While gamers had been eagerly anticipating new details about Nintendo‘s Wii U like a release date and launch titles, what they really were curious about was the price. But now that the Nintendo Direct press conference is over we know exactly how much the console will cost ($299 or $349) and we know when it will release (November 18th).
That doesn’t paint the whole picture of the Wii U‘s launch, though, the presser still left a few details unknown. Details like how much an average game would retail for and furthermore how much the console’s new Pro controller might cost were overshadowed by the big news. Thankfully, we now know those details as well, and they’re not nearly as expensive as we thought.
For the average Wii U title — which is going to include nearly 50 games in the launch window — the price will be $59.99, the standard for current gen games as well. This is, however, a step up from the traditional Wii price point of $49.99 for a game. While we’re sure there will be a few discount titles counter among the bunch — like Nintendo Land, which should have been bundled in with the both editions of the console — $59.99 is what most games will go for.
Since a lot of the Wii U’s big titles, or at least the ones the publisher is positioning as their top sellers, are multiplatform games it wouldn’t make sense to have them retail for more than a PS3 or Xbox 360 version. Yes, there’s support for the console’s touchpad controller thrown in, but getting gamers to buy a new console just for a new game like Assassin’s Creed 3 is a tough sell in and of itself.
As far as the Wii U’s Pro Controller is concerned, that will retail for $49.99 — about what an Xbox 360 controller goes for right now. Given that Nintendo wants to focus on the new touchpad controller it’s no surprise either of the console’s two bundles don’t ship with the pro controller.
Going hands-on with the controller at E3 was a bit disconcerting at first — mostly because of the controller’s joystick layout — but that unfamiliarity should go away quickly. Having to pay $50 just to get a more “hardcore” and arguably less gimmicky gameplay experience, however, might not be as easy to justify.
Nintendo’s Wii U will be available on November 18, 2012.