actually watch some of the videos, I was hooked - Nintendo have really found some new exciting and new innovative ways to take what they learned from Wii and move it forward. I mean - putting the video controller on the floor and having it show the lie of a golf ball in the bunker, swinging a wiimote over and having sand disperse when the ball is hit? Amazing.

    I ended pre-ordering the premium for £310 from Game, using £3 of reward points. I've had issues with Amazon getting preordered products to me for launch day (especially gaming products) and since I want to spend the whole of launch weekend with this console, I don't want to have to sit there and watch Twitter and Facebook fill up with people saying how much fun they are having.

    Time will tell whether or not this is the console that brings the cutting edge technology and games coveted by hardcore gamers with the fun, approachable family-friendly games that made the wii what it is, but from what I've seen so far. It's a good start.

    Let the games begin!

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    1. Agreed on all points, Matt! I was going to sit this one out, too. But am now trading-in one of my PS3s against a Premium Pack pre-order.

      The only caveat is I'll be unable to transfer digital purchases from the Wii Shop Channel (sold my Wii in 2009)! You'll need both consoles connected to the internet at the same time. This is Nintendo's Achilles' heel compared to its competitors including Apple and Microsoft.

      Looking forward to bringing second screen gaming into the living room.

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    2. I'm a victim of the same - sold my Wii 2-3 years ago and have no way to transfer purchases.

      Hopefully Nintendo will start paying attention to accounts/DRM linking and also give online gaming the infrastructure it needs :)

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    3. At least I'll have an excuse to unbox The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword with limited edition gold Wii Remote Plus! A gift from last Christmas. :)

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  2. The 2nd screen function of the controller is what's sold it for me more than anything else. TV wars will hopefully be a thing of the past and if Nintendo play it right that could actually be a huge selling point for a lot of families out there in GamerLand. Coupled with the fact that they've got the backing of the big game series this time, Arkham City etc are big news for sure and provided the support continues past these initial offerings we could be in for one of the most successful Nintendo home consoles in a long time :)
    The proof in the pudding though will be what the general public say when they get to play with one, which they will on the current tour (featuring a hefty stop at the Eurogamer Expo) if word of mouth is good then I'm going to stake a flag in the ground right here and say they've got a winner on their hands.

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    Replies
    1. VOD services such as BBC iPlayer, LOVEFiLM and Netflix will add value to the second screen experience!

      It's going to be an interesting battle; Nintendo opting for dedicated hardware against Microsoft's Xbox Smartglass for Windows, Android and iOS devices.

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  3. I have to say I'm more and more interested in the Wii U the closer we get to a release date. I had been thinking this current generation of consoles would be my last....but I'm getting drawn back in! The idea of an Aliens game and my controller being the motion detector with the dreaded pings getting faster and louder is too tempting an idea! (However that decent lightsaber game we all conjured up in our heads for the Wii never materialised, so...)

    Still not sold on the Wii U name though...

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Alex! The times I've tried to kick the gaming habit and failed each generation: from the halcyon days of unboxing an Atari VCS to Xbox 360 S (courtesy of LOVEFiLM); there's no escape! That said, I have consolidated in these austere times. Almost a decade ago I owned a GameCube, GBA SP, N64, PS2, Sega Dreamcast and Xbox. Not to mention innumerable peripherals.

      It's a shame that Nintendo has yet to describe its online strategy in any detail. Social gaming is de rigueur and Xbox LIVE leads the way.

      Aliens: Colonial Marines is shaping up to be a compelling game and its developer, Gearbox, brought us the acclaimed Borderlands franchise. It maybe a contender for game of the year 2013. Let the bug hunt begin...

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