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Nintendo Wii U Release date expecting in April; new Specs details, Price unknown

Nintendo Wii U Release date expecting in April; new Specs details, Price unknownPresident and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime has released more information about Nintendo’s forthcoming Wii U console, including its release date and the company’s long-term plans for it. As with any new product that’s as major as a new home gaming console, there’s rarely a time where it’s launched with all of the details filled in. That was definitely the case with the Nintendo Wii U. The console launched at E3, but only a handful of details were known. We knew that it would ship with a controller that could have video streamed to it from the console, but we weren’t given any indication of a real price or release date.

Reggie Fils-Aime has been quoted as saying that the Wii U won’t launch until “after April 1st.” The ‘close to April 1’ date comes along with reports of 2012 Q2 release date being touted. Apart from the release date rumors, we also get to hear that the Wii U will stream video to the controller itself!

Speaking in an interview with Forbes Fils-Aime not only clarified that the console would be coming out “after April 1st [2012]” but that the company planned to develop the Wii U’s online capabilities to a point that it could act as a serious competitor to the Xbox’s Xbox Live and PlayStation’s PSN.

Fils-Aime added that he was confident the current version of the Wii would still sell well, citing the longevity of the Gameboy Advance, which sat on shelves for two years after Nintendo launched its first DS handheld.

Speaking to Forbes, Fils-Aime commented, “[W]e’ve acknowledged that we need to do more online, starting with the launch of our eShop on Nintendo 3DS, and we’re going to continue to build our online capability.For Wii U, we’re going to take that one step further, and what we’re doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear.

He also announced that the launch of the Wii U would not mean the immediate death of the Wii. Both consoles will be sold at first, with the Wii likely heavily discounted. Another nice tidbit was confirmation that content would be streamed direct from the console to the controller, so in theory, you could even watch Netflix content right on the controller.

Fils-Aime revealed Nintendo’s intention to keep the older Wii console alive for as long as possible, believing that it and the forthcoming Wii U would appeal to different markets. “Even though the Wii software is backward compatible to Wii U, the branding will be a little bit different, the messaging will be a little bit different,” he commented. “I think we’ve had enough experiences separating out consoles in a transitional period to make that happen.”

In case you tend to wonder if Wii U will push behind the Wii, have no fear of any such sort. Fils-Aime has clarified that the Wii and Wii U will be sold side-by-side when the new system launches. Let’s wait for Q2 of 2012 to dawn so that we get to play.

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