Nintendo announced that two configurations of its newest gaming console, the Wii U, will be available in the US on November 18. The Wii U is a unique gaming system that utilizes a specially designed controller, called a GamePad, which combines a tablet, a typical video game controller, and motion technology into one device. Nintendo announced that all legacy Wii remotes and nunchucks will remain compatible with the Wii U, but consumers will start to see Wii U branded remotes showing up on shelves.
Retailing for $299.99, the basic Wii U model will come in white and have 8GB of internal memory. In addition to the console, the base model will include a GamePad controller, a charger, a high-speed HDMI cable, and a sensor bar. The deluxe configuration of the Wii U will come in black with 32GB of internal memory and it will retail for $349.99. Along with the base model accessories, the deluxe model will include a charging cradle for the GamePad controller, stands for the GamePad and console, a feature called Deluxe Digital Promotion which will allow gamers to accumulate points for every digital download they make, and finally, it will ship with Nintendo Land; a game aimed at showing users what they can do with the Wii U.
Nintendo also introduced Nintendo TVii, a new smart TV function built into the Wii U notably featuring Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Instant content streaming. The Nintendo GamePad will double as a second screen offering complimentary information (for example, sports scores during a football game) as well as a DVR remote control and social media portal.
Second-screen features include still displays from the show or movie being watched and actor information. Users will be able to pose questions to friends, take polls, make comments, and more. Nintendo TVii allows for multiple user accounts, which will be useful for storing individually tailored information about your favorite television shows and recommendations; even if others are sharing the device. The GamePad will also allow you to simultaneously play a video game on the GamePad while watching content on your television.
Nintendo TVii will be available with no monthly fee on the console when it launches on November 18, however, Nintendo TVii will only be available to those in the US and Canada, until further notice.
Nintendo claims they will have more than 50 games available by March of 2013, including major titles from third-party developers. Something gamers have wanted to see from the Nintendo Wii is better support for third party games, which was lacking with the previous-generation Wii. Time will tell, but Nintendo seems cognizant of the need as evident by developer Ubisoft’s involvement at the recent Wii U unveiling event in New York.