Let’s Play the Predictions Game: Wii U NYC Event

Here are five things to think about preceding Nintendo’s September 13 event.

The Wii U is going to launch in a few months. Yet, we know absolutely nothing about it. Things like date and price are still in the air, and Nintendo fans everywhere are waiting impatiently for any small bit of new information. Nintendo’s September event in New York City next week will likely shed some new details about the new console. Below are 5 things to keep in mind before and after the event, things like what to expect and what not to expect from Nintendo themselves. So, without further ado, let us begin!

Date!

Typically, Nintendo launches their consoles in mid-November, usually the Sunday before Thanksgiving. That’s why so many people feel confident that the Wii U will launch on November 18. It just makes sense; launch a console before Thanksgiving break, gear up for Black Friday, and let the sales explode. At least, that’s what we think…

The past few weeks have been interesting in that we got a ton of tips saying that the Wii U will launch in late October. Burger King is reportedly selling Wii U-themed toys on October 25. Ubisoft apparently slipped a comment about Assassins Creed 3 Wii U launching on October 30 before quickly pulling that comment back. Could Nintendo be breaking the mold and trying to get their Wii U out early?

And yet another rumor claims that the Wii U might actually miss November all together due to manufacturing problems. Can this actually be true? Is Nintendo having difficulty putting their new console together to make it for launch? All of these things will be revealed later next week, so don’t panic yet! We’ll know for sure quite soon!

Price!

The price of the Wii U will heavily determine how many units of the thing will get sold this holiday season. They’ve claimed to have learned their lessons with pricing from the 3DS, so I’m pretty sure it won’t be too high. The question is, though, how low will Nintendo go?

Many people seem to be pointing at $299 as the best price for the Wii U. The reason? First, it would make the Wii U the same price as the Xbox 360. Second, it doesn’t break the psychological $300 barrier that most consumers have, making it look less like a super-premium product. Third, it should be enough to give Nintendo a wealthy margin of profit for hardware sales. Sounds reasonable, right?

But there are many people out there who are pushing for a lower price, namely $250, which was the original price for the Wii. Though that may seem strange, there’s actually good reason behind this prediction. Sony and Microsoft seem likely to cut the price of their seventh gen consoles this holiday season, and at $299 it would be impossible for Nintendo to stay competitive, especially when it comes to selling it to the average consumer. But it would also make the Wii U look amazingly attractive. Can you imagine? $250 for a brand new HD Nintendo console? I’d totally buy that in a heartbeat.

I personally feel that Nintendo will announce a price range between $250 and $299. If you wanted an exact number… I’d say $269.99.

And speaking of price… will Wii U games cost $50 or $60?

Pack-ins! (software)

Wii Sports sold the Wii. Not only was it free with the system, but it showed off everything the Wii was about. It was both an impressive tech demo and a great party game at the same time. But what about the Wii U? Will we get a pack-in as well?

A lot of people will naturally point to Nintendo Land as the Wii U’s pack-in game, mostly because Nintendo is trying to sell it as if it was Wii Sports. They claim that it demonstrates what the Wii U is about and how the controller can be used. Heck, they’ve even told us that it would function as the Wii U’s Wii Sports.

But at the same time, Nintendo has repeatedly emphasized that Nintendo Land is going to feel like a more traditional retail title than Wii Sports did. That might be cause for some alarm. Will the higher production costs make Nintendo feel that it won’t be worth it to include it in the box? What if Nintendo plans to sell it as a retail title instead?

And while we’re on this topic, how do you think Nitnendo is going to deal with software pack-ins this time around? On a disk like Wii Sports? Built-in like the 3DS games? Downloadable for free via eShop?

Pack-ins! (hardware)

And what of hardware? I think we all know for a fact that the Wii U GamePad will be included with the machine. But how about a Wiimote Plus? We know that some Nintendo Land games REQUIRE a Wiimote Plus to play. Will we get a nunchuck as well? Nintendo has a controller problem here, so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out in the future.

And speaking of hardware, what colors do you think we’re getting? Just white? Maybe black? Maybe even blue or pink? Okay yeah, probably just black and white…

New… games?

I think we all know Black Ops 2 is finally going to get an official Wii U announcement during this event, but other than that, do you think Nintendo is going to announce anything else? Part of the importance of launching a new console is promising future support, something that the Vita had failed to do at its launch. And honestly, we don’t know much about the Wii U beyond what’s going to be out in 2012. This is Nintendo’s chance to get us excited again, especially after their E3 2012 showing left much to be desired from fans.

My best guess is that Nintendo will announce a few titles of their own just to ensure fans that they won’t be experiencing a software drought like the 3DS did its first few months after launch. Perhaps we’ll see a new Metroid or Zelda? Or how about, *gasp*, Miyamoto’s new I.P.?

And what of third parties? Capcom has yet to make a peep about the Wii U, and Vigil is waiting patiently for the embargo to be lifted so they can finally release details on Darksiders II Wii U. Konami has been very quiet with the Wii U, as has Sega. Will all of these third parties finally be able make their Wii U announcements at this event?

It should be noted that the event will feature a bunch of demos for the press to play after Reggie’s keynote. I’d say prepare for a slew of new announcements coming your way in a little less than a week!

So guys, what do YOU think is going to happen at Nintendo’s Wii U NYC event?

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