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?

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