Yesterday, Nintendo held three press conferences across three different time zones. As most of you know by now, the focus of those conferences was the Wii U. Nintendo spewed all the information that we’ve speculating about for months, right in our eyeballs. It’s enough to keep even the most famished Nintendo fan satisfied for weeks.

To save you time, we’ve trawled the inky wastes of the Internet to bring you all the most important information on Nintendo’s latest gadget. After the jump you’ll find specs, updates on the different console versions available and some of the titles to look forward to.

The Wii U is set to launch in PAL territories on 30 November 2012. Local Nintendo distributor Core has confirmed that that date includes South Africa.

The USA will be the first territory to get the system, with the Wii U launching on 18 November. The EU, UK, SA and Australia will see releases next, and Japan will be last on 08 December. It’s not unusual for USA to be first in line when Nintendo releases hardware, but it is unusual to see Japan coming last.

The console will be available in two flavours all over the world: the white Basic pack and the black Premium pack (or “Deluxe” pack as it’s called in some territories). In the States, the Basic is pegged at $299.99 and the Premium at $349.99. In the UK, Amazon has listed pre-order prices as £249.99 for the Basic and £299.99 for the Premium. EU pricing for the two units is €299.00 for the Basic and €349.00 for the Premium. Judging by that lot, we’re guessing we might see the Basic for about R3, 000.00 and the Premium for about R4, 000.00. That being said, these are our estimates – we’re secretly holding thumbs for a Premium pack around the R3, 500.00 mark.

As for game prices, Wii U titles will cost the same as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games. Expect to pay about R599.99 at retail stores, but again this is just our estimate.

Nintendo has also released the console’s official system specs. The Wii U is powered by a multi-core IBM processor and an AMD GPU that’s based on the Radeon chipset. The unit has 2GB of memory; 1GB for games and 1GB for system software. There are four USB ports (two in the front and two at the back) as well as wireless networking features. There is no built-in LAN port, so you’ll have to pick up a USB Wii LAN Adaptor is you want wired networking. Video output is handled by HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV or Wii AV cables. Sound output is covered via HDMI or the AV Multi Out connector. The whole thing weighs 1.6KG

Insofar as the content of each version is concerned, the Basic will ship in white and come with 8GB of internal flash storage. It’ll also come with the Wii U GamePad, a Sensor Bar, AC adaptors for both console and GamePad, and an HDMI cable. The Premium version will come in black and feature 32GB of internal flash storage. It’ll come with the same collection of peripherals as the Basic, but will also include a console stand, a GamePad stand and a GamePad charging cradle. According to Eurogamer, the Premium pack will come in two variations: one with a bundled copy of NintendoLand and a second option with a bundled copy of Ubisoft’s grizzly looking ZombiU.

This is the final box art for the console. Very minimalist.

Speaking of games, there’s quite a line-up for the console’s launch window, which will take the Wii U up to the end of March 2013. Launch day titles, however, include:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • FIFA 13
  • Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Nintendo Land
  • Rayman Legends
  • ZombiU

As well as downloadable titles:

  • Trine 2: Director’s Cut
  • Toki Tori 2
  • Nano Assault Neo
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As for the launch window list, that will include the following:

  • 007 Legends
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition
  • Ben 10 Omniverse
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2012
  • Darksiders 2
  • Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
  • Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
  • Game & Wario
  • Game Party Champions
  • Just Dance 4
  • Lego City: Undercover
  • Madden NFL 13
  • Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • NBA 2K13
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
  • Rabbids Land
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
  • Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • SiNG Party
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Sports Connection
  • Tank! Tank! Tank!
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition
  • Transformers Prime
  • Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
  • Your Shape: Gitness Evolved 2013

Both of these lists are courtesy of website Eurogamer.

A couple of anticipated titles are missing, which means we can assume we’ll only see them sometime in the following fiscal year after March 2013. Two obvious MIA games are: Pikmin 3 and Bayonetta 2, the latter of which was revealed to be a Wii U exclusive. Also worth mentioning is that Call of Duty: Black Ops II will have a neat Wii U feature that allows two players to play at once: one using the TV and the other using the GamePad. Obviously, you’ll want to get hold of one the Wii U Pro Controllers before diving in to an FPS game.

More surprising revelations included the announcement of Nintendo TVii. Just like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Wii U will be vying for your attention as a media box in your lounge. Well, it will in certain countries; don’t expect much from this feature in South Africa. Basically, the Nintendo TVii is designed to link to Netflix, Hulu and TiVo to allow you to track your favourite shows and movies, as well as link with your friends who also own Wii U consoles. Basically, it’s like a TV-centric social network that Nintendo is putting a lot of emphasis on. And obviously, that fancy GamePad will be central to the whole Nintendo TVii experience, as it becomes a universal remote, social networking portal and program information hub.

Thankfully, Nintendo has learnt how the Internet works this time around, so you’ll be able to download games and DLC via the Nintendo Network.

There’s still lots of information to come, including confirmation of a local price for the console. We’ll update this post as soon as Core has revealed the price, but in the meantime check out some of the latest trailers for the games that have us salivating.

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