In today’s European Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo has announced that their latest home console, Wii U, will launch across Europe from 30th November. Wii U is an HD console that offers more choice and variety of gameplay than ever before, with brand new gaming experiences enabled by the innovative Wii U GamePad controller, whether playing alone or together with friends. The Wii U GamePad offers an integrated second screen and can also be used independently of the TV set with certain software.
Two launch hardware packs were announced along with the strongest line-up of launch software in Nintendo history. These include third-party heavy hitters such as FIFA 13 from Electronic Arts and Activision’s Call Of Duty®: Black Ops II, Ubisoft’s ZombiU™ and RAYMAN® LEGENDS as well as in-house titles like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. The Nintendo Direct presentation also revealed previously unannounced upcoming software titles exclusive to Wii U, such as Capcom’s Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate and BAYONETTA 2, developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo.
The Wii U Basic Pack features a Wii U console with 8GB internal storage and a Wii U GamePad, both in white. The Wii U Premium Pack contains a black Wii U console and Wii U GamePad, and with 32GB of internal storage provides more space for downloadable digital content. The Premium Pack also contains a stand for the GamePad and console, a charging cradle for the GamePad, a sensor bar and the Nintendo Land software. Both packs also feature an HDMI cable and AC adapters for console and GamePad.
The Wii U Premium Pack also features a reward programme called Nintendo Network Premium that grants points for digital purchases in Nintendo eShop. Valued at around 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price, this credit can be used against future purchases once you reach a minimum of 500 points*.
The Nintendo Direct Wii U Preview also unveiled new details on software titles that will be available on launch day:
• New Super Mario Bros. U: The new 2D platform game introduces a giant world map full of distinctive courses to discover. The GamePad can be used to play solo when the TV is in use and can also be used to assist other players when playing co-operatively. An all-new test of players’ Super Mario skills appears in Boost Rush mode, where auto-scrolling courses scroll faster the more coins you pick up, while in Challenge Mode any course can offer completely different gameplay depending on the specific nature of the challenge at hand. From Time Attack to 1-Up challenges, even Mario veterans will need to bring their best game to beat the record!
• Nintendo Land: Each of the 12 attractions in this theme park packed with famous Nintendo franchises is a standalone game with multiple levels and gameplay modes. New Metroid Blast footage showed both co-operative and versus multiplayer shooting action, with different roles assigned to players using the GamePad or Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers. In The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest players can clear nine quests leading to new unlockable levels on their own or working together, using bow and arrows on the GamePad or sword and shield using a Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, while solo players can also enjoy the game’s Time Attack mode.
Nintendo also lifted the lid on two games being created by Platinum Games. The previously unannounced title BAYONETTA 2 and The Wonderful 101 are both exclusive to Wii U and will be produced by Atsushi Inaba. Known as Project P-100 at E3 and directed by Hideki Kamiya, The Wonderful 101 sees players combine the might of various heroes to fight off an alien invasion, while BAYONETTA 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed BAYONETTA™ and will be directed by Yusuke Hashimoto.
Capcom’s Ryozo Tsujimoto revealed that Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate will be released for Wii U as well as Nintendo 3DS by March 2013. Fans can play the Wii U game with other players online, or connect to players of the Nintendo 3DS version of the game via a local wireless connection. It’s even possible to play at home on Wii U and continue the save file on the go with the Nintendo 3DS version of the game.
On Wii U, the Nintendo eShop will see titles which highlight the unique possibilities of the Wii U GamePad, as shown in videos for Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Toki Tori 2, and the stylish Nano Assault Neo, which can be played on the GamePad alone.
Existing Wii owners will be pleased to hear that nearly all Wii peripherals will be compatible with the Wii U console – with neither hardware pack including a Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii owners won’t need to repurchase peripherals they already own. For players who don’t already own a Wii console, Nintendo has created a Wii Remote Plus Additional Set containing a Wii Remote Plus controller, Nunchuk and sensor bar. Most Wii download software is also compatible with Wii U, meaning previously purchased WiiWare and Virtual Console titles will be transferable to the Wii U console.