Wii U by the Numbers

There were no bananas this time, or wall-mounted Kanji for that matter. This morning's Nintendo Direct Japan was concerned with only numbers, very important numbers, shedding light on the Japanese launch of the Wii U, with European and US details to follow later today. Although it was Japan only, it has given us a much better idea of the prices and packages that we can expect later this year. I'm usually terrible at this kind of thing, but I'd hazard a guess that we will be paying over the odds here in the UK, as per usual, probably around £250 for the basic and closer to £300 for the Premium; at those prices I certainly won't be biting. 

Japan will be getting another presentation later today (3pm UK time) which will concentrate on the software, but for now here's the Wii U by the numbers.

(I'll probably add to this post later today, to reflect the Western announcements. All information is correct as of Thursday morning, 13/09)

1 - The number of people excited by the prospect of an optional stand (me).

2 - There will be two colours at launch, apparently tied to the different SKUs: black for the Premium set and plain old white for the Basic.

2 - Number of first party games so far confirmed for the Japanese launch: New Super Mario Bros. U - Bros.U definitely sounds like a holiday destination in the old Eastern Block - and Nintendo Land. More games are expected to be announced later today. 

8 - Gigabytes of Flash Memory in the Basic set, which seems very low. For those of you who want to download a lot of games, you'll most likely be investing in an external HDD or some sort of memory stick, which hopefully will not be proprietary (Sony, I'm looking at you).

08/012 - The day that the Wii U will go on sale in Japan. Many were predicting a late November release, but this slightly later date still positions Nintendo perfectly for the Christmas rush.

14 - Number of times during the 20 minute presentation that I wished I'd continued studying Japanese. I had no problem following Iwata-san, but I was a long way from being able to understand everything word for word. With Andriasang closing, now would have been a great time to be a gamer, blogger and fluent in Japanese.

24 - Free months of Nintendo Network Premium Service that you'll receive if you buy the Premium console set. I'm not really clear on what this service entails, but could it perhaps be something along the lines of PS+? I'd be interested to hear more.

30 - Minutes added on to my tea break so that I could write this post.

32 - Gigabytes of Flash Memory in the Premium set (see #8).

5040 - Yens it'll cost you to get your hands on the strangely familiar Wii U Pro Controller.

13,440 - This is what you will have to cough up for a second Wii U Gamepad (tablet). That accounts for half the cost of the basic SKU! With a price like that, developers are unlikely to make two tablet functionality a priority. If I end up buying a Wii U, I will not be trusting guests with the controller - they'll just have to make do with my old, crusty Wii-motes.

26,350 - This is what the Basic, 8GB package will set you back, in Yen. It comes in white with all the same goodies as the Premium (see #31,500) minus the stands.

31,500 - This is the cost of the Premium, 32GB set, in Yen. It's black and will come bundled with a pad, stylus, AC adapter, HDMI cable (good lord!), charger and a wonderful stand.

Check back later today for updates on the Western launch.


  1. 80% - The number of parents and grandparents who are going to walk out of Gamestop once they ask how much a second controller costs and hear $150. I foresee some problems coming for a system whose target audience consists mostly of "people who must own every system to maintain their expert gamer status", and "people over 30 who will follow Nintendo anywhere".

    As a member of group 1, I'll no doubt end up buying one, since the alternative will be unfollowing half my friends on Twitter, but I'll be surprised if the next two years of the Wuu saga don't turn out to be the Vita story rewritten for consoles. This holiday season is going to belong to tablets, phones, and handhelds, and next holiday season is going to belong to the ps4 and 720.

  2. Very true. Strange that Nintendo would choose to make a feature of such an expensive controller when all their press shots show multiplayer, family fun. No family can afford four of those tablets!

    That launch line-up looks perfect for the Japanese market, but I'm still not sure people here will be willing to pay that much for the Wii U.

    1. Well, it looks like I underestimated Nintendo's ability to lock down a holiday season. They're already selling out the pre-orders here. Apparently this is going to be a fun launchstorm, after all!

    2. That's quick! The pre-order prices here are higher than first reported: Around £250 ($405) for Basic and £300 ($486) for Premium. I think we are about to see just how much the British public love Nintendo.


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