While the general form and overall functionality of the Wii U was the subject of a pre-E3 video broadcast online on Sunday, Nintendo has yet to reveal how much the console will cost. The Nikkei claims the Wii U will retail for “about 30,000 yen.”
While that translates to $384 U.S. at current exchange rates, Japanese video game consoles typically sell for less overseas. For example, the Nintendo 3DS launched in 2011 at 25,000 yen in Japan and $250 in the United States.
The Nikkei also claims that the Wii U GamePad will include a number of as-yet-unannounced functions that mimic other touchscreen devices. These include the ability to serve as a car navigator, purchase digital books, even play karaoke songs via an online server. The Nikkei says 10,000 songs will be available when the Wii U launches sometime this year.
Beyond the Wii U, the Nikkei reports that a enlarged version of the 3DS “could be on sale as early as this summer in Japan, the U.S. and Europe.” The new model will have a 4.3 inch screen, “1.5 times the current screen size” which would be comparable to the screens on a Nintendo DSi XL. This new 3DS will be priced higher than the current model, the paper reported.
“The story in today’s Nikkei Shimbun was not based on any announcements our company has made nor was it approved by us. The article is complete speculation and contains many errors.” was the official response from Nintendo. The press release then invited customers to watch its E3 press briefing streamed live on its website. Wired will liveblog the Nintendo briefing starting at 9 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday.