Wii U Japanese Launch Nintendo Direct Info
The first of the 4 of today’s Nintendo Direct events just concluded, and while it was mostly limited to hardware, and launch pricing information there was plenty of news to chew on until the 3 big events later this morning covering Wii U launch games, international pricing, and post launch window games (hopefully).
The Nintendo Direct stream started off surprisingly with Iwata talking about some of the specs for the system, a subject that Nintendo tends to avoid about any of their systems. The system specs seem to be pretty much what has been rumored.
The on system storage will include 8GB flash storage for the base model and 32GB for the Premium Wii U.
The biggest spec surprise was that the system will not just include the 1GB of memory for games, but another 1GB for the operating system, which is a lot for just an OS, however Nintendo has recently opened up more of the OS only power on the 3DS up to developers to use on games as well, so that will almost surely be the case for the Wii U in the near future, once they refine the OS and feel they know how it performs in the wild with games, and services like Netflix, Amazon, etc. as that is a whole lot of spare memory.
The disc drive info was mostly known, but they stated that the Wii U discs will be 25GBs in size, and will read at a rate of 22.5MB/s.
On the more power conscious side the pointed out that the system will use 75 watts of power on heavy load, while using 40 watts on average.
There will be a Wii mode for your Wii games and Wii downloadable games, probably like the DS mode on the 3DS entering a special state to prevent old exploits from affecting the new system. And again you will be able to use all Wii games, and transfer all of your Wii downloadable games to your new Wii U system for 100% backwards compatibility.
They also emphasized that you can do everything on your system on the Wii U GamePad, and that it will have extremely low latency as they feel preventing lag was very important. They also emphasized chatting online on the GamePad via either text or voice while in game.
The two different SKUs will be divided by color as well with the base Wii U coming in white and the Premium in that wonderful black. Both versions of the Wii U will include the system itself, the GamePad, AC adapters, and an HDMI cable.
The features included only in the Premium package are the 32GB of storage space, 3 stands, a system stand for vertical positioning, a charging cradle for the GamePad, a non charging play stand for the GamePad for when you want to use it like a TV, and most notably the Premium Wii U bundle will come with a special 10% off Premium pricing incentive for buying games online. It will give you 10% back off all purchases up to 500 points, basically if you buy a $50 game you will pay that price and then get the $5 credited back to your account for future purchases. This service is in line with their previous attempts at ambassador programs designed to cater to heavy purchasers of digital downloads. The amount you get back from third party publishers will be up to the publisher to decide. The Premium pricing offer will stay in effect through December of 2014 so two years after launch. As of now buying the Premium Wii U bundle will be the only way to get this discount.
The Wii U will be launching in Japan on December 8th, at 26,250 yen for the basic bundle, and 31,500 yen for the Premium bundle.
That was all for this presentation, look forward to the big three regional Nintendo Direct, and press events later this morning, all starting at 10am EST.