Wii U: please don't become another 3DS

Last updated 13:21 14/09/2012

Nintendo announced overnight the New Zealand launch date and pricings for its next-generation Wii U console, as well as a list of launch titles - and I hope for Nintendo's sake that they release good games regularly so that gamers have a reason to play the new console.

If you're keen on having Nintendo's new console on the day it's released, pencil November 30 into your calender.

Nintendo also announced that there would be two hardware packs available on launch day. The basic pack, based on current exchange rates, will set you back around $445.95 and comes with a white Wii U console with 8Gb internal storage and a white Wii U GamePad (the one with a screen incorporated into it).

If you've got more bucks to spend, the premium pack, based on the current exchange rate, will cost you $545.95 and come with a black Wii U console with 32Gb of internal storage and a black Wii U GamePad. The premium pack also contains a stand for the GamePad and console, a charging cradle for the GamePad, a sensor bar and the Nintendo Land software.

Both packs also feature an HDMI cable and AC adapters for console and GamePad. The premium pack also features a reward programme called Nintendo Network Premium that grants points for digital purchases in Nintendo eShop.

Looking at those prices, I must say that they're not too badly priced for new hardware, and hopefully game makers will bring some unique game play features using the GamePad's integrated screen. I also like that an HDMI cable comes as standard. It means that the Wii U is ready to go right out of the box: you won't need to fork out more money for another cable. Other hardware manufacturers need to take note.

Launch games for our region include EA's Fifa 13 and Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Ubisoft's ZombiU and Rayman Legends and Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, as well as first-party titles such as Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U. Games due next year include the previously unannounced Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101, both from Japan's Platinum Games.

Personally, I'm not sure whether those games scream ''Day One purchase'' of the Wii U for me. A press release from Nintendo listed a whole heap of other games coming for the Wii U, but there was no indication on whether those games will be available on launch day or after, only saying ''available on launch day or during the launch window''. The small print at the bottom of the release indicates the launch window is ''the period beginning December 1, 2012 and ending March 31, 2013''.

My biggest fear with the Wii U is that if game releases aren't handled right, it could become another 3DS, a great handheld that was hampered by a serious dearth of good games in the months following its launch. I hope Nintendo has learnt lessons from the 3DS and won't make the same mistake twice. Nintendo needs to keep the momentum flowing with the Wii U by releasing strong games in the following months.

So now that the launch date is confirmed, but NZ pricing yet to come, how tempted are you in buying a Wii U?

Other stuff you might be interested in: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails, not get some smart robot to do it. He also has another gaming blog here, but that needs to be updated more often than it is.

29 comments
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mike   #1   01:27 pm Sep 14 2012

MONSTER HUNTER 3!

Lumbus   #2   01:30 pm Sep 14 2012

(Ok Im not getting one, and not trying to be a hater here)

But it feels as though this is their contender for the current gen consoles... right at the end of the cycle of current hardware. (graphically I mean -innovation wise the Wii was ahead of the game)

Is it enough for people to invest in considering the next wave is due to be announced within a year or two.. not for me at least.

Kenny   #3   02:23 pm Sep 14 2012

I simply can't wait to play the next version of Mario Brothers on Nintendo's next hardware version.

m0rph3us   #4   02:38 pm Sep 14 2012

I have to agree with Lumbus that I think Nintendo's timing is a bit off here. The Wii U doesn't look like it's that far ahead of where the current-gen consoles are and one would expect the next-gen Xbox and Playstation to be a significant step up - and they're only a year or two away. I think most punters will probably just wait on those two.

Pricing doesn't look too bad though so that might help. I won't be buying one though.

museste   #5   03:05 pm Sep 14 2012

The only thing im slightly curious about is the tablet control pad, apart from that there is nothing really that interests me about the Wii U. There are plenty of strong releases coming for the PS3 over the next 6 months, I continue great value out of a console I purchased in 2007!

elwarko   #6   03:15 pm Sep 14 2012

sweet sweet can sweet

Won't be a day one purchase for me but I have high (nostalgia based) hopes.

UilamOsa   #7   03:19 pm Sep 14 2012

Yep - Agreed with Lumbus #2, m0rph3us #4 & museste #5 And I am a Wii owner as well.

Apart from the controller, there's nothing that stands out for me.

The 3rd party support off the bat seems really good, the actual storage seems to be an issue but still...

Ah well - good luck Nintendo.

seth   #8   04:01 pm Sep 14 2012

@Lumbus etc - before the Wii launched the same cliched opinions were voiced about its graphical ability and it utterly smashed the competition. Despite the tired cliche's people trot out about the Wii software lineup and its graphics, it has the 7 of the top selling console games of ALL time - a list that the X360 and PS3 do not appear on AT ALL.

Given that the Wii U has been proven by third party developers to be well advanced of where the PS3/X360 is, and this is the start of its lifecycle, it sounds like you are counting your chickens way too early.

Gerard - you are sounding like a broken record - try and name one modern console that had a stellar launch lineup and didn't have any quiet periods after the release.....

mike   #9   04:09 pm Sep 14 2012

Storage isn't an issue. You can use ANY USB harddrive with it.

Lumbus   #10   05:23 pm Sep 14 2012

Seth #8 wasn't trying to ruffle your feathers man, just giving my thoughts.. tried googling your 7 top selling console games list but nothing was coming up like you're saying.. got a link?

..all im saying is the start of their lifecycle is the end of its competitors lifecycle.

It sounds like your excited about this, and that's good! Id be happy if it does well as competition pushes its competitors more.


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