Update: Nintendo has announced that the Wii U will go on sale 11/18 in the US. It’ll cost $299.99 for the basic set and $349.99 for the deluxe set.
Nintendo on Thursday firmed up details surrounding its Wii U console, announcing that the device will cost $337 (26,250 yen) for the basic set and $405 (31,500 yen) for a premium version when it arrives in Japan. The company held a launch presentation in Japan and is scheduled to make a US-specific announcement in New York City later on Thursday.
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The Wii U, the successor to Nintendo’s popular but long in the tooth Wii console, carries on some of the motion controls that made the original Wii a hit, while also adding a GamePad, an iPad-like tablet controller.
The premium set will come in black with 32GB of memory, a GamePad, stands for the GamePad and a stand for the Wii U body. The basic set, on the other hand, will include the GamePad and just 8GB of flash memory. Both sets will come with a stylus and AC adapters.
The console comes at a key time for Nintendo, which has watched its profits erode after its gaming dynasty was challenged by first Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox, and then Apple and Google with their mobile operating systems. In the second quarter of this year, the company lost $132 million dollars.
The console will also make use of the Nintendo Network service, a rival to Microsoft’s successful Xbox Live service, that will allow downloads of games as well as provide additional media and may also include a full-scale application store.
Nintendo is cutting things close, as it had previously promised that the device would launch this year.
On the handheld side, Nintendo announced in March that it had sold 4.5 million of its 3DS portable game system in the US in less than a year after its debut. As of the end of June, a total of 19 million 3DS units had been sold worldwide.
(hat tip The Verge)