By Jonathan Charles | Sep 06, 2012 03:01 PM EDT
A leaked Video Game Product Distribution (VPD) listing for Wii U suggests that Nintendo's next-generation consoles will arrive in three price points, starting at $249. The VPD is the company that provides retailers, including Amazon and Blockbuster, with products.
The three prices listed are $249, $299, and $349. The footage (now removed) showed the price along with a screenshot. It remains unclear why Nintendo would offer three different models: perhaps the $249 price point is a console-only offer, while the higher price points may be bundled with accessories and games.
Nintendo concealed the price during the E3 conference in June. Speculation suggested that the company waited to judge reaction from media and fans rather than risk outpricing the console. Considering the lukewarm reaction from the conference, a low price point around $249 may not be a surprise. Wii's release saw it priced lower than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Nintendo is holding an event on Sept. 13 in New York City, at which it is expected to announce the price and release date, and perhaps show off playable titles. Early predictions suggested November 18 could be the launch date -- a Sunday, like the Wii and GameCube's launches. Nintendo is also expected to announce titles for launch.
Stirring the pot, accessory maker PDP let slip in a recent conference that the release date for Wii U is Nov. 18. It quickly backtracked though, claiming "false" assumptions on the release date for the consoles and release date for Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. However, Kotaku's source at the event said the 'news' was the "buzz of the conference," while a user on NeoGAF also testified to hearing the date. Apparently the PDP representative quickly tried to change the subject.
Nintendo officially claims that Wii U will be released by the end of the year, during the holiday season. Release date rumors have suggested Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which marks the beginning of the holiday season in the U.S. and could be the ideal time to drive sales.
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