Seven months have passed since Nintendo confirmed that Wii U will launch this holiday season, yet we still don’t have a firm date — or, for that matter, a price. Though it isn’t exactly out of character for Nintendo withhold that kind of information until the last possible moment, there may be other factors at work here. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s possible that Nintendo isn’t just sitting on the release date information, waiting for what it deems the most opportune moment to make an announcement.

New reports suggest that manufacturing difficulties are threatening to derail Nintendo’s planned worldwide launch of Wii U, and as a result, the system’s European debut may be delayed.

The most credible rumored Wii U launch date pegs the event for Sunday, November 18th, which would ensure that the system lands on store shelves in advance of the all-important post Thanksgiving shopping marathon, Black Friday. Allegedly, a pre-Thanksgiving Wii U launch is still in the cards for North America, though if the Wii U manufacturing situation is as dire as rumored, that could conceivably change. The system’s European launch, meanwhile, will likely be postponed to early December.

According to CVG, “sources connected to the matter” have learned that Wii U’s GamePads are proving exceedingly difficult to manufacture. As a result, Nintendo is struggling to stockpile enough units to effectively launch Wii U — and it is that difficulty that has prevented the company from announcing the system’s release date.

This is not the first rumor to surface about trouble with Wii U’s GamePads. Shortly after the system was introduced at E3 2011, a source identified as “A Nintendo Insider” flatly claimed that Wii U’s tablet controllers didn’t work. Since that time, Nintendo has added to the GamePad’s functionality by incorporating Near Field Communications technology, and while the company debuted the finalized version of the GamePad just before E3 2012, it also revealed that using two of the controllers on a single Wii U will cut a game’s frame rate in half.

Even more recently, it was revealed that the Wii U version of Madden NFL 13 will lack the Infinity Engine that powers the game’s physics and animation on Xbox 360 and PS3. Madden’s producer attributed the situation to “challenges” with the new hardware. Was he referring to the Wii U’s GamePads? What do you think?

Ranters, do you believe that GamePad manufacturing difficulties are, in fact, affecting Nintendo’s Wii U launch plans, or do you think that the continued lack of an announced date (and price) is just another example of Nintendo being Nintendo? Let us know in the comments below.

The Nintendo Wii U will launch this holiday season.

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Source: CVG

tags: Nintendo, Wii U