Wii U: US Price, Date Clues from Japanese Announcement

At their Nintendo Direct press conference this morning, the Japanese publisher announced that the Wii U will be launching in two SKUs. A basic set that has 8 GB of memory priced at ¥25,000, and a Premium Set that has 32 GB of memory priced at ¥30,000. That’s equivalent to $385 and $320, respectively, in the United States. Additionally, the

The system will be launching on December 8th.

How does this relate to the US release? For those who want to speculate for a few hours until the rest of the world gets their dates, there are a couple of inferences that can be made from the Japanese announcement.

First, the date will more than likely be a Sunday. Indeed, the prevailing rumored dates are November 11 & 18, both of which are Sundays. It’s extemely doubtful that they will push the launch back to December, since the Black Friday shopping day is so crucial for retail and holiday sales in the US.

Next, the prices for the Wii were about $250 and $205 in the United States and Japan, respectively. However, the 3DS released under opposite circumstances, with the Japanese version selling for nearly $300, which was $50 above the US price. That leaves a plus or minus of $50, if you want to go by recent historical trends. Given the burn that Nintendo felt with the 3DS and their recent comments on what a terrible idea it was, it’s doubtful that they will release the Wii U at a price higher than the Japanese price.

So, while you pick up your grain of salt, the Wii U is most likely to launch at $300 in the US for the basic set and $350 for the premium set, possibly $50 lower for each.

For a fantastic explanation of what’s at stake for Nintendo of America later today, check out this article.

Shout-out to Cheesemeister on Twitter for awesome live translation of the event.



I was right.