Thursday, September 13, 2012

A few not-quite-random thoughts on the Wii U's launch date, price and software line-up

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.


LottieTwintails said...

I think we have just about the same reaction to it all, Bryan! I'm glad I wasn't the only one who wanted both the deluxe extras and a white console.

What also contributes to my personal hesitation is the region-locked status of the console. It's bad enough when a game I'm interested in doesn't get localized, but if my console can't even play it... yeah. I'm not terribly surprised that the Wii U is region-locked, but it's another strike against it in my book.

I will be picking one up eventually, of course. There's just those details that irk me (in addition to the price) which will likely delay that purchase for a while.

The Monster Hunter news is REALLY great to hear, though! I've been meaning to get into that series and this sounds like the perfect opportunity.

warp said...

Project P-100 was a much better name than The Wonderful 101, IMHO. It seemed to be in pretty good shape as far back as E3, so I'm surprised they don't have a release date yet. I definitely won't be getting a Wii-U before it comes out.

It's hard for me to be excited for Bayonetta 2 when I've barely played the first one yet (still trying to finish 3D Dot Game Heroes).

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Shawn! Yeah, I'm not sure why they're only releasing the white Wii U as part of the 'Basic Set.' Hopefully a 'Deluxe Set' with a white Wii U will show up sometime next year.

Has it been confirmed that the Wii U will be region-locked? Not that such news would surprise me, of course -- I mean, has *any* Nintendo console ever been region-free? Hell, the company's even region-locking its handhelds now, and that never used to be the case :(

Anyway, that won't stop me from picking up a Wii U, but the price will -- at least for the time being.

As for Monster Hunter: Now I'm not sure which version I'll get. I guess it depends on whether or not the 3DS version will allow for online play, too. (I couldn't tell based on NOA's Wii U Preview.)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hmmm, well, warp, I can't say I agree with you when it comes to preferring Project P-100 to The Wonderful 101. Yes, the latter is a bit ... generic sounding, I guess, but the former is even more so.

Sadly, this is a game that's likely destined to sell poorly in every region no matter what they call it. Still, I'll pick it up and hopefully enjoy the hell out of it, so I don't care too much.

I don't know if I would say I'm personally excited about playing Bayonetta 2 -- I've yet to play the original, after all -- but I am excited that it'll be released for the Wii U. The more third-party games released for the system, especially early on, the better, in my opinion.

LottieTwintails said...

Bryan - the original version of this particular MH incarnation did not have online play, which some speculate is the reason why it wasn't released in North America/Europe (yet). I'd say that would be a make-or-break deal for many. Personally, I'm going to force all my friends and family members to get a copy for 3DS to play with me, but I know this isn't an option for everyone!

From what I understand, it has been confirmed that the Wii U will be region-locked, although I don't have a source to quote from. I'd use this as an excuse to just import a JP console, but I definitely need to be able to play Dragon Quest X in English, assuming we get the Wii U port...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Shawn! Oh, yes, I know the Japanese version of Monster Hunter 3G doesn't allow for online play. What I'm wondering is if the US version if it will or won't include the option. That was my first impression while viewing the NOA's Wii U Preview this morning, but I have to admit I was a bit tired while doing so and now I'm confused.

As for the Wii U being region-locked or not: Yes, I have to imagine it will be, too, even if it hasn't been confirmed yet.

I'm with you, by the way, in hoping beyond hope that the Wii U version of DQX is brought to the States -- and hopefully sometime next year. I NEED TO PLAY THIS GAME!!

Marcus said...

I don't think it's the best idea for the systems to be colored differently per version, but I guess it's not the worst thing in the world. Personally I like black systems and intend to pick up the Deluxe set. Why? It's just that urge of staying on top of the gaming industry.

I don't care much for any other consumer electronics: phones, tvs, etc but game systems are my "thing". I could wait and get some good deals on the system once games I "need" are actually out, but it's going to be in my house all the same come November 18th :P. Then I'll have to have parties so people can actually play NintendoLand with me! Thank goodness old controllers work just fine with it.

LottieTwintails said...

We'll definitely have to play on the same server (or whatnot) when we get DQX out here! Any particular race that's caught your eye to play as yet?

I'll admit that all my talk of holding off on a Wii U quickly flies out the window when DQX is involved XD

I'd also love to be able to play Monster Hunter online with others! It seems like the Wii U version might be the best one in that case as well, at least you wouldn't need to get that bulky 3DS add-on.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Marcus! Well, I wouldn't care so much about the 'different color systems in different bundles' thing, but I *really* don't want a black Wii U. I'm anal about fingerprints and dust and whatnot, so a shiny black system would drive me nuts.

Also, I totally understand about wanting to 'stay on top of the gaming industry,' as you say. Still, I'm OK with waiting a bit before pulling the trigger on a system. I probably won't wait more than 6-8 months, so it's not like I'll be missing out on that much. Hell, that's probably when Nintendo will finally get around to releasing Pikmin 3 -- and by that time I'll know for sure which bundle and which games I want.

BTW, you have to be happy that Nintendo Land features a good number of mini-games that can be played solo, right? In fact, right now it sounds like at least 9 of the 12 can be played alone. Hopefully they're still fun that way!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Shawn: Oh, yes, it would be great to play DQX together -- should it be released over here, of course. As for which races have piqued my interest so far: I like the little guys/gals a lot (can't remember their race's actual name) and the mermen/merwomen, too. How about you?

BTW, I'd drop $350 on the Wii U right now if I knew that DQX would be released here within in the next six months. Come on, SE, throw us western DQ fans a bone!

Terry said...

It's my understanding that the 3DS Monster Hunter will not have online play. That would've been a deal-breaker for me, but being able to move my save file between the 3DS and the Wii U version solves the dilemma. I doubt I'll buy the system at launch, but it'll look more appealing as the MH3 release draws near.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, well, that's too bad. Thank you for letting me/us know, though, Terry!

Personally, I'm guessing I'd go with the Wii U version then -- if it's the only one that has online play.

It is nice to know you can move your save file between the two systems, though.

LottieTwintails said...

I'll have to admit, playing as one of those red ogres (female, in particular) sounds appealing... would certainly make questing a bit more spicy for me XD

You heard it here first, folks! DQX = sales! Announce this thing already!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, yes, the ogres are nice, too, although I doubt I'd play as one. I guess we both have time to make up our minds, though :)

diaglyph said...

Some great info has come out :)
Not sure if I'll get Monster Hunter 3, but I like the idea of how you can share data between the 3DS and Wii U versions! I was hoping that Square Enix was going to announce that for some sort of The World Ends With You Sequel back when they had the countdown to a port -_-
Anyways, looks like I'll be getting the Premium version :)
Pricing in Australia is what I guessed yay!
Basic is $349
Premium is $429 (I wasn't expecting $429, I was expect $449 really)
That ain't half bad for Aussie pricing :)

Here's a sizzle reel

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, so you're all aboard, eh, Igor? Good for you!

I was hoping SE would make an announcement for the Wii U version of DQX :| Hopefully they'll take care of that early next year?

I've seen that sizzle reel, BTW, but thanks for posting it here anyway!

diaglyph said...

Really tempted to get NSMBU LOL
It does look quite good in HD ;)

I was disappointed that they didn't talk much more about Miiverse and the Nintendo Account system :(
I hope that is soon!!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Good for you again, Igor! Personally, I think NSMBU looks MARVELOUS -- and this is coming from someone who eventually cooled on NSMB2 to the extent that I've yet to pick it up (and may never do so).

Also, I agree with you about the lack of Miiverse and Nintendo account system chat -- and eShop and NFC chat. Sigh.

2D2Will said...

I love how they announced Bayonetta 2. They got us all to think they were about to talk about The Wonderful 101 and, BAM! Bayonetta 2 out of nowhere!

Took everyone by surprise.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yes, I loved that, too, 2D2Will! I honestly was expecting NO new game announcements, so it was doubly exciting/shocking to me :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm thrilled, honestly. I like the multi-tiered pricing, but I wish it were about $50 less for each iteration. But it's $50 I would have spend on Nintendo Land, so...meh.

Honestly, I'm liking what I'm hearing except for the "launch window" crap. I hate that term. Launch day is launch day, not 6 months from when it's released! Get those games out Nintendo! That's been your biggest damn flaw ever since the Gamecube.

But really, I'm scraping my pennies together and hoping against hope that I can buy it for myself on launch day for a "Hooray, you finished (or are close to finishing) another year of National Novel Writing Month!" present.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello Justin! I was wondering when you would pop in here :)

Anyway, yes, I like the tiered pricing, too -- although, like you, I wish they were $50 cheaper. I was hoping I'd spend at most $299 on a Wii U + Nintendo Land :(

I agree with you about the damn "launch window" crap, by the way. When Reggie said that the launch window went from Nov. 18 to the end of March 2013, I literally LOL'd. I mean, I could understand saying that the so-called launch window extended to, say, Christmas, but that's it. Next March is a joke.

Anyway, although I'd love to see more first-party games at launch, I can't completely fault Nintendo for going the route they're going. They're trying to walk a fine line between enticing people to buy a Wii U and their own games and also leaving room for people to buy some third-party games -- as they know that if the majority of third-party "launch window" games bomb, they're going to be back in the Wii situation in the blink of an eye.

Also, I honestly don't think they need any more games at launch. Well, except for Wii Fit U. I really think that would be a good title at launch, as it would draw a different crowd from the rest of the launch releases. That said, waiting until January or February likely will benefit them, too, since those are slow months, usually, and Wii Fit U should provide a boost.

Other than all of that, I sincerely hope you are able to scrape together enough pennies so you can celebrate with one of these suckers!

Reggie White Jr. said...

I was working when all this went down so I didn't get to witness any of it. But I have to say, I like the launch date and the price! Turns out Nintendo's idea of "not cheap" is pretty consumer friendly, at least I think so.

Melody (Lizzi) said...

I would always pick the black console (as I did when I bought the Wii) because I like the black ones more and I wanted to buy Nintendo Land anyway.
But I really have to say the Deluxe Set is quite expensive.
If I'm a lucky girl I'll get the WiiU as a present from my family on Christmas (as provided by Nintendo) but if not I'll have to wait till it's cheaper. Please Santa! I've been a good girl!

Melody (Lizzi) said...

When Nintendo streamed their "fantastic new informations" I had no time to watch it.
Too sad. I was a bit disappointed when Monster Hunter jumped from Sony to Nintendo. I really loved playing Monster Hunter on PS2 and I think Monster Hunter 3 would have been a lot better if it was on PS3 with HD-graphics and PS3-controls.
I never liked playing MH on a handheld (PSP) so I wans't so super happy when I heard the new title will be a 3DS-game.
Now that I read there will be also a Wii U-version I'm kinda relieved.
Especially because the 3DS-version has no online-mode.
I think it's kinda strange that the Wii U as a "next next generation"-console has no full HD as the PS3 which one generation older.

diaglyph said...

What do you mean Melody?
The Wii U is capable of doing up to 1080p resolution graphics. It's up to developers to do 1080p.
Also Monster Hunter 3 will allow you to move your save game data between the Wii U and 3DS (play at home, transfer to 3DS when you leave home, play when out of home, come home, transfer back to Wii U to continue playing - that's a brilliant idea! I hope other developers do similar)

Melody (Lizzi) said...

Hello diaglyph!
Really? 1080p? I only heard about 780p. Thats great! I was kinda reeeeeeally disappointed.
Yeah I know about the tranfer-option between WiiU and 3DS but I think MH is a game which should be played on a big screen with a handy controller.
Greetings from Germany

Melody (Lizzi) said...

Sorry I meant 720p.

diaglyph said...

Yea Wii U will support all resolutions up to 1080p.

I will admit I'm a ninty fanboy haha and love my 3DS :) So I love the idea of being able to play a game on Wii U and 3DS interchangeably!

Melody (Lizzi) said...

I love my 3DS too!
Especially because I got the Special-Zelda-3DS.
I use my 3DS some hours a day and there are so many games I would never want to play on an other console.
But not MH! :(
In my opinion, MH is not a handheld-game.
That's all. :)

diaglyph said...

hehe cool
I've only tried Monster Hunter once, and that was on the PSP and didn't like it all. Hopefully there'll be a demo in the eShop :)

Also in case you're curious check out this page:
This lays out all the specifications and features of the Wii U :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Reggie: Yes, you're right -- although the Wii U will cost a bit more than I was hoping to pay for it, it's pretty competitively priced when compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Does this mean you'll be getting one on or around launch day, by the way? If so, which set/bundle will you get? And will you get any particular games along with it?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Melody! Sounds like Igor set you straight already. He's right, by the way -- as far as I know, the Wii U is capable of full HD graphics/resolutions. As is the case with 360 and PS3 games, though, it's up to developers to either go with that resolution or go with a lesser one.

I do believe that most, if not all, of the Wii U's launch games fail to reach 1080p, but that's not all that surprising. I'm sure many later games will reach that goal :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, and one more thing: I'm surprised to hear you're a Monster Hunter fan! I'm not sure why that is, though. (Why I'm surprised, I mean.). Anyway, you prefer the console versions to the handheld portable ones, eh?

I've wanted to jump into the series for ages, but so far I haven't done so because I'd have to play solo -- and from what I've heard, these games really should be played with other people. So, maybe I'll give the Wii U version a go after it's released, since it features online play :)