Nintendo Wii U price and release date revealed : Two versions on the way

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nintendo-wii-u.jpgNintendo have finally revealed launch and pricing details for their Wii U console.

Landing in Japan on 8 December, two versions will be available at launch, a basic edition costing 26,250 yen ($337; £210) and a premium version at 31,500 yen ($405; £251).

Differences between the two tablet-controller packing consoles lie mainly with storage space. As suggested by rumours yesterday, the basic version will launch with 8GB of storage. The premium version has 32GB of storage, and will also come with stands for the tablet controllers and console itself.

Additional GamePad tablet controllers will be fairly pricey however at 13,000 yen ($167; £104), though considering it’s easily the most tech-filled controller in home-console history, that had to be expected.

International launch details will be revealed later at a New York press event.

The Nintendo Wii U makes use of multiple screens in its vision of home gaming. Touchscreens are built into the controllers themselves, alongside the standard console/TV set-up. Many games are expected to be fully playable through the GamePad controllers themselves, while all are expected use the dual screens in unique ways, with second screen functionality spreading UI elements and specific challenges across displays.

All in, the pricing for the Wii U sounds very competitive. The GamePad controllers were always going to come at a premium, but Nintendo’s console on the whole isn’t too far removed from current-gen prices. Some will argue that graphically the Wii U is only a match for current-generation consoles anyway, but having played it, there’s certainly something unique to its controls and dual-screen set-up. It’s well priced then, and stands a better chance against the forthcoming Xbox 720 and PS4 now than we first thought for.

Gerald Lynch