A crash-course on the Nintendo WiiU
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 23:09
November 18th 2012: exactly one day shy from the sixth anniversary of the launch of arguably the most influential video game console since the Sony Playstation, the Nintendo Wii. The videogame industry’s longest continuously tenured home console manufacturer, Nintendo, will release its 6th major home video game console, the “Nintendo Wii U,” on this date.
Much like its predecessor, the new console carries with it as much potential as it does skepticism. The system is designed around the concept of a revolutionary new controller. Combining a traditional gamepad with the touch screen interface of a tablet, the Wii U Gamepad hopes to be at the forefront of the next generation of console gaming much like the Wii started the motion controlled gaming craze.
While the system supports full 1080p HD graphics, it is a Nintendo console first, and will disappoint some hardcore gamers due to its purported power being equivalent or slightly better than the current gen Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, far from the power expected from those two companies’ respective next-gen systems.
The Nintendo Network is a more fully featured online system for the console as opposed to the bare bones ones from past Nintendo systems. It will allow for multiple user accounts on the same console, as well as prioritizing full digital game releases and paid downloadable content. Like Sony’s Playstation Network, the feature will be free to use for most features.
For Nintendo loyalists, the highlight of the launch window lineup will almost surely be “Pikmin 3,” the anticipated sequel to the two classic Nintendo GameCube games.
Other offerings will include the latest in the “Super Mario” series with the side scrolling “New Super Mario Bros. U,” and “Nintendo Land,” a collection of minigames based on Nintendo properties designed to showcase the new controller.
Other major games expected around launch include special Wii U editions of both “Mass Effect 3” and “Batman: Arkham City.” Multiplatform holiday releases such as “Call of Duty Black Ops 2” and “Assassin’s Creed III” are also scheduled for the Wii U.
Brand new first Party Wii U games will be priced at $59.99 with third parties likely to follow suit. This price point was adopted by Sony and Microsoft years ago.
In addition, the system will be fully backwards compatible with Wii games and peripherals (including controllers), while GameCube support has been axed.
Two separate bundles will be sold at launch. The first will include a White Wii U console, one gamepad controller, 8GBs of memory, an HDMI cable, a Wii Sensor bar and an A/C adapter for $299.99.
The second bundle will include everything the first does in addition to a Black Wii U, an upgrade to 32 GB of memory, a charging cradle and stands for the console and the controller, a copy of “Nintendo Land,” and a Nintendo Network Premium Subscription, will be priced at $349.99.