As of November 18, 2012, it will be "game on" once again for Nintendo as that is the date the company's next home video game console, called Wii U, will hit North American retailers.
According to an announcement the video game giant made Thursday morning, the Wii U will be available in two versions. There will be a basic 8GB version, which will have all the essentials one would need to operate the console, retailing at $299.99, and a deluxe 32GB version that comes complete with extra accessories and the Nintendo Land video game. The deluxe version will retail for $349.99.
Also unveiled at Nintendo's New York press conference was Nintendo TVii, which allows for a television viewing experience on the console's tablet-like controller.
Nintendo's Wii U video game console represents the company attempting to regain footage in the highly video game entertainment market. After the very successful 2006 launch of the Wii (which has sold to date more than 95 million units globally), popularity of the console has waned as gamers began to gravitate towards the more powerful and mature Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles from Microsoft and Sony, respectively.
The Wii U will be Nintendo's first high-definition video gaming platform of any kind, joining the Xbox 360 and PS3 in that regard. The defining factor of Nintendo's upcoming console isn't the graphics alone, however, as the unit's tablet-like controller offers a second-screen experience currently unavailable on either of the competing consoles. Examples of launch-time games that will take advantage of this second screen include Metroid Blast and New Super Mario Bros. U, both of which were demonstrated during the press conference. Other titles, such as Mass Effect 3 (EA), Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition (WBIE), and Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Activision) have been confirmed to be of the Wii U's library of approximately 50 titles which will be available at launch.