Nintendo have finally revealed the all important pricing and release details for their new console, the Wii U. Announced by company CEO Satoru Iwata on the official Nintendo website last night, the basic Wii U will cost 26,250 yen (£210/$338), while the black Premium model will be slightly pricier at 31,500 yen (£252/$405). The console will be released later than the anticipated November date, on the 8th December.
Both models will come packaged with a Wii U GamePad, a Wii U GamePad stylus, an HDMI cable, and AC adapters for the system and controller, while those who shell out for the Premium model will also nab a Wii U GamePad charging stand, Wii U GamePad playing stand and Wii U stand. The Premium model also has a memory capacity of 32GB compared to 8GB on the standard model. Mr Iwata also revealed some of the system specs which have been kept very secret up to this point. The memory reserved for games is 1GB, the same figure used to run the internal operating system, and game discs can hold up to 25GB of data (roughly the same as an average Blu Ray disc).
Doesn’t sound too bad yet does it? Well here’s the news that will kick your teeth in – the Wii U Gamepad has been priced at 13,340 yen, which at current exchange rates would be nearly £107. The initial prices for two of the launch games don’t appear to be particularly inviting either – New Super Mario Bros U has been priced at 5,985 yen (£48/$77) and NintendoLand (the game which attracted a great deal of derision at E3 this year and many people thought would be a bundle game) is 4,935 yen (£39/$66). Those exchange prices aren’t set in stone, but when you factor in costs such as VAT that will be applied when they go on sale we have to assume that Wii U games will be costing more than PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Also, I pity the poor person who breaks a Gamepad and has to buy a new one; I’m no mystic, but I would have a pop at guessing that the damn expensive controllers may well be the Wii U’s downfall in the future.
So now you know how much it’s going to cost – are you going to buy one?
UPDATE: After posting this article, Nintendo confirmed the details for European customers. Strangely we will be getting the console before its native Japan as it will go on sale on November 30th. NintendoLand has also been confirmed as a bundle game with every console sold.