The first of Japan’s Wii U Nintendo Direct videos just finished airing, and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has finally dropped the first set of full launch details for the console. The Wii U will release in Japan on Saturday the 8th of December, and will be available in two configurations. The 8GB model will retail for 26,250 yen (about $322 AUD), and will come with a white unit. Meanwhile the second package will sell for 31,500 yen (about $386 AUD), and come with a black unit, 32GB of internal storage, various system stands and adapters, and access to Nintendo’s ‘Premium’ online service. This service will grant 10% off digital sales until 2014. Both bundles will ship with an HDMI cable and GamePad AC power adapter. A comparison of what each bundle offers can be seen here.
On the specs side of things, Nintendo mentioned that the console will use just 75W to run, and only 45W in standby mode. The Wii U has a total of 2GB of on-board memory (1GB of main memory + 1GB of system memory), and uses 25GB discs of a proprietary format (no Blu-ray here), with a reading speed of 22.5MB/s. The graphics processor is classified as a GPGPU, the more modern architecture allowing for general computing processing usually reserved for the CPU to run on the GPU, along with compute shaders. Wii Remotes, Nunchuks, and Wii Balance Boards will continue to be sold, and will all be compatible with the Wii U. Wii U GamePads will be bundled with the new console, but will also be sold seperately for 13,440 Yen (about $145 AUD). Nintendo also confirmed that you’ll be able to tranfer all of your WiiWare and Virtual Console games from your Wii onto your shiny new console on launch day.
Stay tuned to Rocket Chainsaw, as we bring you the Australian pricing and launch date a little later on.