Wii U retailer feedback and pre-sales already "extremely strong" says Reggie

Nintendo also confirms no standalone GamePads sold at launch

Wii U, it's finally been revealed, will launch on November 18 with a starting price of $299. It's going to be a hugely important launch for Nintendo in a very crowded and competitive entertainment landscape, but Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime is very encouraged by the early response to the new console.

Speaking at the New York City Wii U event, Fils-Aime told GamesIndustry International that Nintendo's already seeing lots of excitement from retail partners. "We've announced the price and we have a number of retailers taking pre-orders and the feedback that I'm getting from retailers is extremely strong in terms of pre-sales and consumer excitement at the store," he said.

Fils-Aime stressed to us that with every hardware launch, Nintendo looks to ensure a good value proposition for the consumer, and he's confident most of Nintendo's customers will feel that Wii U does indeed offer a good value for the money.

"In the end... I care about the consumer who's putting money down on a pre-order and whether or not we're presenting a great value to them. Based on some of the reports I'm getting, the answer is yes," he said.

Elsewhere in the interview, we asked about whether we'll be able to buy standalone GamePads at launch and when we'll see games that support two GamePads. It'll be some time it seems, and Reggie confirmed to us that GamePads won't be sold individually initially.

We'll be posting the full interview tomorrow, in which Reggie discusses how Nintendo arrived at the price points they did, why Nintendo Land is the pack-in game (in the $349 SKU), competing with tablets and free-to-play, the ever-stretching "launch window" and more. Update:The full interview is now available.

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Latest comments (4)

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 5 years ago
Nice work grabbing and interview guys. I await the grilling!
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Mbuso Radebe Producer, Capcom Vancouver5 years ago
Interesting choice Nintendo made not selling standalone GamePads at launch. I understand no launch games will support two GamePads, but I figured some people may want the option to buy standalone GamePads just in case their original ones break.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
Well i hope they have some sort of resolve, if the gamepad breaks. But im putting in my pre-order.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 14th September 2012 2:52pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
I pre-ordered/paid for my Wii U yesterday, but the lack of standalone GamePads as launch irks me to no end and is a HUGE mistake from any perspective. I know of a few people who won't be buying the console at all until they can buy extra controllers because they have young kids who (like all kids) tend to drop stuff in the heat of play.

If the Wii U becomes one of those hard to get items like the Wii was during its launch and into the holiday season (and beyond in some areas), quite a lot of people who may have wanted a Wii U might hold off until they know they can buy a backup controller

You KNOW that someone WILL break their pad within the first week of the launch, period. Even if it comes with three wrist straps, a warning on every side (and inside) the box, in the manual AND five pre-game video ads starring Mario and company begging users to please, PLEASE be careful... someone's going to drop, throw (accidentally) sit on, let the dog chew when they get up to take a pee break, spill liquid on or otherwise damage their GamePad.

Trust me, there will be internet videos of some of this controller mishap crap. No doubt. Just you wait.

What then? With NO backup plan or way to play some games save to go back to the store and rob someone of their system just for the GamePad, look at importing a GamePad from territories where they're available (NOA won't make a dime on those sales, of course) or hit up eBay where some enterprising chap or chapette who pre-ordered just to sell the thing will rake in maybe half of what they paid just for the peripheral, I can see a LOT of irate parents and gamers on the rampage to Redmond.

Unless there's a third-party pad... which I don't see happening at this point. I have no reason why this is being done (sorry, Reggie, your excuse is a bit weak for such an important console NOT to have a replacement for one of its most important parts made available on day one) except to GUESS that Nintendo knows the GamePad is going to be expensive to replace no matter how they spin it.

Crazy question here: are they thinking of using some profit from the console sales to drive the price down when that pad DOES become available or are they just overconfident and are thinking NO ONE will bust their GamePad in however long a period of time it takes to get replacements on the market. If they don't come up with a solution and FAST, it's going to be a crappy holiday season for some families.

Hell, that and us germophobes who want their own controllers are out of luck, which sucks because I'm kind of goofy about sharing my controller, particularly one that relies so much on fingers all over the screen. I can get over this easily enough as I tend to game solo. But I can see a few feuds brewing over sticky mitts on that shiny (and pricey) pad... Eww.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 15th September 2012 6:42am

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