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Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nintendo to kick off a much-needed new generation of consoles with the Wii U on Nov. 18 in the U.S.

We finally know the price and launch date for the Wii U, Nintendo's new console coming this holiday.

Two versions of the system will launch on Nov. 18 in the United States. The basic version will cost $299 for the system, GamePad controller, AC adapter, HDMI cable, sensor bar and 8 GB of memory. The deluxe version will cost $349 and also includes a GamePad charging cable and cradle, 32 GB of memory, a copy of NintendoLand and access to premium bonuses on Nintendo Direct.

What and how many games will be available for launch is still unknown, but we know that New Super Mario Bros. U will be a flagship title, which pretty much guarantees a successful launch coupled with releasing the system prior to Black Friday. The $299 and $349 price tags may seem a little on the pricey side, but new consoles generally ship in this range and even more. If you're thinking about buying one, get the deluxe version for NintendoLand and extra memory.

We all know the troubles Nintendo had with the 3DS at launch, but you can't really compare that situation here since handhelds generally don't sell well at $250. Plus, the Wii U is shaping up to have much better games at launch this time around. Launch window games (November through March) other than NSMBU and NintendoLand include Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3, Skylanders Giants, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Darksiders II, Assassin's Creed III, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, LEGO City Undercover, The Wonderful 101 (originally codenamed Project P-100), Just Dance 4, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and much more. That blows the 3DS' launch window games out of the water. Bayonetta 2 was also announced to be a Wii U exclusive.

During Nintendo's Wii U presentation this morning, much focus was on a new feature called Nintendo TVii, which brings together content services like Amazon and Hulu Plus and allows users to search, purchase and play content on the GamePad and TV.

The Wii U will be one of the hottest items this holiday season. The video game industry needs a kick in the butt, and Nintendo will deliver a much-needed boost. Now we await Microsoft and Sony's turn.

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