All eyes will be on Nintendo this Thursday when the company holds a special Wii U event at the Center 548 in New York City, and with good reason. The Mario maker is bringing Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime to the Big Apple to give a presentation to press on "how the Wii U will change the future of gaming and entertainment." The last time Nintendo held an event in New York City hosted by Fils-Aime, the company announced the release date and price for the 3DS. Will the same happen for the Wii U this Thursday?
With just months to go before the Wii U's worldwide launch this holiday season, there remain numerous unanswered questions about the console, the most pressing of which are highlighted below.
Few other Wii U unknowns have been speculated on as much as the system's final sticker price. Will the console cost $250? $300? Will Nintendo, as was rumored last week, offer three different SKUs of the Wii U, breaking a long run of single-SKU Nintendo hardware launches? Surely the system won't cost more than $350…right? Nintendo president Satoru Iwata previously promised an "reasonable" price for the Wii U, but what exactly does that mean?
The Wii U will arrive worldwide this holiday season, but when specifically? Chatter on this subject has been buzzing since the console was announced back in 2010. Most recently, it's been suggested the console will ship either November 11 or a week later on November 18, positioning itself for a launch during the mass shop-fest known as Black Friday in the United States. Nintendo has had great success during the Black Friday shopping season before; can it happen again? And what about Europe and the rest of the world? Will the Wii U have a simultaneous worldwide launch, or will global gamers again be left to wait?
Nintendo has remained coy about what will launch day-and-date with the Wii U and what games will arrive during the slippery "launch window" period. It is no secret that software is the driving force behind moving hardware units, so it's expected Nintendo will want to come out of the gate with some compelling offerings. Will New Super Mario Bros. U be a launch title? Could Nintendo possibly have a new Mario Kart ready for the Wii U launch? Nintendo needs to nail down a launch lineup for the Wii U sooner rather than later, and this week's event seems like an appropriate place.
Nintendo has used both a black and a white Wii U console during demos, but what color options will be available at launch? Similarly, will Nintendo sell the GamePad in more than one color at launch?
Do you "get it" yet?
Nintendo has not been shy about admitting it has done a less-than-stellar job at relating the novelty of the Wii U to consumers. In June, the company explained the message of the Wii U has been confusing relative to the Wii. Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffitt said gamers may have a tough time "getting it" until they try out the Wii U's GamePad for the first time. This is a problem that Nintendo no doubt wants to fix. But how will they do it?
GameSpot and sister site Giant Bomb will be in attendance at the Wii U media event Thursday. It begins at 10 a.m. EDT and news stories and analysis will hit the site as the event proceeds.