Wii U Dated and Priced: 11/18 for $300

The next generation is officially here!  While the argument of whether Nintendo’s truly ushering in the next gen or finally catching up with the old one will be a point of debate for a while, no one can argue that this current generation is on its way out — and that Nintendo will be the first one out of the gate.

In a press conference held just a little over an hour ago, Reggie Fils-Aime took center stage and told everyone what we’ve been waiting to hear since E3: the new console’s price point and release date.

Everyone was a little, er, surprised.

The Wii U will be released in North America on Sunday, November 18 (followed by European release on November 30.)  Taking a page from the Microsoft’s and Sony’s playbook, Nintendo is releasing two versions: a Basic version for $299.99 and a Deluxe version for $349.99.

Wii U Basic will net you a white console touting 8GB of drive space and the Wii U Gamepad, while the Deluxe version will come in sleek black, 32GB of space, the Wii U Gamepad, and launch title NintendoLand.

This was a small sticker shock for Nintendo fans, most of whom weren’t expecting Nintendo to break the $300 psychological barrier, but it’s nowhere near as jarring as Sony’s now infamous PS3 launch pricing.

While not completely unexpected (the Wii launched at $250, and the Wii U is more advanced), Nintendo’s major success with the Wii in its initial years was not due to its exciting title selection, but rather due to its price accessibility coupled with a fun game that maximized motion control potential (Wii Sports) — so it is a little surprising they stepped slightly outside of that market.  Of course, this initial strategy made for a humongous burst in initial sales to casual gamers, but the flip side is that they often would never purchase a game again — hence Nintendo’s steep profit decline in the latter half of this generation.

We’ll see where the money talks this time around when the console is release in a few months.  More Wii U news incoming…

Written by: Dwight Tejano

Dwight is the founder of Open the Fridge, which he started in 2008 and rebooted in 2010. Due to the nature of early adopting, his bank account is normally empty. He likes to sing in world-renown choruses to forget such things.

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