Nintendo finally revealed details of its upcoming Wii U, which will start the next generation of video game consoles amid growing competition from online and mobile games.
The company will begin selling the console – which features a tablet-like controller with a 6.2-inch touchscreen – on Nov. 18 for $300. That’s for a model with 8 gigabytes of storage.
A “deluxe” version with 32 gigs of storage and a set of “Nintendo Land” games will cost $350.
“The wait is almost over – in just 66 days, Wii U will arrive with the strongest lineup of software in Nintendo history,” Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Redmond-based Nintendo of America, said in a release.
Fils-Aime revealed the launch details at an event in New York. Nintendo first unveiled the system in the summer of 2011.
With the Wii U, Nintendo is also boosting the development of console games that use auxiliary screens to create new control schemes and modes of play. Microsoft’s working on a “smart glass” system to connect wireless devices such as phones and tablets to the Xbox 360, and Sony’s using its handheld Vita as an auxiliary screen for the PS3.
The Wii U pricing is just under the $399 entry level price of an iPad, but above the $200 price of a basic Xbox 360 console and $250 price of Sony’s PlayStation 3. Sony and Microsoft are expected to unveil their next consoles in 2013.
Nintendo also revealed a video application for the Wii U called TVii that connects the console to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.com, plus live TV broadcasts and TiVo DVRs. It takes advantage of the console’s high-definition output and ability to use the GamePad as an auxiliary display and remote control.
With high-def output that the original Wii lacked, plus action-friendly control inputs, the Wii U is attracting triple-A titles such as “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” “Mass Effect 3” and “Assassin’s Creed III.”
Other games coming to the Wii U include “New Super Mario Bros U,” “Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate,” “Bayonetta 2” and “Lego City: Undercover.”
Also featured on the console is an upgrade social and message system to connect players with friends and others using the Wii U.
The $300 Wii U will come in white with a single white GamePad controller, a sensor bar for receiving controller signals and an HDMI cable. The “Deluxe Set” comes in black and also includes a GamePad charging cradle and stand.
Here’s Nintendo’s demo video:
Here’s a Nintendo image of its Wii U title “Game & Wario”:
Last but not least, “New Super Mario Bros. U” featuring players’ Mii avatars: