A listing on the German division of online retailer Amazon has indicated a Dec. 21 release date for Nintendo's Wii U console. However, this could just be a placeholder for the European launch of the Wii U, according to Game Informer.
The listing also included a price, making it the first time any information about how much the next-generation gaming system's cost has been revealed. Amazon.de has the Wii U listed at a price of €399.99, which is approximately $500. The site also said that the official price has not been set yet, so this is subject to change.
Before you add a Wii U to your Christmas shopping list, keep in mind that retail sites are notorious for using place-holder dates for eagerly awaited products, warns Stephen Johnson of G4.
Nintendo has not yet issued a specific Wii U release date and has simply labeled the launch as holiday 2012. G4 speculates that the console will debut earlier than December, closer to early November or late October. This seems to make sense, since this is when major game titles such as Assassin's Creed 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are set to roll out. As for the price, some have predicted that it will be in the $250-300 range. The leaked cost of approximately $500 does seem unusually high for a gaming console, and analysts have said that the Wii U's price should not exceed $300 if Nintendo wishes to be successful.
The console must be priced below $300 to succeed, in my opinion, and best at $249 or less, games industry expert Michael Pachter said to CVG.
The Wii U will be released at least an entire year before next generation Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, but it may not pack the same power as these consoles. A look inside the Wii successor's inner workings suggest that it won't be as powerful as Sony and Microsoft's next ventures, according to CVG. However, the gaming publication questions whether or not this will define how the Wii U fares against its rivals.
Great games emerge from their mechanics-the way you play them-not from the sheer number of polygons the processor can spit out, writes a staff reporter for the publication.
Kyle Gabler, part of the team behind World of Goo developer 2DBoy shares this sentiment, referring to a classic Nintendo title to make this point.
Remember that enormous world in 'The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past? he said, according to CVG. And all the music and feelings it made you feel? The whole game fit inside 1 MB and played on hardware slower than my phone.
Gabler added that there should not be an arms race between consoles in terms of graphics and power.
It's like trying to be the prettiest girl in high school, he said. Everyone wants to be her, and then nasty texts get sent, and hair gets pulled, and nobody wins. Meanwhile the quiet nerdy girl who plays cello and has Star Trek voyager posters on her wall silently wins high school and grows up to get a PhD and a hot husband.
So what does it take to create a great gaming console? Gabler says that the key is figuring out a developer's strong point and zeroing in on that characteristic.
The best designers don't compete on the same field as everyone else, he said. They find that thing they do better than anyone else and make a brilliant game on their own terms.
First, it's not about power, he said. If it was about super power, then the GameCube would have been the number one system in its generation and the Wii wouldn't have been the number one in this generation. It is not about power. It is about fun, it is about the experience.
Nintendo unveiled a list of game titles at E3 2012 which include multi-platform releases such as Assassin's Creed 3, Mass Effect 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as well as exclusives such as New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land and Wii Fit U. But, some diehard fans are eagerly awaiting more information on Nintendo classics for the Wii U, such as Super Smash Bros., Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda.