Unanswered Wii U Questions Heading Into This Week's Event

With just months to go before launch, Nintendo faces questions of price, release date, and launch lineup for new console; will the info come Thursday?


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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.

Price?

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?

Release Date?

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?

Launch Lineup?

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.

Colors?

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

0 comments
Gurzociurlo
Gurzociurlo

What will distinguish this generation of consoles from the next one (in terms of graphics) is tessellation, and it's not only possible with DirectX11 as many people think. OpenGL has had tessellation for 3 years now, and it's the source for the Wii U's 3D graphic compartment. Wii U will OBVIOUSLY be a lot more powerful than the current consoles, no doubt. The fact that it can run tessellation (which many computers still can't) will make it competitive even against the next systems from Microsoft and Sony, the only way Nintendo could possibly fail is because third party developers boycott it, or the lack of great games.

This last reason is why I'm not buying it day one, but I'll probably buy one in late 2013, or in the first months of 2014.

jay_rock_
jay_rock_

I just hope it has good games when it launch because when the wii came out I didn't buy it because none of the games caught my eyes at all, so I hope they show something because I like try brand new games and  im not of those people that buy a system just be cause I can lol !

SqualleoN_xD
SqualleoN_xD

da fuq is with that 25$ off BF3 premium? I tought it was real, scumbag EA putting false Ads on Gamespot --'

Dagamemonkey
Dagamemonkey

I'm tired of all the new stuff. I'm waiting until prices come down :) I have enough to play already.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

I don't mind paying $300+ for a console but when you then add that we have to pay $173 for each tablet controller after the 1st one we get with the system well it gets expensive.butI thought you could only use 2 tablet controllers with the system.  Correct ?

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

The Wii U controller that is $173 has rounded corners.  Apple is already to sue for damages due to patent infringement.

DCUltrapro
DCUltrapro

don't care tbh, its graphical capability is similar to the 360, its controller looks total pony, not to mention the cost of buying a second one... Nintendo have always tried to simply hook the general public with a gimmick. And there ridiculously underhanded re-releasing of the handhelds is unforgivable. Who of you bought a 3ds on launch only for them to announce an XL version less than a year later? fcukers can stick it

billlabowski
billlabowski

If it's more than $250 than there's no way I'm buying. No console is worth over that...

daveg1
daveg1

i think they have been milking this whole reveal for the wii u.

 

how many vieos and shows do they actualy need to do i ask.

there was a few before or after e3 that we all stayed up for just to find nothing new to us gamers, plus e3 was dry on info we gamers wanted to hear....so they just hope theres some juicy info here today then lol.

uncle-link
uncle-link

It's simple.... Get it or don't get it! It's your damn choice! Why everything must be so difficult!

eugkra
eugkra

How the hell are they planning to not compete with Sony and MS and still get third party support? Mixed messages is what they are sending.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

I already wanted a Wii U but now that Rayman Legends is an exclusive to the hardware. It is a must buy and hope it is a launch title. I am also interested in getting ZombiU but hope it doesn't turn like their Red Steel for the Wii U. I dont the system will be more than 300 dollars and if it is, it will turn off a lot of people. The specs need to be a decent step above current systems or their whole idea of getting third parties is pointles since their titles won't look nowhere as good as compared to Sony and Microsoft's next systems.

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

The WII made them arrogant, the 3ds made them worry, and the Wii U will bring them back to reality.  I haven't heard any hype for this system at all, outside of gaming sites and e3 footage i don't think i've even seen a commercial for it.  I don't see this system doing very well

vault-boy
vault-boy

What I want is launch lineup, price, upcoming releases (5 months tops) and specs.

Marcusraitor
Marcusraitor

Nintendo dont want to compete with microsoft or Sony. They dont care that people buy an xbox 720 or Ps4, thats what they want, thats Nintendo strategy they want to tell gamers that if you have a ps4 or xbox 720 you need a WiiU for the other type of games they have that youre not going to experience anywhere else. Thats why they dont care about third party support, they dont want the same games that are going to be released on xbox 720 or ps4, they want to be unique.Its like The wii, a lot of people have a Wii and a ps3 or a Wii with an xbox 360.The WiiU Is just a complement of microsoft and sony, thats what they want, they dont want to compete. And I Hope The price of the WiiU is reasonable like at 249.99 no more than that.And in the next year the price drop to 199 dollars so it can sell well alongside the next gen xbox 720 or ps4.

 

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

wants the wiiu gets exclusive games that I interested me then I will consider on getting one but for now there hasn't been a single exclusive that has been announced that I'm interest in

Araknie
Araknie

Obvious questions maybe the last one is the one legit nobody expects.

franzito
franzito

Suddenly I have the impression Nintendo doesn't know WHAT to do with Wii U, although their experience could easily speak the opposite! When I bought my Wii 4 years ago, I was just following the "natural path" of a Nintendo fan. But, without any warning, I got disappointed when I realized I had few games, games I really wanted to play, and nothing more could draw my attention back to Wii after I finished them!! Buying a Wii was a mistake, I believed, for the right and wrong reasons. And Nintendo is not exactly "sprinkling magic dust" over Wii U now. Am I going to make the same mistake again? I don't think so.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @uncle-link Sure, I broadly agree. It's not like Nintendo are about to elect the next Pope.

 

But hey, this is a discussion board. And people are excited about today's announcement.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @eugkra I think this is an overlooked comment. There's a lot of sense to it.

 

It's true that Nintendo are hedging their bets, somewhat. They're saying to the hardcore gaming community, "come to us - you'll get 'proper' games", while also admitting that they won't be able to go toe-to-toe with the new Xbox and PlayStation a year from now.

 

It's almost like this is a 'percentages' play from Nintendo. Like, "okay... even if we're the most powerful console for only 12 months - and not by much - the hardcore gaming community will buy the U. Then, at least, we give them the headache of deciding whether to stick with the console post-Holidays 2013, or to jump ship". And in that time, I reckon, they'll have released some Triple-A Nintendo-only titles that will keep both the hardcore and the casuals interested in the console - I mean, you're not gonna sell your U *before* Zelda and Metroid come out, are you...?

 

This could be a very nicely timed play by Nintendo. Then again, it could be a miserable failure. We shall see.

 

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @OurSin-360 Yeah, I think that first sentence encapsulates the situation very nicely.

 

As for not having seen any commercials for it - in fairness, it's not out for another two or three months, yet. I think you'll see TV campaigns ramp up in the US towards the end of October, slightly later in Europe and Japan - Nintendo *need* the U to succeed, so there won't be any half-measures when the time comes.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

 @buccomatic $250.00 Was the 3DS at launch...  you really think the Wii U will go on stores that cheap ? 

Granpire
Granpire

 @buccomatic I can't think of many 2003 games that look like current-gen console graphics... "9 year-old PC hardware" is a bit much.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @Marcusraitor true the only problem is since they are first  sony & micrsoft will just steal/ i mean copy what they did in some way. sony didnt copy move controls heck the ps2 had it but they di copy the wi mote with there wands.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

 @Marcusraitor You are fatally wrong if you think hey don't care for 3rd party support... FATALLY wrong...  3rd party support are like investors in your system.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @shadowhunter0  Yeah, I mainly buy Nintendo consoles for the Mario and other first party franchises. I'm not sure what to expect from the Wii U, tbh. Nintendo needs to shed more light on it, and fast, before they release it.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @franzito Yeah, my faith in Nintendo was stung by the Wii. I've been with them since Christmas 1992 - bought every desktop console they've released since the Super NES - but with the Wii I had the distinct feeling that Nintendo had bailed on me because they wanted pensioners' and housewives' business instead of mine.

 

But I'm giving them another chance. I put my deposit down yesterday evening, and I'll be picking-up my Wii U on release day. In the U, I see Nintendo coming back to the core gaming community and saying, "sorry, we f**ked up... here's a proper control pad... here's Aliens: Colonial Marines etc.". Of course, the U will also innovate - but it will do so *alongside* the provision of core gaming, rather than *instead* of it.

 

If this Nintendo console's a dud, I won't be getting the next one. But I don't think that it will be.

uncle-link
uncle-link

 @RhythmAndBlues I accept your point! But sometimes it's unbearable how these so-called hardcore gamers behave! So yeah, lets discuss it, but respectfully ok?! I say they'll bring it out in bundles: 1 pad-controller +1 normal controller + 1 game and console for $250 or $299 or something like that! Can't remember ever Nintendo bussing prices on gamers! If anyone does, remind me please!

Marcusraitor
Marcusraitor

@Joedgabe Thats not what i mean. Ofcourse Nintendo need third party support. I was just saying that Nintendo dont care to have the same Games that the Next Gen Xbox or Ps4 are going to have.

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @RhythmAndBlues  @franzito I dunno, am I the only one that really enjoyed the Wii?  Yes, I can see what you were saying, once the few games you had are completed there is nothing drawing you back...but is that not the same for all consoles?  Yes, my PS3 still has tons of games I have mild interest...I have been playing the CRAP out of DS2, but when that is done, my PS3 will probably not be played for a bit.

 

Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario Kart Wii, Bowling, Super Mario Bros. Wii, Metroid, Twilight Princess, all the AMAZING downloadable content, and quite a few other games left me quite happy with the money I spent on the Wii...which was NOT that expensive to BEGIN with!

 

Am I the only one?

 

 

 

 

uncle-link
uncle-link

 @RhythmAndBlues  @Hodge996 Heh heh! Thanks for your comments, dudes (and or dudettes! not sure who is who  and don't care! Gamers are gamers!) I also read somewhere that you could trade in your old Wii for a discount on the Wii U! Not sure how much merit behind that , but in an effort to easy the transition between consoles, that'd be pretty decent on Nintendo's part! Begs to wonder what Sony would do with the Ps4 considering all those profiles and such....

Anyway, plan you strategy accordingly - find what best suits you - then make the desired purchase! This time around you can't buy anything haphazardly! 

I'm off to do some more research on this thing. Don't break your thumbs!

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @RhythmAndBlues ..... I can see some good applications for it, but I think it's a solution to a problem that wasn't there.  I'll reserve judgement until I've played a few games that really utilise it, but I'm not expecting a revelation.

Their pro controler looks great though - the best features of PS3 and Xbox!

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @RhythmAndBlues Yeah I've made the same point elsewhere - I just don't see the casual crowd going for the Wii U - people 'got' the motion controlers and thought it was fun - they won't see that with the gamepad.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Hodge996 Quite. And how many of the 'casual' gaming fraternity are gonna be tripping over themselves to buy a U on Day 1...?

 

If I were Nintendo, I'd reckon on selling black units almost entirely to begin with.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Hodge996  @uncle-link Yeah, it has to be the Premium Pack, in my view. So much so that I actually wonder how many *non*-Premiums they're going to sell on release day.

 

I mean, I do appreciate that the Premium is more expensive, and that expense is a factor... but if you're the kinda Nintendo super-fan who's gonna go balls-out and buy the console at the earliest possible opportunity, you're surely gonna want the U Max, non...?

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @uncle-link  And yeah to answer your question - If you're going to buy one you have to go for the premium pack I'd say. Oh, and get an external HD too! :-/

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @uncle-link  @RhythmAndBlues Hahaha my hands are pretty big - certainly too big for the PS3 controler! (I have a 3rd party Xbox style controler for my PS3).

 

Yeah, I'm on the fence about the Wii U at the moment.  I know I'll end up getting one because I love every 3D Mario game and I enjoy Zelda and Metroid too but there's nothing that inspires me to get one on release day.  They will sell out initially because Nintendo have such a loyal fanbase but you're right, they need to be getting more big games out.  This happens at nearly all launches of new hardware though, we'll see what happens.

uncle-link
uncle-link

 @Hodge996  @RhythmAndBlues Well maybe it's because of my giant hands that I preferred the cube controller! Ha! Almost broke my DS and PsP looking for buttons and almost crushed controllers playing Infamous and Gears of War!  

So the two bundles were announced! Thought? I think if a gamer's serious about the Wii U, s/he will need to cough up extra for the deluxe or on release date, they'd better release more games or potential buyers may rethink their purchase!   

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @uncle-link  @RhythmAndBlues Do you know what, I didn't like the Game Cube controler that much, I thought it felt a bit flimsy and the massive shoulder buttons felt unresponsive (too much travel) I didn't much like the c stick either.... loved the 'Cube though!

I am looking forward to the Wii U but there's nothing that inspires me to buy it on day 1 to be honest.  If Assassin's Creed 3 and Darksiders 2 are markedly better on Wii U I may get one as they are 2 games I will deffo buy and I would want the best versions of them, but I bet they will be exactly the same as the PS3/Xbox versions..... we'll see.

uncle-link
uncle-link

 @RhythmAndBlues Agree! The Cube controller was almost perfect! Only hours remaining! Hope they don't disappoint!

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @uncle-link You may well be right. Let's see.

 

I, for one, hope that the Pro controller is available on release day. It's looking like being the most sensible controller Nintendo have produced in over 20 years - since the SNES pad, in my opinion, they've been unnecessarily fiddly (and, sometimes, just plain crap).

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @deathblow3  Wow! Testy, much?

 

I'm afraid the point that you were trying to make in your final sentence is completely lost on me, on account of the crummy typing. But I will say that the U's GPU being based upon the recent AMD 7-series is a widely reported rumour. Google for it, if you don't believe me.

 

Then, after that - if you *still* don't believe me - talk to somebody else.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @RhythmAndBlues  @buccomatic if that was true why is nintendo saying it is comparible to current systems? that is their words from E3 straight from reggie's mouth. maybe you should do so research mr rhythm & blues. besides who cares about graphics if you cpu is junk thats what runs all the ai, and everything else. and i doubt you know what version amd the gpu is based on amd did start making gpu's last week they have been in business for some time.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @buccomatic  I think you're getting ahead of yourself a little, there. For one thing, the only people who know the U's tech specs are sworn to secrecy until later today at the earliest. For two, the rumour-mill has it that, while the CPU isn't up to much, the GPU is based on very current AMD technology.

 

Hopefully, after today's event, we will know what we want to know.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Andrew1073 Sure, and I love Mario and Zelda too - but, as has already been pointed-out by somebody else, it's strong third-party titles that make or break a console. Nintendo need to render the U at least feasible for third-party support, or they'll be in the same mess in 2018 that they're in now - lots of consoles sold, but nobody buying games.

 

The good news is that, I think, that's what they're doing with the U. Everything that made the Wii worth buying is still there, *plus* solid core-gaming chops. Could be really, really good...

 

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @RhythmAndBlues I actually agree that Wii U will not hold its own in 4 years, and I have no idea about technical anything!

 

Still, at the risk of sounding like a fan boy (which i dont think I am), I am buying the Wii U for future Zeldas and Marios, NOT to play Call of Duty or whatever other first person shooter is the fotm currently.  I will have ps3 or 4 for that.

 

Cheers homey.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Andrew1073 Mm... I doubt that the U will be holding its own against the next two consoles four years from now. Although the specifics of the tech specs aren't yet known, it appears to be accepted that the CPU is seriously anaemic for a machine that's going to market at this time.

 

That said, if the GPU is indeed a custom variant on the new AMD 7-series, that's very promising. If the GPU can truck a big chunk of the workload, that will give the CPU breathing space... it's gonna be interesting, seeing how it plays out in reality. I'm looking forward to it.

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @RhythmAndBlues ...Interesting, thanks for the explanation.

 

Well, I absolutely admit that there just aren't enough quality Wii games.  Hopefully they aren't so early out of the gate this time around to still have ports of some popular next gen games 4 years from now... 

 

Either way, I will buy the Wii U going into it with the thinking it is a 'niche' system and it will not be my ONLY console.  Hopefully the price reflects this thinking.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Andrew1073 Where the real money's made is game sales, rather than console sales. I don't know the exact figure, but let's say it's fifteen percent...

 

... whenever an Xbox 360 game is sold, Microsoft get 15% of the sale price. Whenever a PS3 game is sold, Sony get 15% of the sale price. Whenever a Wii game is sold, Nintendo get 15% of the sale price.

 

The 'attach rate' is the number of games sold per console. The number of games sold per console in this generation is lowest on the Wii (I think it's less than half that of the 360...), which means that Nintendo aren't making much money out of the Wii, even though they've sold more consoles than anyone else in the last six years.

 

 

Not dense at all. I didn't know about this until a year or two ago.

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @RhythmAndBlues The attach rate for Wii titles is pitiful, which is one of the reasons why - notwithstanding that the Wii is the biggest-selling, fastest-selling console of this generation - Nintendo are losing money, and why they're being driven to replace the Wii so quickly.

 

Are you contradicting yourself?  You say the Wii has pitiful attach rate (which I think I can agree on, although Mario Galaxy were some of the FUNNEST games I have ever played, just not long enough I suppose), but it also is selling the most...but they don't have money.  That confuses me.  Sorry if I sound dense.

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @RhythmAndBlues Well, only owning 3 games for the Wii will definitely not get you playing it very much.  Also, like I said, once you beat a game I rarely put it back in the console.  I don't see my self returning to any of the games I have beaten on PS3, just the same with the Wii. 

 

I suppose.  I just don't really see your point there.  To each his own.  I would never say that the Wii is the only console you should own.  I just think it definitely has a spot in my media cabinet...paired with my ps3. 

 

And about Mario Kart Wii, I just can't disagree more.  I have three racers in my home that have conquered every race and all that which amounts to a good amount of time for each player.

 

I also keep in mind that the Wii did not cost me as much as my PS3.  Anyway, I suppose I am the only one....

 

no big deal.

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Andrew1073    Oh sure, and I wasn't trying to marginalise your opinion. Hope I didn't give that impression.

 

Let's focus on the positives - there's a new Nintendo console only weeks away, and there's every reason to believe that it will have something to offer to *every* gamer.

 

RhythmAndBlues
RhythmAndBlues

 @Andrew1073  I play my 360 regularly (or as regularly as working life will allow...), and I think I've played on the Wii twice in the last year. On both occasions it was to play Wii Sports (usually baseball) with friends and beers, and yes, it is excellent for that. But the other two games I own for it (Resident Evil 4 and Twilight Princess) haven't seen the inside of a console in four years.

 

Notwithstanding what the Wii is good for, there's a serious problem there; and I'm not the only one that thinks so. The attach rate for Wii titles is pitiful, which is one of the reasons why - notwithstanding that the Wii is the biggest-selling, fastest-selling console of this generation - Nintendo are losing money, and why they're being driven to replace the Wii so quickly.

 

The Wii, overall, was an honourable failure, in my opinion.

 

 

Oh, and I thought Mario Kart Wii sucked.

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

 @RhythmAndBlues  @franzito I also would like to say, my PS3, when I am playing it, I am ALONE.  When we played Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Mario Kart Wii, Bowling, whenever playing these titles my wife was drawn into the experience, my friends wanted a turn, it was so much more SOCIAL.

 

I don't know, perhaps I am waxing nostalgic.