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Nintendo Wii U release date, specs, price and rumour round-up

Everything you need to know about Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console

Nintendo has announced the Wii U, its next generation games console. It will be the follow-up to the hugely popular Wii so here's everything we know about what it is, when it will go on sale and how much it will cost. Updated on 14/09/12

The Wii U will go up against the Sony Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Below is everything we know about the release date which is somewhat up in the air. The price is also an area where there are a lot of conflicting figures.

Nintendo Wii U console

We've also rounded up all the games that will be on the Wii U and the entire specification list so you can get an idea of what the console will offer and how good it will be.

See also: Nintendo Wii U review.

Nintendo Wii U release date

The Japanese firm hasn't set a launch date for the Wii U yet apart from the vague notion of 'Holidays 2012'. Amazon.co.uk was brave enough to put a product page up for the console with a date of 14 July. However, it wasn't long before the online retailer removed the date claiming it was an error and cancelled any pre-orders which were made.

More recently Amazon's German website posted a listing for the Wii U and a release date of 21 December. At the time of writing this is still what the website states.

To add to the confusion Blockbuster has the console available for pre-order with October listed as the release date.

Update

Nintendo has announced that the European release date for the Wii U is 30 November. The US will be getting it on 18 November and Japan on 8 December.

Nintendo Wii U price

Price is another thing which Nintendo hasn’t announced yet. However, a few retailers have put prices online. When Amazon.co.uk listed the Wii U it put a price tag of £199, but this was removed with the July launch date.

Shopto.net has the Wii U available for pre-order at £279.85 quoting the RRP as £279.99. Conversely, the site has a note saying that all the information on the page, including the price, is subject to change. It also says its usual pre-order price promise does not apply.

Blockbuster's pre-order price is similar at £299.99 while Amazon.de has a price tag of €399.99, or £320 at the current conversion rate. This would suggest a UK price of around the £300.

Update

Nintendo has announced that there will be two version of the Wii U available at launch. The white Wii U is the Basic Pack which Amazonhas priced at £249. The Black Wii U is the Premium Pack which Amazon has priced at £299.

There is also a ZombieU Pack which, according to Game.co.uk will cost £349.

Nintendo Wii U console and GamePad

Nintendo Wii U models

As we just mentioned, there are two different models of the Wii U on offer from Nintendo. The following information is based on Amazon's listings.

Nintendo Wii U Basic Pack – White

The Basic Pack for the Wii U comes with a white console with 8GB of internal storage and a Wii U GamePad.

Nintendo Wii U Premium Pack – Black

The Premium Pack for the Wii U comes with a black console with 32GB of internal storage, a Wii U GamePad, NintendoLand game and 3 months subscription to Nintendo Network Premium.

Nintendo Wii U ZombieU Pack

The ZombieU Pack is effectively the same as the Premium Pack but you get an additional Black Pro Controller and a copy of ZombieU.

Nintendo Wii U games

The following games have been confirmed for the Wii U:

Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U, Wii U Panorama View, SiNG, LEGO City: Undercover, Project P-100, Game & Wario, Aliens: Colonial Marines, NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor's Edge, Darksiders II, Assassin's Creed III, Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3, Rayman Legends, Scribblenauts Unlimited, TANK! TANK! TANK! , Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and ZombiU.

New Super Mario Bros U

Nintendo Wii U specs

Size

Approximately 1.8in high, 10.5in deep and 6.8in long.

Weight

Approximately 1.5 kg.

Processor

IBM Power-based multi-core processor.

Graphics

AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU.

Storage

Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.

Media

Wii U and Wii optical discs.

Networking

The Wii U can access the Internet via wireless (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. The console features four USB 2.0 connectors – two in the front and two in the rear – that support Wii LAN Adapters.

Nintendo Wii U GamePad

Wii U GamePad

The Wii U GamePad controller removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. It incorporates a 6.2in, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen, as well as traditional button controls and two analog sticks. Inputs include a +Control Pad, L/R sticks, L/R stick buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons, ZL/ZR buttons, Power button, Home button, -/Select button, +/Start button, and TV Control button.

The GamePad also includes motion control (powered by an accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, an included stylus and support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and weighs approximately 500g.

Other Controllers

The Wii U console is capable of supporting two Wii U GamePad controllers, up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers or Wii U Pro Controllers. It will also support Wii accessories such as the Nunchuk, Classic Controller and Wii Balance Board.

Nintendo Wii Remote Plus and Wii U Pro Controllers

Video Output

The Wii U supports up to 1080p video output with 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i options. Compatible cables include HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV.

Wii Compatibility

Nintendo has said that nearly all Wii software and accessories can be used with Wii U.

Audio Output

The Wii U uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector.

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