Nintendo has finally revealed all the key things that we've been wondering about its new Wii U system, like the oft-speculated launch date and price.
In a press event in New York and streamed live online, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime announced that the Wii U gaming system would be coming to stores on Sunday, November 18.
Two different configurations will be available for the Wii U system: the "basic" console, which comes in white, and includes 8 GB of storage, a game pad, AC adapters for both, sensor bar and HDMI cable. The "deluxe" console comes in black, and includes all the same components of the basic plus a boost to 32GB of storage, a game pad charging cradle, a stand for both the game pad and console, Nintendo's Nintendoland game (announced at E3) and enrolment in Nintendo's digital point promotion, which earns the user points every time they digitally download a game. Fils-Aime says that these points can be used to purchase content from the Nintendo digital store, too.
The basic console package retails for $299.99 U.S., while the deluxe will run you $349.99 U.S. Fils-Aime made no mention of a Canadian price, but if the original Wii's pricing is any indication, the consoles will like retail for slightly more in Canada. Edit: Canadian's rejoice! Electronics retailers are listing the prices as the same ones quoted for the United States.
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If you noticed something missing from the bundles, you'd be right: there won't be any Wiimotes or nunchuck attachments included with these bundles. Fils-Aime said that the new Wii U console is compatible with the previous generation of Wii accessories, so you can use your old Wiimotes with the Wii U. For those who don't own those accessories, Nintendo will be more than happy to part you with some more of your money: they will be selling Wiimotes and nunchucks separately.
Fils-Aime also announced Nintendo TVii, bringing Nintendo up to speed with offerings already available from Microsoft and Playstation. Nintendo TVii takes it one step further, letting the user select content not just from on-demand providers like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, but also lets you search through a program guide and find content on both the user's DVR and live television.
Content restrictions on many of the providers featured in the presentation suggests that Canadians might not be getting the full experience American Wii U users are, even though TVii has been announced for Canada. Check back regularly at The Right Click to find out more about how Canadians will be able to take advantage of the Wii U's new Nintendo TVii capabilities.
UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): Engadget spoke with Nintendo's director of strategic partnership, Zach Fountain, and he has said that Nintendo TVii will partner with 'all' major carriers in both Canada and the U.S. To activate Nintendo TVii, Fountain says you just need to input your account information for your cable company into the Wii U. A similar process is done to connect a DVR or TiVO system. He also reiterated that the service will be free, and will be available with both the basic and deluxe models of the system.