Nintendo has just pulled the covers off the final release info for the Wii U, the Japanese video game company’s latest console. Set to launch in Japan this year on Saturday, December 8th, Nintendo will be offering the system in two different models; premium and basic. While first revealed at the E3 video game trade show in 2011, until now we haven’t known what the final hardware specs or price would be.
The Wii U premium package will come with a black console and controller, and features 32GB of flash memory, a HDMI cable in the box, and a power adapter for the fancy GamePad with its secondary screen. This will be priced at 31,500 yen (approx. $400) at launch. The basic set will be a white console with 8GB of memory and a controller for 26,250 yen ($338). Pricing and a release date for the U.S. wasn’t stated on the Japanese live broadcast, but will be later on Thursday in a New York announcement.
Nintendo’s new console will support high-definition output, offers 2GB of RAM – 1GB for game memory and 1GB for system memory – and games will come on 25GB discs. The Wii U will be backwards compatible with games, controllers, and accessories from the original Wii, and feature launch games that include a New Super Mario Bros. title, the first time since 1996 that a Nintendo console has launched with a Mario game. Much like the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3 game consoles, the Wii U will have its own digital games marketplace where users can buy and download games for storage on the flash memory. Pricing was also revealed for the controllers, with the touch screen-equipped GamePad coming priced at 13,440 yen ($173), and the Pro Pad, a more traditional shaped controller, much like the Xbox 360′s, will cost 5,040 yen ($65).