Nintendo is widely expected to reveal the Wii U‘s official launch date and price at an event in New York on September 13th – just over one week from today. That, however, has done nothing to slow the wheels of the rumor mill, which continue to grind at a furious pace.
The latest report to emerge from said mill pegs the Wii U’s launch for November 11th – significantly earlier than the recent Black Friday rumor. Equally eyebrow-raising is the notion that Wii U will launch in multiple configurations and at multiple price-points, yet that is exactly what this rumor states.
Video Product Distributors, which (naturally) distributes wholesale DVDs, Blu-rays and video games to such companies as Amazon, Blockbuster and Newegg, is the purported source of this Wii U rumor. Nintendolife reports that the distributor has posted listings for three separate Wii U SKUs, though there is no indication of what differentiates one package from another. Complicating matters is that the VPD website requires users to log-in with a valid retailer account, though YouTube user HOunddOgg claims to have done just that, and posted the following video.
Here’s a picture of the listing, courtesy of NeoGAF user Lupin the Wolf (click to enlarge).
Though Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 have long been available in multiple configurations, Nintendo has traditionally shied away from that strategy – both the Wii and the GameCube launched with just a single SKU. Though releasing multiple Wii U packages doesn’t exactly push the boundaries of plausibility, it does seem out of character for Nintendo, which generally works hard to keep things simple for its consumers.
Assuming, for a moment, that these listings are 100% accurate (which, for the record, is a bet I would be unlikely to take), what sets the different SKUs apart? The $249.99 system has to be a bare-bones, entry-level proposition, likely containing just the Wii U and a GamePad. For $299.99, Nintendo could pack in a game, probably Nintendo Land, which is supposed to do for the GamePad what Wii Sports did for the Wii Remote. The $349.99 system, however, is the real head-scratcher.
Sure, Nintendo could pack in a second game, like New Super Mario Bros. U which, like Nintendo Land, is listed as having a holiday release. For that matter, the $349.99 package could include a Wii Remote and Nunchuk, or a Pro Controller (though a second GamePad seems to be out of the question, given that no launch titles will support more than one). Equally enticing is the idea that the $349.99 system is some kind of Wii U Pro that could include additional flash memory for downloading games from the eShop, or perhaps even the ability to play Blu-ray discs. Of course, it’s all conjecture – what would you want the bundle to include?
Ranters, where do you think this (potentially final) Wii U date/price rumor falls on the plausibility scale? Do you believe Nintendo will offer the system in multiple configurations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to check back on September 13th for all the news from Nintendo’s New York event.
The Wii U will release this holiday season.
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