Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo TVii (ugh!), and more commentary about the big Nintendo news

Bill Loguidice's picture

We learned several things this morning at Nintendo's big Wii U Preview Event. One, Nintendo of America President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, does not appear to be a happy man; two, Nintendo still needs to work on their presentation skills at these events--it was pretty dull overall with not enough meat and too much focus on the wrong things; and three, and most importantly, we got the long awaited hard info on US launch date and system pricing.

You'll have two major system options on November 18, 2012: the Wii U Basic Set, which features 8GB of storage, for $299.99; and the Wii U Deluxe Set, which features 32GB of storage plus the Nintendo Land pack-in game. Besides me correctly predicting all of this back in June (not exactly hard), I still stand by my statement that the pricing is right where it needs to be. Naturally, the Deluxe Set is by far the best value, but Nintendo clearly wanted the sub-$300 talking point. Hopefully, not too many people will lose out either by decision or lack of stock for the Deluxe in getting the Basic.

Anyway, I also predicted that a second Wii U controller would run as high as $149.99. It looks like I was off a bit on that, as reports seems to indicate as much as $170 or so. The Pro Controller - the Xbox 360-like screen-less controller - looks like it will sell for around $65. Again, that seems a bit higher than many of us would have liked (in this case, $49.99 for me). At least the system bundles represent what we can perceive as fair pricing.

Nintendo showed off snippets and trailers for various games at the event, but nothing we really haven't either seen before or anything with much substance. It's suggested that unlike previous reports of full Wii compatibility, we may be suffering with software emulation, so expect a few issues with certain games early on before patches.

The unfortunatley named, Nintendo TVii (was that Reggie cringing a bit at the chuckles? - it's pronounced "T Vee" by the way...), looks interesting, showing how the Wii U controller acts as a second screen for your TV for various popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as sports integration. The side-by-side stuff was quite nice, which is what a lot of our favorite media-centric tablet apps offer. They also showed TiVo integration, which is nice, but I think most of us simply don't own a TiVo, being stuck as we are with cable services. More partnerships will definitely need to be announced either prior to or just after launch.

Am I getting excited? You bet. I love new hardware, and there are definitely intriguing possibilities here. Now with a solid release date and price points, more and more information can start to roll out. We'll be watching closely. Let us know your thoughts!

EDIT (Update): Nintendo has clarified that they'll be supporting all major cable and satellite providers, which is of course important. It would have been nice if they stated that at the actual event, though!

Comments

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Nice predictions, Bill! All

Nice predictions, Bill!

All I can say at this point is that I haven't seen anything that'd make me want to stand in line or pre-order a console.

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Bill Loguidice
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I might have waited a week, but... ;-)
Matt Barton wrote:

Nice predictions, Bill!

All I can say at this point is that I haven't seen anything that'd make me want to stand in line or pre-order a console.

I just pre-ordered two of the deluxe models online from Gamestop, but then Christina and I are writing a book on it, so we kind of have to, regardless... ;-)

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retroc64
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Joined: 05/11/2008
I am making an official Prediction!

Here is my official prediction on the Wii U, and Nintendo in general on 9/13/2012.

The Nintendo Wii U will be the most unsuccessful console in the company's history, and it will force Nintendo out of the hardware (console) business by Jan 1st, 2014.

Matt Barton
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Predictions
retroc64 wrote:

Here is my official prediction on the Wii U, and Nintendo in general on 9/13/2012.

The Nintendo Wii U will be the most unsuccessful console in the company's history, and it will force Nintendo out of the hardware (console) business by Jan 1st, 2014.

I'll hold off on predictions until I start seeing the second or third wave of reviews of the initial lineup. Usually the first reactions are from fanboys or people who haven't had time to really make a sound decision about the system. From what I've seen, this is a transitional device at best, something to experiment and hopefully get right for the next iteration.

I'll give Nintendo credit for being willing to experiment, at least, though that audacity doesn't seem reflected in the game previews i saw on the site.

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Bill Loguidice
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I agree that Nintendo will

I agree that Nintendo will have a tougher time with the Wii U than any other console they've had. That has less to do with their system, though, than the current market conditions. This time we're in now is reminiscent of the early part of the 1980s where we were literally flooded with countless incompatible videogame and computer systems. Things eventually consolidated and stabilized into the 90's and the first part of the decade of the 2000's, but they've since began to split at a dramatic rate again. That's in no small part due to ubiquitous Internet and the widespread use of increasingly powerful and capable set top boxes, smartphones, and tablets.

Look at it this way... The iPhone 5 announcement in some ways was dissapointing. It's actually a stunning, amazing device, etc., but we're all so jaded now that we almost demand something completely new each and every time. It's just not going to happen. Same thing with the Wii U. Its hook is this second screen technology, which both PS3 and Xbox 360 already have, but this time it's actually deeply integrated into the experience. Nothing wrong with that. It looks like solid hardware with solid features, etc., but again, it's more WE who have "changed", not necessarily a failing of THEM, the manufacturers. We're in a technological land of plenty, a bounty of techie goodness. Nothing wrong with that, but it sure is harder to "wow" in such an environment...

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Chris Kennedy
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Launch announcements

I thought this week was rather lackluster on the new technology front. Apple announced the iPhone 5 as well as several other items. Nintendo set the release date on the Wii U as well as pricing. I felt both were a yawn-fest.

As far as Nintendo is concerned, I am perfectly content to wait. Perhaps wait quite a bit as I don't like their prices. I generally pick up a small handful of first party games for a Nintendo system, play them, and then wait until the next system. I don't use Hulu, or Netflix streaming, and just about every other device does that anyway. Heck - even modern TVs have Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc built in!

Just nothing to get excited about at all. I don't want to pay $60 for a Mario game. I am interested in whatever the next Zelda game is - whenever that is. I have no idea what the plan is for Metroid.

I guess I will just wait until the killer games come out and try to spend as less as possible. I still think Nintendo is better as a portable developer. The 3DS is looking much stronger compared to its initial release.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
nintendo?
Chris Kennedy wrote:

I thought this week was rather lackluster on the new technology front. Apple announced the iPhone 5 as well as several other items. Nintendo set the release date on the Wii U as well as pricing. I felt both were a yawn-fest.

you can tell how little fanfar the Nintendo thing was.. i didnt see a speck of it on major game news sites.. this is the first place I saw it. As for the new Iphone.. great gadget but I mentioned it about a year ago.. Apple is doing "bigger, thinner, faster' but no real changes.. they are going to rest on "we own this" market.. I do know you cant inovate on every model.. but its just wierd.. Apples claim to fame was smaller and lighter, sleek.. then anybody else.. now they are useing the BIGGER that its compatition likes to do. One upside for apple is the Bigger makes sure we all have to rebuy any skins, etc.. its also killed a few products that had cradles that fit the Iphone and Itouch.. as the bigger size screws them out (i know I have 2 expensive Itouch speaker systems... color me impressed! One thing APPLE has done a superb job on is making old stuff compatible.. NOW dont get me wrong.. you can only hang onto old stuff so long as tech advances.. but it still bites.. least the apple people got to hang on for 5 years.. Android users all have different stuff and none of it works model to model..

i think the lack of change on the Iphone will be its downfall.. the Public is far to picky... the RAZR was a darling, everybody had one.. but as they made it thiner, lighter but nothing else.. it died out.. (no small help from smart phones taking over too)..

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Ok i read up on the

Ok i read up on the Nintendo.. 25 GB disc when most games for it would fit on a floppy.. aiming for casual. Somehow that controler screen looks like its 1/3rd smaller then when I first saw it.. really seems small now. Bayonneta 2 as and exclusive? A game that did GOOD, but isnt a sysem seller by any stretch.. and its 100% adult!!!!!! what is in nintendo's coffee? its not like they made some normal change, this is all over the place..
Casual- check, thats nintendo after the Wii
Adult- WTHeck? nintendo has NEVER done that..
25 MB Disc- the Wii is the only nintendo system with a "normal" media..back ot old nintndo ways.. some oddball media that drive replacements will cost a fortune.

One cool idea i did see (penny arcade) AD&D with the Dungeon Maste on the remote screen, the rest on the TV.. very interesting. Im thinking the price is to much.. its only $50 more then the Wii, but I personally think all the people who boguth wii's and didnt use them after a few months will have that thought fresh in there heads.. the Wii had alot of people who normally dont buy consoles who bought it.. they wont be around for a seconds run I dont think.. but then again the Wii proved me worng on every front but one.. it wasnt a flop sales wise.. but product life wise it was.. like so many things people felt they needed it.. but didnt.. and it sat.

Andy (not verified)
I don't see any particular

I don't see any particular confusion on Nintendo's part. It seems to me that they're feeling stung by how the "core" audience abandoned them this past generation and an exclusive like Bayonetta is a step toward reconciling with that audience. Based on how many "Dammit, now I have to buy a Wii U to play Bayonetta..." responses I saw online yesterday, it seems like it was an effective move.

That said I do wonder how durable the gamepad is going to be, because Nintendo will always be a kid-oriented company (the Disney of video gaming, when you get down to it) and I expect those things will take a lot of pounding.

Bill Loguidice
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The Bayonetta announcement

The Bayonetta announcement was strictly a nod to the so-called hardcore gamer and to get some buzz with them, but it will have little impact on sales. It's not a system seller, it's a buzz generator. The Wii U needs buzz most of all right now.

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