Everything You Need to Know About The Wii U (That Nintendo Was Willing To Tell Us)S

The new Wii is called the Wii U. It's coming out in America on November 18 and will cost $299, not counting hidden costs.

Nintendo blasted out a ton of news about it today. But they didn't tell us everything.

Here's What We Know

  • It's $299, for the basic version that includes the console (which is way more powerful than the Wii and somewhere in the ballpark of the PS3/Xbox360, give or take... probably better, not worse), the GamePad (the signature of the system, a controller with a 6.2-inch screen, two analog thumbsticks, a forward-facing camera, a bunch of face buttons and a gyro sensor), 8GB of on-board memory, AC adapters for the console and controller, a sensor bar (take that, Japan) and—surprise!—an HDMI cable. It's white. It does not come with any Wii Remotes, which will be used in many multiplayer games. Hopefully you have some. They need to be Wii Remote Pluses. Want the full specs? Here you go.
  • It's also $349.99. That's if you buy the Deluxe Set, which has all of the above (in stylish black, no less), though with 32GB of on-board memory, a console stand, a charging cradle for the GamePad and a membership in something called the Deluxe Digital Promotion (DDP!), which will provide discounts for digital downloads, through 2014. The Deluxe version comes with Wii U flagship game Nintendo Land packed in.
  • There are some technical specs available, but they may not be as detailed as many would hope for.
  • They made a thing for it called TVii that is both a crime against the English language and a new service for letting users watch streaming video from sources like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube on the Wii U GamePad, even if someone else in the house is using the TV that the Wii U is hooked up to. It'll even pull stuff that was DVR'd on your TiVo.
  • You'll be able to play the next Call of Duty on the system, and, better, this game, Black Ops II will let you play split-screen across your TV and the screen on the GamePad. Here's proof.
  • Bayonetta 2 will be exclusive to the Wii U. We don't know when it's coming out, but the sequel to the super-sexy action game isn't just a steal from the Xbox/PlayStation playbook but a potential answer to the question: "What will grandmas enjoy on the new Wii?"
  • Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U are Nintendo's only confirmed launch day games (man, there better be more). Nintendo Land is a virtual theme park of Nintendo-themed attractions that includes a cool Metroid riff.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U looks awesome.
  • You, uh, might want to hold off on trading in your old Wii. If you've got data on the thing that you want to keep, you're going to need it.
  • Nintendo has declared that some 50 games will be out in the system's launch window, which opens on November 18 and closes on March 31. Those games include ZombiU, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101 (Formerly Project 100), Assassin's Creed III, Mass Effect 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Lego City Undercover, Wii Fit U and a lot more. Here's the whole list.
  • There will be a new Wii U game from the people who made Xenoblade and a Warriors Orochi game. Also, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
  • The Wii U will offer a sort of gamer's social network called Miiverse.
  • GameStop will take your current Wii off your hands for $50.
  • And now we know the price of games, catching up with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at $59.99.

Here's What We Don't Know (Yet)

  • Which games are actually coming out on launch day, other than Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U?
  • The cost of a second GamePad. No launch games appear to support one, but the system can. Maybe Nintendo held this back from America after revealing that an extra GamePad will cost an extraordinary half of the cost of a basic Wii U bundle in Japan (which, if you do the math, means that the controller kind of actually costs the same as the console sans packed-in controller.)
  • The cost of Wii Remote Pluses? These will be required for multiplayer in Nintendo Land games and will be the preferred controller option, along with the Wii Nunchuk, for many games. Remote Pluses go for $40 now. The tech is getting old, so maybe Nintendo will cut people a break? Or they'll assume they have them from their Wiis.

We'll have plenty more about Wii U in the hours and days to come. We've got people playing the system right now!