After a long old wait, we’ve finally got a provisional release date for Nintendo’s Wii U console. The second-screen tablet-packing games console will touch down on November 18, according to the latest rumours.
The leak comes from the annual Gamestop Managers Conference in San Antonio, where a representative from peripheral manufacturers Performance Designed Products (PDP) let slip the date. Stating that the company’s line of Wii U third-party peripherals would be available ahead of the console’s November 18 launch, the loose-lipped rep has likely infuriated Nintendo, who have been planning a large, secretive September 13 event in New York, presumably for the console’s launch details.
Aware that they’d made a bit of a cock-up, PDP released a less-than-convincing statement quashing the rumours:
“Performance Designed Products (“PDP”) is aware of the recent rumors posted alleging that PDP inadvertently ‘leaked’ the official release date of the upcoming Nintendo Wii U gaming system during a trade presentation earlier today,” said William Otte, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing of PDP.
“To be clear, PDP has no knowledge whatsoever of the official Wii U release date, and thus it is not possible for PDP to have ‘leaked’ this information.
“PDP simply gave a presentation of our fall line of gaming accessories to our customers at a trade event in which we stated that our Wii U accessories would be there at launch. Later in the presentation, we stated that our Epic Mickey II accessories are currently planned to be in stores by November 18. PDP has no knowledge as to whether this is the official Wii U release date or not, and thus nothing was ‘leaked’.”
However, an early leak like this could help Nintendo. Struggling financially this year (suffering the company’s first loss of $533m in April 2012), sales of the Wii continue to slow, and 3DS sales haven’t quite hit the highs the gaming giants had hoped for. With that November 18th release date looming just a week ahead of Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year stateside, a little early excitement could help propel sales.