Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo TVii (ugh!), and more commentary about the big Nintendo news

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Bill Loguidice's picture

We learned several things this morning at Nintendo's big Wii U Preview Event. One, Nintendo of America President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, does not appear to be a happy man; two, Nintendo still needs to work on their presentation skills at these events--it was pretty dull overall with not enough meat and too much focus on the wrong things; and three, and most importantly, we got the long awaited hard info on US launch date and system pricing.

You'll have two major system options on November 18, 2012: the Wii U Basic Set, which features 8GB of storage, for $299.99; and the Wii U Deluxe Set, which features 32GB of storage plus the Nintendo Land pack-in game. Besides me correctly predicting all of this back in June (not exactly hard), I still stand by my statement that the pricing is right where it needs to be. Naturally, the Deluxe Set is by far the best value, but Nintendo clearly wanted the sub-$300 talking point. Hopefully, not too many people will lose out either by decision or lack of stock for the Deluxe in getting the Basic.

Anyway, I also predicted that a second Wii U controller would run as high as $149.99. It looks like I was off a bit on that, as reports seems to indicate as much as $170 or so. The Pro Controller - the Xbox 360-like screen-less controller - looks like it will sell for around $65. Again, that seems a bit higher than many of us would have liked (in this case, $49.99 for me). At least the system bundles represent what we can perceive as fair pricing.

Nintendo showed off snippets and trailers for various games at the event, but nothing we really haven't either seen before or anything with much substance. It's suggested that unlike previous reports of full Wii compatibility, we may be suffering with software emulation, so expect a few issues with certain games early on before patches.

The unfortunatley named, Nintendo TVii (was that Reggie cringing a bit at the chuckles? - it's pronounced "T Vee" by the way...), looks interesting, showing how the Wii U controller acts as a second screen for your TV for various popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as sports integration. The side-by-side stuff was quite nice, which is what a lot of our favorite media-centric tablet apps offer. They also showed TiVo integration, which is nice, but I think most of us simply don't own a TiVo, being stuck as we are with cable services. More partnerships will definitely need to be announced either prior to or just after launch.

Am I getting excited? You bet. I love new hardware, and there are definitely intriguing possibilities here. Now with a solid release date and price points, more and more information can start to roll out. We'll be watching closely. Let us know your thoughts!

EDIT (Update): Nintendo has clarified that they'll be supporting all major cable and satellite providers, which is of course important. It would have been nice if they stated that at the actual event, though!

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Why don't they just do sex

Why don't they just do sex chat with vibrating controllers and be done with it?

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Angus MacFrankenstein (not verified)
Wii U concerns

I have a genuine affection for Nintendo and it's character creations and I really want to be enthusiastic about the Wii U. The tech specifications are attractive to me, and I see some potential in the Wii U controller with the integrated screen. But I think about the 3DS: I think the 3DS is a great system, the first handheld that feels to me like a console instead of an imitator. But it lacks a robust selection of great games--I've only enjoyed Mario 3D and the Starfox remake, and I think it's telling that neither game is a really new experience, just iterations of old experiences. I'm afraid this lack will continue with the Wii U.

We owned a Wii for awhile, and while we liked the system, we never really got beyond bowling and golf. Mrs. MacFrankenstein tried several ports of NIS strategy games, and didn't care for the forced integration of motion controls into games that really only need a standard controller. (Also, we like our Zelda games free of controller-wagging--the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess was more than good enough for us!) As soon as the strategy games became available for PS3/PSP with good old fashioned button control, she ditched those Wii versions and then the Wii itself. I didn't argue, as I didn't find much beyond the pack-in Wii Sports particularly interesting, and the enhancements to the Wiimote made the too twitchy for me, a casual Wii player. Will most games be playable with a standard controller (the Pro controller) or will Nintendo try to force screen controller interface with all games as the motion controller was force-fed to us with the Wii? I think the controller confusion and the lack of interesting games are my great concerns with the system.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
My biggest gripe about the

My biggest gripe about the Wii is the almost total lack of hidden object games. What a stupid missed opportunity that was. It seems like the Wii got mired in wanna-be Wii Sports games and stripped down ports of big games. As usual, they've depended on their first-party games to sell the system.

I've been playing the zelda Skyward Sword a game a bit and so far don't like it nearly as much as Twilight Princess. As usual, the fanboys gave it all perfect or near-perfect scores, something else that irks me about that community. We don't mind bashing the latest Call of Duty or Halo title; why do they think every Zelda or Mario game is flawless? Just blind love I guess.

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