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By Josh Hamel (@thatjoshhamel) at 7:30 am, November 18, 2012

Nintendo begins its first foray into the HD console generation with the Wii U as it hits store shelves today in North America.

The system is releasing with different versions, the Basic and Deluxe. The Basic Set includes a white Wii U with 8 GB on internal storage, a GamePad, HDMI cable and a sensor bar. The Deluxe Set comes in black and includes everything in the Basic Set but with 32 GB internal storage and additions of a Nintendo Network Premium Subscription, a copy of Nintendo Land and stands for the console and controller.

If you haven’t already pre-ordered your system though, expect shortages in typical Nintendo fashion as the system is predicted to sell 3.5 million units by the end of the year, according to a report from research firm IHS Screen Digest.

“Pent-up demand from Nintendo evangelists, many of which were introduced to the console market through the success of the Wii, is predicted to drive this explosive start,” the firm stated in its report.

The real test for the system, though, comes next year as further price cuts to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are expected as well as possible new console announcements from Sony and Microsoft.

Among the list of software available on launch day are New Super Mario Bros. UZombieU, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Assassin’s Creed III and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

The Wii U will launch in Europe and Australia November 30 and in Japan December 8.

Are you picking up a Wii U or do you plan on waiting to see how the system is supported?

  • http://www.hypable.com/ Andrew Sims

    I played it in Nintendo World in NYC last night where, by the way, people had been camped out for weeks to get this thing. It was really refreshing seeing HD graphics on a Mario game. Ridiculously long overdue. The controller is much larger than I thought it would be, but still pretty light. Overall I like it a lot but don’t want to drop $300+ on it right now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

      i don’t want to drop $300 any time. In all honesty, I rather get the HP Wizards Collection

  • TheHamburglar

    “Wii U” sounds like the sound of an ambulance coming to rescue Nintendo, but I think it’s gonna get stuck in rush hour traffic.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matsemann08 Matsemann08

    I’m buying a Wii U at launch in Europe, I don’t have any plans to play hardcore games on it though, the Wii U will be a first-party machine for me, maybe some exclusives too. I’ll stick to PC and the 360 until PS4 or the next Xbox.
    Also, Nintendo can produce about 1.2 million consoles a month on their three production lines, I’m guessing they are gonna sell out almost every one for a few months. The marketing hasn’t been as good though and I’m afraid it may be confusion about what the Wii U actually is. Parents may think it’s just a new Wii, why should I buy a Wii U when we already have a Wii.

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