Wii U out in the UK on 30 November, rumoured price £199

Nintendo's tablet-esque console in coming out at the end of November, unusually ahead of the Japanese launch.

Nintendo's Wii U console will go on sale in Europe on 30 November, in plenty of time for Christmas and -- unusually -- over a week ahead of Japan's 8 December launch date.

The Wii U will come in two console bundles. The first 'Basic Pack' features the console with an 8GB hard drive and one white gamepad. The second is a black 'Premium Pack' console offering 32GB storage and one black gamepad.

Bayonetta 2 has been confirmed as an exciting Wii U exclusive, meanwhile -- reason for hardcore joystick-twiddlers to get excited.

The more expensive version will come with a stand for the console, a charging cradle for the gamepad and a sensor bar. Both will have upgradeable memory via SD card or USB stick and will be backwards-compatible with existing Wii titles, controllers and sensor bar.

A UK price hasn't been announced just yet, though Pocket-lint reports Amazon briefly listed the basic console with a £199 price tag -- a listing that's since been removed.

The Wii U's selling point is its weird tablet-style controller, which offers a 6.2-inch touchscreen in the centre, and is surrounded by the usual-suspect buttons. There's also a front-facing camera on top for video calling, and the device can be used with prodding fingers or the included stylus.

I've been hands-on with the Wii U already, and can report that graphically it's more or less on a par with its rivals the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The risk is that developers won't make the most of the quirky new controller, which could also intimidate the casual crowd that fell in love with the incredibly simple Wii.

Nintendo will also release an Xbox-style 'Pro' controller, but one early fear is that buying a separate tablet controller could prove pricey. We'll update this story when we know UK prices.

A starter accessory pack will also be available at launch, containing a Wii remote, plus an additional nunchuck controller and sensor bar.

Nintendo posted its first annual loss in April, amid falling Wii sales and a lack of excitement surrounding its 3DS handheld. Will the Wii U put the House of Mario back on top? Let us know of your thoughts and opinions below, or post them to our Facebook wall.

Additional reporting by Harry Theobald.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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