Wii U Launch Guide: Every Game, Bundle, Price, Spec Detailed
We breakdown everything you need to know about Nintendo’s Wii U before it launches and answer all of those burning questions…
When can I buy a Nintendo Wii U?
In the UK you can buy a Wii U on 30 November 2012.
In the US you’ll be able to get your hands on a Wii U 18 November 2012.
Yes, that soon.
How much will it cost?
Well, that depends on which version you’re going to buy. Nintendo has revealed that the Wii U will come in two flavours.
Game has also announced that it will be Nintendo’s ‘launch partner’ and will sell a range of Wii U bundles this November.
The Premuim Wii U comes with more toys, but do they justify the price?
Game’s launch bundles are:
The Wii U white with 8GB solus console and GamePad for £259.99
Wii U black with 32GB console, GamePad, Nintendo, Sensor Bar, Charging Dock, stand and Nintendo Network Premium 1 year for £309.99
ZombiU pack (black) with 32gb console, ZombiU ,GamePad, Nintendo Land, Sensor Bar, Charging Dock, stand, Pro Controller and Nintendo Network Premium 1 year for £349.99
Online pre-orders can be bagged with a deposit of £20 from Game.
Tescos and other big retail chains have yet to announce what they will be selling the Wii U for, but expect a few more deals to come your way before November.
What’s the difference between the Basic and Premium Wii U?
The Basic edition of the Wii U comes with a Wii U console, a Wii U GamePad, an AC adaptor, a HDMI cable and a sensor bar. The Basic edition will also feature 8GB of internal flash memory.
On the other hand, the Premium edition will include everything that the Basic edition has, but instead of 8GB of flash memory it will include 32GB, a GamePad charging cradle and a stand for the Wii U.
The Basic Wii U edition pretty much gives you everything you need to get started.
Can I increase the Wii U’s storage space?
There will be a number of ways of upgrading your Wii U’s storage space.
SD cards, just like the original Wii uses, will be a quick and easy storage solution, but if you’re looking to download lots of games, an external USB hard drive would be perfect.
In fact, Nintendo’s Reggis Fil-Aime has said the Wii U will even except a 3TB USB hard drive.
External USB hard drives are reasonably cheap and can offer easy access to upwards of 1TB of storage space.
Are all games controlled by the Wii U GamePad?
Nintendo is ensuring there are plenty of ways for you to play games on the Wii U.
One of the Wii U’s main hooks is the different ways it allows players to interact and play together.
When the Wii U launches there will be three main ways of playing games and each will utilised in different ways, depending on how developers are able to stretch the controls.
Here are the Wii U’s three main control inputs:
The Wii U’s GamePad:
The most interesting addition to Nintendo’s arsenal, not only will the GamePad offer more traditional controls, but its secondary screen will give players a way of interacting with the game world as well as the Wii U’s new networking and social media applications.
If that wasn’t enough, the GamePad will also provide developers with entirely new and unique controls for their games.
With the second screen able to give at least one player an overview screen or an additional input there a hundreds of fascinating new ways to play that can be explored.
Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends enables the GamePad player to move platforms or interact with puzzles as Wii-mote controlling players react to the on-screen movements.
It’s a simple example, but Ubisoft’s game points the way forward and only hints at the possibilities.
Essentially, the Pro Controller is the Call Of Duty control pad.
Activision has also shown that Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 can be played in ‘split-screen’, with one player using the main TV monitor and another using the GamePad’s screen.
Just like the original Wii, the Wii-mote will still form a big part of playing games on the Wii U. Motion control is still an integral part of the Wii U’s future and the Wii-motes will also provide an easy control input for multiplayer same-screen gaming.
The Wii U Pro Controller:
As well as the traditional Wii-motes and the new GamePad, you’ll also be able to buy the Wii U Pro Controller, which looks a lot more like a control pad for the Xbox 360 or the PS3.
Can I buy a second Wii U GamePad?
You sure can and Nintendo has said that an update next year will allow two GamePads to be used on one Wii U console. It won’t be a feature at launch, however.
What games can I play at launch?
Nintendo has yet to reveal the full list of launch games, but so far we know that these games are on the list:
New Super Mario Bros. U
Mass Effect 3
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition
You’ll be able to buy digital copies of:
Nano Assault Neo
Trine 2: Director’s Cut
Toki Tori 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Nintendo’s Mii’s are set to take a bigger role on the Wii U.
Other games will be headed to Wii U in the ‘launch period’, which is considered to be between November 2012 and March 2013.
Games scheduled for release in the ‘launch period’ (that are also yet to receive a specific release date) are:
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Assassin’s Creed III
Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition
Ben 10 Omniverse
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two
Family Party: 30 Games Obstacle Arcade
Game & Wario
Game Party Champions
Just Dance 4
LEGO City: Undercover
Madden NFL 13
Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
NBA 2K 13
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
Rise Of The Guardians
Runner2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Tank! Tank! Tank!
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
Bayonetta 2 has also been revealed as Wii U exclusive, but it’s not been confirmed for release in the Wii U ‘launch period’.
Expect Bayonetta 2 later in 2013.
Can I play my old Wii games on the Wii U?
Nintendo has revealed that the Wii U will be backwards compatible with ‘most’ Wii games and hardware. Anything Nintendo branded is bound to work, but it’s important you don’t throw out your old Wii-motes.
They’ll be really useful.
Watch movies on your GamePad or use it to browse TV shows and new releases.
What’s Nintendo TVii?
Nintendo TVii is the Wii U’s new TV service. Using the GamePad’s second screen as an additional portal, Nintendo TVii brings social networking and chat functionality to your TV viewing experience.
Nintendo TVii will:
- Let you customise how you watch TV. From customising the look of your TV hub to the channels and types of programs you enjoy. (More than one hub can be set-up on each Wii U for families, too).
- Give you access to three main menu tabs: TV, Movies, Sport and Favourites.
- Let you recommend shows to friends. Nintendo TVii will also recommend shows to you based on your choices and favourites.
- Also let you communicate with friends as you watch movies or TV shows.
- Use the GamePad’s second screen as a way of looking at additional information about the shows you’re watching as well as play-by-plays for sporting events.
- Let you use the GamePad’s second screen to filter viewing options, watch trailers and remain in constant communication with your friends.
- Engage in, what Nintendo describes as ‘TV moments’. Which sounds like the sort of interactions that happen on Twitter when a popular live TV show is airing.
- If it all sounds a bit like Microsoft’s SmartGlass, you’d be right, but Nintendo TVii’s communication tools and Nintendo Network saftey make it more than unique.
TV services have yet to be confirmed for the UK, but it will more than likely be a mixture of services like the BBC’s iPlayer, 4OD, Netflix and LoveFilm as well as a way of watching terrestrial TV.
What’s the Nintendo Network?
The Nintendo Network is Nintendo’s own PSN Plus or Xbox Live that will now encompass the Wii, the Wii U, the Nintendo DS and the 3DS.
It’s also the service that will let you play traditional multiplayer games on the Wii U, although the Miiverse (see below) will act as the UI’s portal.
It’s free and will be getting beefed up with the launch of the Wii U.
If you buy a Premium edition console you’ll also get access to the Nintendo Network Premium offer, which will grant you a 10% discount on all digital games.
This Premium edtion offer will last two years.
Will I be able to access the Miiverse?
Yep, the Miiverse will act as a huge social network for Nintendo, like a cross between Twitter, Facebook and Xbox Live/PSN all on your Wii U.
When you boot up your Wii U, instead of the local Mii-hub of the original Wii, you’ll be presented with an entire globe and internet-based Miiverse.
Here are the top 8 reasons the Miiverse is important:
- It’s hoping to become a safe social network for Wii U players.
- It will let you use the GamePad to chat and communicate, much in the same way as Twitter or Facebook, with other players or friends.
- You can ask the community for help and forums and chat rooms will be filled with people to help you out.
- You can leave messages and hints in specific games for your friends, but there will be a spoiler barrier if you don’t want a game ruined.
- You can chat to your friends via video using the GamePad’s front-facing camera.
- You can send drawings and pictures using the GamePad to friends and other Miis that are in the plaza.
- The Miiverse will cross over into both the Wii U’s gaming end and Nintendo TVii, meaning Mii’s can talk about both TV and movies as well as games.
- It’ll be a quick and easy way of engaging with like-minded gamers who will also be able to interact with the games you’re playing.
Miiverse will give you the opportunity of meeting with friends, talking and playing games together, as well as suggesting TV shows you might want to watch on Nintendo TVii.
It’s the heart of the Wii U community.
How powerful is the Wii U?
Nintendo hasn’t revealed the full tech specs of the Wii U. Here’s a supposed leak of the specs:
CPU: IBM Power PC-based multi-core processor.
GPU: “GPU7” AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU. Unique API=GX2. This supports Shader Model 4.0 (Direct X 10.1 and OpenGL 3.3 equivalent functionality).
Memory: Internal 1: 32MB, internal 2: 1GB (for applications)
Storage: Internal 8GB with support for SD cards and external USB hard drives.
Media: Wii U will use a propriety optical discs that will now have a capacity of 25GB of data as well as DVD (for backwards compatability).
Networking: 802.11 b/g/n Wifi
Video Output: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i
Video Cables: HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV.
USB: 4 USB 2.0 ports.
Some games will eventually utilise two GamePads, but no launch games will.
Is that good, then? Is it more powerful than an Xbox 360 or a PS3?
The jury is still out and many developers are still arguing over just how powerful the Wii U is.
It could be argued that Nintendo’s machine is not quite a full next gen console like many are expecting the PS4 and Xbox 720 to be, but it is still powerful and a huge leap over the original Wii.
Some believe the Wii U is only a little more powerful than the PS3.
What about the Wii U GamePad itself?
Well, the GamePad offers a second screen which is 6.2-inches wide with an aspect ratio of 16:9.
It’s an LCD capacitive touch screen and it also includes the traditional buttons of a control pad.
The GamePad also features motion control (like the Wii-motes), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features and a stylus.
Excited about the Wii U? Let us know what you think of Nintendo’s new console below.