We now have a release date for Nintendo’s Wii sequel, or at least a rumoured date that the console will be arriving.
The Wii U is set to land in the US on November 18th, according to a memo leaked by a Japanese video game retailer, Media Land (via CVG). Whether that’s a target date for Nintendo, or a concrete release schedule isn’t certain.
The Japanese launch will apparently be one week later, although nothing was said regarding the European date. We’d imagine that would be the end of November, though.
Obviously Nintendo would want to get the console out before December, to maximise sales in the run-up to Christmas. This rumoured launch date is in line with what we already know, with Nintendo stating that it was going to get the Wii U on shelves before the end of 2012.
The Wii U has caused plenty of buzz since it was first announced, with Nintendo not being afraid to push boundaries with its design once again. This time around, a tablet controller with a 6 inch touchscreen is the unique spin.
This will allow you to view different information from that on the TV screen, such as the inventory in a role-playing game, for example.
It will also facilitate better local multiplayer for some games, allowing information to be kept secret from other players (so if playing Scrabble, to take a poor example, your tiles would be shown on the tablet, away from prying eyes).
Graphically, the sequel is also set to push on considerably from the Wii, offering 1080p HD gaming. Nintendo will have the jump on both the Xbox 720 and next PlayStation, and we’d imagine Christmas 2012 sales will be healthy.
Which might make up for the fact that the company’s handheld, the 3DS, hasn’t performed as well as expected (and was subject to a large price cut last summer as a result). Handheld gaming, however, is undoubtedly suffering at the hands of the smartphone and tablet, devices which are rapidly becoming more popular.