Wii U pre-order prices start at £249 from UK retailers

The Wii U has been priced for pre-order from online retailers, ranging from £250 to £350, depending on which bundle you opt for.

Online retailers have put the Wii U console up for pre-order, with prices starting from £250 for the Basic White console pack, to £350 for the Premium Black console pack with an additional game and a Pro controller.

Amazon UK is where you'll find the new tablet-console hybrid for the cheapest, offering the basic for £249 and the premium for £299 -- higher than the briefly listed £199, which was promptly removed. The retailer hasn't bothered with any additional game or controller bundle options though, and currently only offers two underwhelming titles -- Rise of the Guardians and Ben 10 Omniverse -- to be purchased separately.

Over at Game, Gamestation and Play.com, the Basic pack is £11 more at £260, and the Premium at £310, but all three sites offer an additional bundle for £350, in which you'll bag a copy of ZombiU and a Black Pro controller.

These websites also offer many game titles all priced below £50, some of which will be available on release -- including New Super Mario Bros U and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

As for accessories, Game and Gamestation are pimping the Pro Controller, in both white and black, for £50 -- higher than the £40 equivalents for PlayStation and Xbox. Amazon doesn't yet have any accessories listed.

There's still no word on the pricing of the separate 6.2-inch GamePad tablet controller, but we expect it to carry quite a hefty price tag, with it retailing at ¥13,440 in Japan -- around £105.

This puts the new Wii U at a higher price than both a 250GB Xbox 360 with Kinect , shown on Game at £210, and at a similar price to a 320GB PlayStation 3 Slim with Move , currently £250.

The Wii U might be a new console, but in our hands-on, we felt that graphically it's more or less on a par with the PS3 and 360. The question then is how much value do we put on the quirky tablet interface? Will it compare favourably with the way the PlayStation Vita interfaces with the PS3? And what happens when the PS4 and next Xbox come out? Will it be left behind by the third-party game studios, as the Wii was?

Look into your gleaming white Nintendo crystal ball and tell us what you see in the comments, or over on our psychic Facebook wall.

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