Wii U Nintendo Direct Summary. The Prices, The Dates, The Games.

Today was a massive day for Nintendo as they broadcasted their Nintendo Direct presentations across Japan, North America and Europe.

First of all let’s cover the big news, the one we’ve all been waiting for: the release date! This morning Satoru Iwata revealed the Wii U would be released in Japan on December 8th; during this afternoon’s presentations Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that the US will get their hands on the Wii U first on November 18th; and Satoru Shibata announced that Europe will get the new console on November 30th!

In all regions there will be two options for prospective buyers. The first option is the Basic Package which will include a white Wii U Console, the Wii U GamePad, Wii U GamePad Stylus, an HDMI Cable, an AC Adapter and a GamePad AC Adapter and will have 8GB of memory. The Premium Set, known as Deluxe in the US, will feature a black Wii U console, Wii U GamePad, Wii U GamePad Stylus, Wii U GamePad Cradle and the Wii U GamePad Stand, an HDMI Cable, an AC Adapter and a GamePad AC Adapter and will have more memory, 32GB to be precise. As a special treat for European and North American gamers the premium pack will include a copy of Nintendo Land, Nintendo’s theme park based game; unfortunately Japan will have to buy the game separately.

The Premium Set also comes with Nintendo Network Premium, a scheme that aims to reward gamers by giving them points that can be redeemed in future purchases when they download games online. Both packs do not feature any Wii Remotes or Nunchucks therefore Nintendo are releasing an accessory pack on launch to provide those who don’t already have the Wii a chance to pick up those necessary accessories!

How much will they cost? Well the Basic Package will set you back 26,250 Yen in Japan while the Premium Set will be 31,500 Yen. In the United States the Basic Package is $299.99 and the Deluxe Set is $349.99. Europe is a bit more difficult as Nintendo leave it up to the retailers… here’s to a price war! So far some retailers are putting up numbers between £250 and £280 for the Premium Set, this could go up or down so do your research, you could probably save a lot of money if you simply shop around.

Japan’s Nintendo Direct

So what about the games? Well Nintendo didn’t leave us wanting, they showed off a few new features to some games we know about and even announced a few we didn’t even know existed.

Firstly there’s Nintendo Land which as I’ve mentioned will be bundled in with North American and European Premium Sets. Nintendo confirmed a couple of new games, Mario Chase and Yoshi’s Fruit Cart as well as looking deeper into the recently announced mini-game Metroid Blast, which features three game modes depending on how you want to play. Zelda Battle Quest was also looked at in more detail. The vibrant mini-game looks great and was called ‘very challenging’ by Satoru Shibata. If you’re thinking of getting the Basic Package, worry not as Nintendo Land will also be on the shelves for you to buy separately should you wish to.

Nintendo Land Trailer

Another launch title that probably won’t surprise you is New Super Mario Bros U. The game looks glorious in full HD graphics and had some new features announced including the ability to play as your Mii, the flying squirrel suit, and a time attack mode that will be welcome news to you speed-run fans out there! The ability to play on the Wii U Gamepad in single player was also confirmed as was the ability for players to use it to aid players on screen by placing blocks on screen to give them new platforms to play with. I’m not so sure I’d be doing much helping, but what can I say? I like mischief! The game looks fun and genuinely challenging especially during time attack and will no doubt be flying off the shelves come launch!

There were plenty of third party games on show too and Ubisoft have certainly brought their A-game to the Wii U’s release as Rayman Legends and ZombiU were both confirmed as launch titles. Some new footage for Rayman Legends including a new musical rhythmic level that looks gloriously vibrant and fun to play was shown off to us all. The Wii U GamePad can again be used to help your on-screen buddies should you want to…

ZombiU is already a highly anticipated game but today the bar was well and truly raised as new features and gameplay were revealed. The game has a very interesting way of working should you be killed by an undead foe; instead of spawning again and starting over you start off as another survivor all over again. That guy you used to be? Well he’s a zombie now and if you want your items back you’re going to have to take him out! This game looks incredibly atmospheric and with these new gameplay elements I think it’s safe to say the game’s shot right up people’s wishlists! If you want it on launch along with a Premium Set then you’re in luck as a ZombiU edition Premium bundle will be made available!

EA will also have a few games on launch, most notably Mass Effect 3 and FIFA 13. Mass Effect 3 will feature special interactive content to bring you up to speed with the goings on in the previous games and will also have exclusive Wii U content! It will also feature the ‘From Ashes’ DLC pack, and the ‘Extended Cut’ at no extra charge.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was revealed in Europe which will have many gamers excited. The game will be on the Wii U and the 3DS. Nice to see some 3DS love amongst all the Wii U news! The game will launch in March and Japanese gamers will be able to buy a bundled Wii U version! Sort of makes up for the lack of Nintendo Land…

Platinum Games showed a game called Project P-100 which has been renamed The Wonderful 101, and a Bayonetta 2! Yes, you heard me right Bayonetta 2 will be a Wii U exclusive! We weren’t shown much but suffice to say it has received quite the reaction from fans of the first game originally on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 was confirmed as a launch title for the Wii U and was shown at the end of the presentation. The game looks just as good as it does on the other consoles which shows Nintendo’s intent to really compete with them when it comes to third party games such as this. Lego City Stories was given some airtime featuring plenty of humour and cool gameplay. Crazy shoot ‘em up Nano Assault Neo was revealed as an exclusive Wii U game and Batman Archam City: Armoured Edition was revealed as a lunch title in Japan. For fans of download content there was even something for you here. Trine 2 with exclusive levels will be available on launch as will Toki Tori 2. Both games make full use of the Wii U GamePad!

Europe’s Nintendo Direct

There was of course a lovely montage of all the games they didn’t get time to show in more detail. Assassin’s Creed III, Tekken Tag 2, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Epic Mickey 2, Ninja Gaiden 3Batman: Arkham City: Armoured Edition, Warriors Orochi 3, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, Darksiders 2, and NBA 2K13 were all present and correct.

It wasn’t all games today though, Reggie Fils-Aime also revealed the new Nintendo TVii in North America which will allow you to “bring all your  services to one place.” Yes you lucky North Americans can now watch video content through  your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and Tivo accounts. The feature comes included in every console, Basic and Deluxe, and does not cost any extra.

Nintendo TVii Trailer

For those who want to know a few specs we can confirm that the Wii U is to feature 2GB of memory, that’s 1GB for system memory and 1GB for games. It will support up to 1080p which is very nice indeed and will use its own optical disc format that can hold up to 25GB of data with a 22.5 MB/sec disc read rate. Worried about your current data on your Wii? Have no fear, you can import your data including Virtual Console games and WiiWare over from your Wii to your brand new Wii U!

It wasn’t all jelly and ice-cream though, there was some disappointing news, most notably that Pikmin 3 will not be available on launch and will instead be coming in 2013. It’s the same story for Game and Wario as well unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until 2013. Still there are plenty of other games to keep us busy until then!

What do you all think to this massive news? Will you be getting the console on launch or will you be holding off for a bit? As always we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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