Nintendo's $300 Wii U goes on sale November 18 in U.S
YORK/TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co's Wii U will hit U.S. store shelves
November 18 starting at just under $300, as the creator of Super Mario
looks to regain the lead in gaming from Sony and Microsoft, and fend off
tablet and smartphone makers led by Apple Inc.
version of the console that took the industry by storm six years ago
comes with a built-in DVR that will allow users to watch and record live
television like a cable set-top box.
It will go on sale in Japan on December 8 for about $340 (26,250 yen).
have said it will stream video from Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Google
Inc's YouTube, and Hulu. It will also come with touch-screen
controllers - helping to push its price tag above rival consoles.
is fielding the successor to the Wii in the busy year-end holiday
shopping season, going up against Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's
Xbox 360. They start at $250 and $200, respectively.
original Wii became the world's biggest selling home console shortly
after its 2006 launch, with motion-controlled gaming and a slew of
software titles that appealed to users beyond traditional gamers.
became a 100 million-machine bonanza for Nintendo is waning. In the
three months to June 30, sales of its Wii more than halved to 710,000
from 1.56 million a year earlier.
"GamePad" controllers designed to look and function like tablets, the
first new console from Nintendo in six years will come with a gamer's
social network function called "Miiverse." It will be its first machine
in 16 years to launch with a dedicated "Super Mario" game title.
addition to the basic 8 gigabyte model costing $299.99, Nintendo will
sell a "deluxe" 32 GB version for $349.99 in the United States and
31,500 yen in Japan.
the Wii's success, however, will be tough as Nintendo battles not only
with Microsoft and Sony, but tackles tablet and smartphone makers led by
Apple that are eating into the $78 billion gaming market.
on Wednesday revealed its latest iPhone with a bigger screen, better
definition and a wireless function that allows users to view their
smartphone images and games on TVs equipped with an Apple TV receiver.
now, Nintendo, which began in 1889 making playing cards in the back
streets of Kyoto, has a big enough cash pile built up during the Wii
boom -- about $14 billion -- to stick with its hardware strategy.
if the Wii U fails to win over gamers amid a flood of tablets and
smartphones, it may, analysts say, have to consider leveraging its
software assets by letting Super Mario roam across devices built by
The console, unveiled in June, is
available in black and white and has a 6.2-inch touch screen that
includes a stylus. The GamePad controller has traditional buttons with
left and right analog sticks.
Nintendo has said 23 new
Wii U titles, including Nintendo Land, are in development. Third-party
titles include Mass Effect 3 from Electronic Arts, Darksiders II from
THQ and Ubisoft's exclusive Wii U title Zombi.
($1 = 77.8700 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Tim Kelly in Tokyo and Nayak Malathi in New York; Editing by Michael Watson and Maureen Bavdek)