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Wii U release date and price announced for Japan, partial hardware specs revealed

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Today Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed the Wii U’s Japanese release date and price during a special Nintendo Direct webcast, as well as some details regarding the system’s hardware specs.

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Nintendo’s new console will launch on December 8th in Japan and will be available in two models – basic and premium. The basic model is white and has 8 GB of internal flash memory while the black premium console has 32 GB of memory.

The premium model also includes a two-year membership to Nintendo Network Premium (10% off software purchases and points for buying games), 500 Nintendo Points, a system stand, a Wii U GamePad play stand, and a Wii U GamePad charging stand.

Both models come with a Wii U, Wii U GamePad, Wii U AC adapter, Wii U GamePad AC adapter, and a HDMI cable.

The basic model will cost 26 250 yen (£210/$338) while the premium model will be priced at 31 500 yen (£252/$405).

Nintendo also revealed during the webcast that the Wii U has 2 GB of memory – 1 GB for system memory and 1 GB for games. This allows for there to be a smooth transition between playing games and accessing other features on the console. The system uses its own optical disc format that can store up to 25 GB of data, while the disc read rate is 22.5 MB per second.

Wii U will be fully backwards compatible with Wii hardware and software, and you’ll also be able to redownload and play your collection of WiiWare and Virtual Console games on the system.

Tune into El33tonline from 2pm GMT onwards as we’ll be bringing you all the Wii U pricing and release date details from the US and European Nintendo Direct events scheduled to take place this afternoon.


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