Release dates, prices, launch titles ... and one hell of a shocker.
Late last week a lot of information regarding Nintendo's foray and into the next generation (which incidentally also serves as the first volley in said generation as well) became solid for the first time. The system is officially coming down the pipe and will be available to the North American audience on November 18th, and continues the trend that the Wii set into motion of a Nintendo system launching in North America first before any other country.
As is so popular nowadays this launch is going to see multiple iterations of the system. According to the posting at Game Politics,
"The white basic Wii U will cost $299.99 and will come with a Wii U
Gamepad, an AC adapter, and an HDMI cable. The black deluxe version will
retail for $349.99 and will include a Wii U Gamepad, an AC adapter, an
HDMI cable, more internal memory, a GamePad charging cradle, stands for
the gamepad and console, and a copy of the game NintendoLand. The more
expensive version will also allow you to redeem points for every digital
download purchased on the system."
I can't get an exact number on the controllers, but it seems that the standard Wii U controller is set to cost upwards of $150 USD -- not necessarily surprising considering that it's a touchscreen and all that jazz, but still, ouch -- and the Wii U Pro controller which is the more "traditional" controller model will sell for about $60 USD. The price point of the system itself is also interesting to me, it seems that if Sony and Microsoft are able to reign in their prices for this next generation then Nintendo's price point advantage that helped the Wii sell will be gone, although of course the advantage of having such a large head start also cannot be denied.
Looking at some of the launch lineup reveals both surprises and expectations being met as well. There are a lot of ports, among them titles like Darksiders 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, a revamped version of Ninja Gaiden 3 and others. But I still find this lineup to be quite diverse in nature. I think that perhaps it shows that Nintendo has learned it's lesson to better appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, and the titles are its way of showing that fact. However, given that anyone who really wanted these games is probably already either playing them, or have played them before, it still might take something more to really get people interested.
Something about this launch really did surprise me though, a title that although not launching with the system has nonetheless caused a lot of waves with the revelation of its existence. It's been hard to be a fan of the action games that Devil May Cry had a part of kicking off back during the PS2 days without hearing the news that Bayonetta is finally getting a sequel ... a Wii U exclusive sequel that's set to be published by Nintendo rather than Sega.
Even though it's not part of the launch lineup, the fact that Bayonetta 2 is going to be a Wii U exclusive for at least a short amount of time, if not permanently, has set a lot of talk into motion. A lot of people are pleased, and of course, the Internet being a thing, a lot of people also ... aren't, to use the gentlest possible term. I think though, that delving into this whole thing a little deeper is something that is better served in a discussion tomorrow.