Wii U launches in Japan early December with two different versions of the system

Since E3 of this year, Nintendo has held off on giving out concrete details on the Wii U, including the price, release date, and a solid list of launch games. While those questions will hopefully be answered in a number of hours, Nintendo fans in Japan now know when the systems will go on sale, and the price. As revealed in an online stream, two different versions of the Wii U will go on sale December 8 in Japan, one for ¥26,250 and another for ¥31,500, prices that basically translate to $300 and $350.

Nintendo revealed that the two different colors that were shown since E3, black and white, aren't merely cosmetic differences. In Japan at least, the white system is the basic, cheaper model. Going for ¥26,250, the system will have 8GB of system storage, and also comes with the GamePad.

The black system is the fancier, ¥31,500 model. It has 32GB of internal storage, and the GamePad is accompanied by an AC adapter, a GamePad charger, and an HDMI cable. It also enrolls you in Nintendo Network Premium, a special online program that will offer small bonuses for online purchases.

During the video, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata focused mainly on the tech aspects of the Wii U the company had already explained during E3. The only two games on show were brief gameplay clips of launch games New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land, with more gameplay footage being saved for the international Wii U events a matter of hours from now.

Will similar prices and models be announced for the rest of the world? You will know very soon, since at 10:00am ET/7:00am PT, Nintendo is holding a live event in New York City that will be hosted by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. We'll have someone on the scene, but if you want to watch it live, Nintendo has set up its own exclusive stream here. Reggie has some details of his own in the video below...

At the same time in the Europe (3:00pm UK time), Nintendo of Europe will be broadcasting its own Nintendo Direct. It will likely reveal the European price and release date for the system, along with launch games. You can find the stream for that here.

As part of its livestream events, Nintendo is expected to announce pricing and release date information for the Wii U in territories outside Japan. When the Wii was announced in Japan, it was given an early December release date and priced at ¥25,000, and Nintendo later confirmed that the US price would fall in line at $250. Likewise, the 3DS launched in Japan for ¥25,000, and was $249.99 in the US. Also of note, when the Wii launched in Japan, it didn't have a pack-in, while the US systems included Wii Sports.

Stay tuned to GamesRadar as we post updates from all the events.


  • nelly24 - September 13, 2012 6:07 a.m.

    Cannot believe how small the internal memory is. 8GB or 32GB, that's tiny. Especially is we're all slowly working our way to being completely digital. How many full games could you fit on a 32GB HDD? About 4? I haven't read up on it much but I'm betting they will be selling extra memory in the form of memory cards at a premium.
  • Shadow Of Death - September 13, 2012 5:37 a.m.

    IMO there is little reason to get the $300 (white) model over the $350 (black) model in the end, unless you plan to download nothing at all except system updates (or even not that). Extra 24GB of space (premium price on flash memory sucks though), plus the 10% discount on downloads (which I imagine would extend to download-exclusive content), cables, and of course for me (and some others) the black aesthetic > white (subjective this, but it's a bonus for me as all my consoles, and even my computers are black). Of course, whether I personally bother getting the WiiU is another matter entirely, but still it's just $50 more and you get a fair bit in return really.
  • talleyXIV - September 12, 2012 5:21 p.m.

    I want to see some PIKMIN 3!
  • wedgelington - September 12, 2012 2:28 p.m.

    you say you'll post updates from late tonight starting with the japanese event but it says that does'nt start till 8am uk(i live in ireland), so what time should i watch the streams at 8am and get some sleeps or should i stay up and get updates before it ?
  • wedgelington - September 12, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    sorry for typos, very tired, i meant is the first stream starting at 8am tomorrow morning ? is there a good chance news will leak slightly before this ? just trying to figure whether to go asleep or not :p
  • J-Fid - September 12, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Reggie says 10:00 am Eastern Time. But I have class at 10:00 am Eastern Time!
  • zombi3grim - September 12, 2012 12:38 p.m.

    Interested in seeing the price and what it comes with.
  • ObliqueZombie - September 12, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    I wish I could stay up and watch it. Alas, I'll have to wait until tomorrow. Can't wait!

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