I'm calling these not-quite-random thoughts, of course, because they came to mind after watching the trio of online, Wii U-focused events Nintendo aimed at fans in Japan, Europe and North America earlier today.
Before I get to my opinions on the Wii U's launch date, price and software line-up, though, it'd probably be a good idea to share these particulars:
* The Wii U will be released in North America first, on Nov. 18, followed by Europe on Nov. 30 and then Japan on Dec. 8.
* Two bundles will be released in each region: A "Basic Set" (above) that will include a white Wii U system (with 8 GB internal memory), a Wii U GamePad, AC adapters for both the system and GamePad, an HDMI cable and a sensor bar, and a "Deluxe Set" (below) that switches the while Wii U system for a black one (while bumping up the internal memory to 32 GB) and adds a copy of Nintendo Land, a charging cradle for the GamePad, two stands (one for the GamePad and one for the system) and enrollment in Nintendo Network Premium, which rewards those who purchase digital titles with points (discounts) that can be applied to future purchases. (The latter bundle will be called the "Premium Pack" in Europe and the "Premium Set" in Japan, by the way. Both will differ slightly from their North American counterpart in terms of components and price.)
* In North America, the "Basic Set" will retail for $299.99, while the "Deluxe Set" will sell for $349.99.
* Although a number of games will be released alongside the Wii U system, it appears that only two will be Nintendo-made: New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land.
As for my thoughts on all of the above (and a few other tidbits that were covered during the aforementioned events):
* For starters, I have to say that I was both disappointed and surprised to hear that the Wii U will cost at least $299.99 in my neck of the woods. I really thought the "basic" bundle would come in at the far-more-wallet-friendly price of $249.99.
* I also was a bit shocked to discover that just two of Nintendo's own titles would accompany the system's launch. At the very least, I expected Wii Fit U to join New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land on store shelves on day one. (As far as I can tell, both Wii Fit U and Pikmin 3 currently are being prepped for a "spring 2013" release.)
* Project P-100 now has an official name: The Wonderful 101. Yay! I wouldn't say I'm completely in love with it, but I also can't think of anything else, so I'm not about to complain.
* You could have knocked me over with a feather when it was announced that the folks at Platinum Games are working on another Wii U title--with the title in question being Bayonetta 2.
* Another announcement that succeeded in surprising me involved Monster Hunter. Specifically, it was revealed that not only will Monster Hunter 3G be released outside of Japan next spring (March, I believe), but so will a game called Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, which basically is an online-enabled HD port of Monster Hunter 3G for the Wii U. Oh, and owners of the Wii U version will be able to play with owners of the 3DS version and vice versa.
* Finally, I'm not exactly sure what I think of the "Nintendo TVii" service Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime spent so much time talking about during the North American event. On the one hand, I hate its name (couldn't it just be "Nintendo TV"?), while on the other, I like its purpose (which is to bring together all of a person's TV and movie viewing options). The question is: Will I use it? I'm don't know at this point.
Per the usual, Fils-Aime and the Nintendo of America crew spent so much time blathering on about Nintendo TVii that they didn't even mention things like the WiiU's eShop, the intriguing-but-as-yet-unexplained Miiverse and
how games will make use of the system's NFC sensor. Hopefully they'll touch on all of them in an upcoming Nintendo Direct broadcast, as I'm far more curious about them than I am about Nintendo TVii.
Given all of the above, will I be picking up a Wii U on or around Nov. 18? Not at the moment. The main reason: The price. As much as I'm jonesing to get my hands on the system (and a number of its games--New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and ZombiU among them), I'm currently unwilling to drop at least $299 to do so.
I'm also a bit miffed that Nintendo won't be offering a "Deluxe Set"--which clearly is a better value than the "Basic Set"--that contains a white Wii U at launch. Hopefully it'll correct that oversight sometime early next year.
So, those are my (rather long-winded) thoughts on the Wii U events that were broadcast the world over earlier today. What did all of you think about them?
Note: Nintendo of America's "Wii U Preview" can be viewed here, while Nintendo of Europe's "Nintendo Direct" can be viewed here and Nintendo of Japan's can be viewed here.