Early Thursday morning in a livestreamed presentation from Japan, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that Wii U would be sold in two configurations there: A Premium Set including 32 GB of onboard storage, three plastic stand accessories for the console and GamePad controller, and discounts on downloadable games, and a Basic Set with none of the bells and whistles.
These sets were priced at 30,000 yen and 25,000 yen before tax. Due to the strong yen, these prices are currently the equivalent of about $400 and $350, but given Nintendo’s usual pricing schemes across the U.S. and Japan, it is more likely that these prices telegraph a $300/$250 release here — if indeed Nintendo of America also introduces two hardware SKUs.
7:06 — Fils-Aime says two configurations for the US, too. Basic Set seems unchanged from Japanese version: System, controller, white colors.
7:07 — “Deluxe Set” comes with the charging stands — and the NintendoLand game, Fils-Aime says. (Very good move.) Still hasn’t talked price.
7:08 — Wii U works with “almost all” Wii games, Fils-Aime says. Hmm, what are the caveats? Nintendo will sell Wii U branded versions of the Wii remote and nunchuk controllers.
7:09 — PRICE SHOCKER. Basic set to cost $300, Deluxe Set to cost $350.
7:10 — Wow, the American and Japanese presentations are pretty well synced up; NoA is talking about the Metroid mini-game in NintendoLand at the same time that it’s being talked up on the Japanese side.
7:14 — Extensive demo of Metroid mini-game in NintendoLand. It’s a multiplayer horde-mode sort of thing where one player runs on the ground (on TV) and other player flies ship (on GamePad screen). Looks fun enough, but audience still probably thinking about $350 shock factor.