By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 15, 2012 12:20 PM EDT
Nintendo announced on Thursday, Sept. 13, that its new Wii U console will go on sale in November in the U.S. and Europe, and in December in Japan. Wii U, Nintendo's first high-definition gaming console, will also work as a home entertainment center, connecting with video streaming services.
Holding simultaneous presentations in Japan, North America, and Europe, Nintendo confirmed that its new Wii U console will launch in time for the lucrative holiday season. The Wii U will be available in a basic 8GB version for $299.99, and a 32GB version that will cost $349.99.
The company's presentation also demonstrated how the gaming console, which comes in the form of a single game controller equipped with its own touch screen, will also work as a home entertainment center, allowing users to stream content from Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon to their TV sets. Meanwhile, the touch pad will display additional content, such as box scores for sports broadcasts, a timeline for TV shows, or previews for movie services.
The new Nintendo Wii U will launch on Nov. 18 in the United States, on Nov. 30 in Europe, and on Dec. 8 in the company's home country of Japan.
According to Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo America, the console will have a full set of games early in its launch, with more than 50 games available from the launch through the end of March 2013. This indicates that Nintendo has learned its lesson from last year's 3DS launch, when the lack of available games for the handheld forced the company to slash prices.
"It's still a little too early to guarantee exactly which games will be here for you on launch day itself and which will come shortly thereafter," said Fils-Aime. "But I can assure you that this launch library, beginning on day one, will be the strongest for any Nintendo home platform in our history."
Nintendo showed a new version of its "Super Mario Brothers" franchise for the Wii U, and promised that hit gaming titles such as "Call of Duty Black Ops 2" are in the cards as well. The NFC-enabled Wii U gaming console will come with a single "GamePad," which looks like a full-fledged handheld console equipped with a touch screen, motion detection, camera, and stylus.
The small screen can be used either serve as the main display or to supplement games played on a large TV. Nintendo showed in its game demonstrations how the controller can be used for two-player gaming, with one person playing on the main TV screen and the other on the GamePad.
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