Nintendo on Thursday announced that its next-generation Wii U videogame consoles will hit the coveted US market on November 18 with a starting price of $300.
The Japanese electronic games titan is counting on the Wii U to recapture the glory, and profits, seen after it opened play to masses of “casual players” by introducing motion-sensing controls on the original Wii consoles launched in 2006.
“The wait is almost over — in just 66 days, Wii U will arrive with the strongest lineup of launch software in Nintendo history,” said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.
“With the integrated second screen of the included GamePad and features that instantly enhance the way people play games, watch video and interact with each other, consumers will see how Wii U delivers a completely unique experience.”
At the E3 videogame industry gathering in Los Angeles in June, Nintendo boasted that Wii U would start a “revolutionary” trend in “asymmetrical play” that lets players using GamePad tablets act as wily adversaries in multi-person matches.
“At its core, the Wii U does three different things,” Reggie Fils-Aime said during a Nintendo press event at E3.
“Change your gaming, change how you interact with gaming friends and change the way you enjoy your TV,” he continued.
“It stands to revolutionize your living room.”
Nintendo on Thursday unveiled a “TVii” application that lets people use the Wii U tablet-style “GamePad” controllers to access television programs or video online at services such as YouTube and Netflix.
More than 50 games tailored for play on Wii U will be available when the consoles hit the market, according to Nintendo.
Titles will include “Assassin’s Creed III” by French videogame giant Ubisoft and a version of beloved “Call of Duty” from Activision.
“The integrated second screen of the GamePad creates new possibilities for how games can be played,” said Activision chief executive Eric Hirshberg.
“We’re excited for our fans to experience the biggest franchises, like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Skylanders Giants and Transformers Prime, in new ways made possible on Wii U.”
Nintendo in July said that its net loss for the April-June quarter shrank by about a third, and that it still hoped to return to profit this year as it battles fierce competition and a strong yen.
The Kyoto-based firm posted a net loss of 17.23 billion yen ($220 million) for the three months through June, compared with a loss of 25.51 billion yen a year earlier.