Europe Wii U Nintendo Direct Conference Set For Thursday

By Jonathan Charles | Sep 12, 2012 12:09 PM EDT

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Nintendo will host an event in New York on Thursday, Sept. 13, to show off Wii U, perhaps for the final time before the console's launch. A release date and price are expected.

Nintendo also announced that its online Nintendo Direct conference will target European customers tomorrow at 3PM GMT. Nintendo of Europe President Satoru Shibata said it will offer a "closer look" at the console, likely to announce the same news as the U.S conference. Rumors circulated suggesting that Europe and Australia will see a release delay until December due to manufacturing issues. For U.S. customers, Black Friday could be the target window for Nintendo.

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Chances are good that tomorrow's event will be similar to the Nintendo 3DS event held in New York around the handheld system's launch. Then, Nintendo offered media the chance to view and play games that would be released with the console.

Nintendo is under pressure to reveal a price and release date for Wii U, having not done so during E3 2012. It also needs to show off games that are unique to the console, and not ports like Mass Effect 3 Wii U. Fans will have played games like it and will be integrated into those platforms. However, new titles like Pikmin 3 and Project P-100 will generate excitement.

A teaser for the rumored The Legend of Zelda title would build hype, though would equally raise questions over why Nintendo needs to rely on its first-party franchises to generate excitement. Nintendo is now courting third-party developers, having failed to do so with Wii, partly due to the original console's inferior hardware compared to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Wii U is the first in of this year's next-generation consoles. Microsoft and Sony are remaining coy about when news of their new offerings will arrive. The former continues to push the current Xbox 360, which was the top-selling console in the U.S. for the 20th consecutive month, though PlayStation 3 also saw strong sales during August.

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