Wii U release date and price revealed... in Japan

Although we have to wait until 3pm today to find out the UK release date and price for the Wii U, Nintendo has announced full details for Japan. The new console will be out in the company's home country on 8 December and there's a small surprise - there will be two versions.

Pocket-lint revealed some of the specifications of the Wii U in a posting yesterday. However, it transpires that they were for just one of the models, the basic model. We mentioned that the console would come with just 8GB of internal storage, and that is true for that particular one, which will come in white.

Nintendo has also announced a premium version of the Wii U, which will come with 32GB of internal storage. It will also have a HDMI cable and a power cradle for the Wii U GamePad controller. And it's black. Both of them come with one Wii U GamePad.

The price for basic Wii U will be 26,250 yen (£210), which goes against the Japanese games giant's traditional launch price, as we also mentioned yesterday, at least until you realise that without tax that would be, dum, dum, dum, 25,000 Yen - exactly the same initial retail price as the Super Famicom, Nintendo 64, Gamecube and original Wii.

Nintendo has priced the premium version at 31,500 yen (£250) - 30,000 yen before tax.

An extra GamePad controller will set back Japanese consumers 13,440 yen after tax (£107) and the Xbox 360-like Wii U Pro controller will cost 5,040 yen after tax (£40).

Naturally, none of these will translate exactly into the UK prices, but they're a good indicator of what we expect to be announced this afternoon by Nintendo of Europe president Satoru Shibata in his Nintendo Direct live streamed video.

And if they are similar, you have to wonder whether Nintendo is adopting a rare business model of making a loss on hardware just to get a foothold in the market before the Xbox 720 and PS4 arrive.

What do you think? Cheap or doesn't make a difference to you? Let us know in the comments below...



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