The Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U launches this Sunday and people are pumped for it. Aside from gaming, Nintendo is marketing the Wii U console and touchscreen-equipped GamePad as the ultimate TV controller. Announced in September, Nintendo called the the Wii U’s “TVii” service a “personalized TV guide that can tell you what’s available on Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus, Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video, live TV and video on DVR.” The free service is designed to wrangle all of your TV and video on demand content into a single easy-t0-use UI. That and the GamePad’s ability to double as a universal TV remote makes the Wii U a couch potato’s best friend. The only bad news is that Nintendo TVii and the Video on Demand services won’t be ready at launch— Nintendo says TVii will instead arrive in December. So, if you have those services and planned to ditch your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and go all-in with the Wii U, you might want to wait just a few more weeks before putting them up on Craigslist.
The Wii U doesn’t have a hard drive like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Instead, Nintendo (NTDOY) chose to include flash storage in two capacities: 8GB and 32GB. Unfortunately, the actual amount of storage users will have access to is significantly less than what’s advertised on the box. As Kotaku explains, after formatting the internal storage, the 8GB model has 7.2GB of storage leftover and the 32GB Wii U has 29GB of storage. Then, the Wii U operating system takes another 4.2GB of storage out of that, and leaves a grand total of 3GB and 24.8GB of storage for saving games, movies, downloadable content, etc. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Wii U doesn’t have a lot of storage, especially for those picking up the 8GB basic set. More →
Nintendo (NTDOY) president Satoru Iwata has already spoiled the unboxing ceremonies, but that doesn’t mean the Wii U doesn’t still have a few mysteries left to it. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamato of the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Metroid fame told IGN back in June that the game company was working on “experiences along [the lines of] the Xbox 360′s Achievements and PlayStation 3′s Trophies.” But according to 5th Cell co-founder Jeremiah Slaczka, developer of Scribblenauts Unlimited, the Wii U has no such system-wide accomplishments in place. Instead, it will be up to each developer to create their own Achievement-systems in their own games. More →
The Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U doesn’t come out of for another 11 days in North America. To kickstart the new console hype, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took to the company’s Nintendo Direct webcast to do an official unboxing video of the $349.99 Deluxe Set. Most of the console’s extras – GamePad charging cradle, console “legs,” 32GB of internal storage and a copy of Nintendo Land – have already been detailed, but the fact that Iwata does the entire thing with “Mario-style white gloves” makes the unboxing all the more special.
With 17 days to go until the Wii U console launches in North America, Nintendo (NTDOY) has only a handful of days to convince gamers on the fence why its new console is worth $299.99. As is the case with so many brand new products, the Wii U’s GamePad is a gadget that can only be understood after you actually use it. It’s incredibly light and its large 6.2-inch touchscreen is responsive despite the lack of multitouch. In terms of latency, there’s virtually no noticeable lag when streaming HD games and video to the GamePad’s screen. Nintendo has already admitted that it will be a challenge to showcase the Wii U due to its unique design. We’ve posted company’s first Wii U commercial below.
Rarely does Nintendo (NTDOY) sell new hardware at a loss, but during a financial results briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the Wii U will be sold below its manufacturing cost. Iwata explained that due to rising yen, it chose a price ”that consumers would consider to be reasonable” and not one based on manufacturing cost. As a result, Iwata warns that the Wii U will have a “negative impact” on the company’s profits in the months after the console launches. More →
If sold out preorders and sky-high grey market preorder sales are any indication, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) upcoming Wii U console is going to be a hit. The $299.99 Wii U is the first game console with a controller that incorporates a large 6.2-inch touchscreen, NFC, video chat camera and universal TV remote controls. While diehard Nintendo fans will flock to pick up a Wii U on November 18th, many consumers have been left wondering why they should pick it up over an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 when the new console provides no significant leap in graphics or processing power. Nintendo revealed on Wednesday in its financial earnings report that it hopes strong marketing will help it sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles by the end of the second quarter of 2013. The Kyoto, Japan-based game company also expects to sell 24 million Wii U games in the same time.
Other than the unique touchscreen-equipped GamePad controller, the Wii U is a console that isn’t too different from this generation’s Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s Nintendo’s (NTDOY) “catch up” console that finally adds high-definition graphics, a robust selection of video content through Nintendo TVii and an online gaming platform that the company says will finally compete with Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Both of those services support voice chat during gaming sessions online and they both support wireless headsets, but the Nintendo Wii U might not even have simple voice chat down without a convoluted setup, according to Kotaku.
Gamers worried about the streaming latency for the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U GamePad can finally let out a sigh of relief. In a recent Nintendo Power interview, Rayman Legends developer Michel Ancel said the Wii U GamePad latency is “just 1/60 of a second” or roughly “one frame late.” To the human eye, that’s virtually unnoticeable.
The latest number from NPD Group paint a troubling picture for the gaming industry. In the month of September overall sales within the industry — including accessories, discs and consoles — in the United States fell 24% from $1.1 billion in 2011 to $848.3 million, CNET reports. Sales of gaming hardware alone tumbled 39% year-over-year to $210.9 million, while software sales decreased 18% year-over-year from $609.7 million to $497.4 million and accessories fell by 11% to $139.9 million. More →
Nintendo’s Wii U isn’t due until November 18th, but that isn’t stopping grey market sellers from capitalizing on the sold out preorders. ArsTechnica did a round-up to see how much the Wii U’s Basic Set and Deluxe Set are going for on channels such as eBay. Their findings indicate that the Basic Set (8GB) is being resold on average for about $348, or 16% more than the $299.99 MSRP. Meanwhile resold preorders for the Deluxe Set (32GB with a copy of NintendoLand) are fetching on average $517 or 48 percent more than the $349.99 MSRP. Some cool cats have even managed to resell Deluxe Set preorders for as high as $749. With high possibilities of Wii U shortages (remember the Wii?), holiday shoppers who didn’t get their preorders in last month really have no choice but to either wait in line on launch day at a retail or buy from a reseller. And some friendly advice: Don’t buy Wii U made for other regions, as the console is region-locked to play software from that specific zone, meaning a Wii U from Japan or Europe won’t work with games region-locked to the U.S.
What games will buyers be able to pick up for the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U when it launches on November 18th? As promised by Nintendo, the console will see a diversified lineup of 23 launch games that’ll cater to both hardcore and casual gamers. In addition to the 23 games that will be available for purchase on launch day, Nintendo also revealed the 29 other “launch window” games that will trickle in between November 18th and March 2013. Nintendo will sell the Wii U in two bundles: a “Basic Set” that includes white console and controller with 8GB of internal storage for $299.99 and a “Deluxe Set” with a black console and 32GB of storage for $349.99. Wii U software will cost no more than $59.99. The full list of launch day and launch window games follows below. More →
Bringing tears to the eyes of gamers everywhere, Nintendo (NTDOY) has confirmed to CVG that its upcoming Wii U console and its accompanying Wii U GamePad will be region-locked. To bring everybody up to code, Nintendo, along with Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) have had a tradition of preventing video game consoles sold in one region from working with video game software from another region. Every home console Nintendo has released since the original Nintendo Entertainment System has been region-locked, as well as its 3DS handheld lineup. The exception to the rule was the DS, which has gone on to sell more than 152 million units worldwide as of July. The new Wii U console launches on November 18th starting at $299.99 for the Basic Set and $349.99 for the Deluxe Set, and many popular retailers are already reporting that preorders are sold out.