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Wii U Arrives in United States on November 18

The date is set, prices are in ($299, $349), new games have been announced (Bayonetta 2, Black Ops 2), and the road to Wii U's launch has begun.

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Nintendo of America has announced a release date for Wii U in the United States, and it's November 18. It doesn't launch in Japan until December 8, but Nintendo launched the original Wii first outside of Japan, too.

There are two sets. The basic set includes a Wii U, Game Pad, Game Pad charging cable, AC adaptor, HDMI cable, sensor bar and 8GB of memory. The "deluxe" set also includes 32GB of memory, a Game Pad charging cable, Game Pad cradle, a copy of NintendoLand, and enrollment in a premium service on Nintendo Direct, where you earn points for each purchase and can redeem them later for other purchases.

The big question? Price. It's $299 for the basic set, and $349 for the deluxe set.

As for big game announcements, Nintendo is publishing (funding?) Bayonetta 2 with Platinum Games, Monolith Soft is making a new game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is coming to the platform, and there's a new Monster Hunter. Well, "new." Monster Hunter Ultimate (Monster Hunter Tri G U in Japan) is based on the 3DS game, and the save data will be interchangeable between the two platforms. It's available at launch in Japan, and March everywhere else.

Project P-100, also from Platinum Games, was easily one of the most exciting Wii U games at E3, and that's been renamed The Wonderful 101. Spoiler: still looks awesome. Epic Mickey 2 will also be receiving a Wii U upgrade, and Activision made the clutch announcement of Skylanders Giants. Nintendo didn't discuss the NFC features baked into the Game Pad, though, so one might expect that will still have a separate device to scan the characters in.

Nintendo broke down the hilariously large "launch window" for Wii U, as well: November 18 until the end of March. Besides New Super Mario Bros. U and NintendoLand, the company wasn't confirming release dates, but since Pikmin 3 isn't coming out until next spring in Japan, I wouldn't expect it over here this year, either.

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In America, Nintendo spent the most time going over its big media initiative, Nintendo TVii. It aggregates content services--Amazon, Hulu Plus, etc.--and allows users to search, track, purchase, and play content from them on the Game Pad and the TV. There's a neat dynamic between the Game Pad and TV, too. The Game Pad takes screen captures of what's happening on TV, and allows users to comment and share on Facebook and Twitter. You also have access to your DVR through the Game Pad, though right now, that seems to mean TiVO-only devices.

Nintendo TVii launches alongside the device this year, but only in the United States and Canada.

The company also unveiled a strange interface for Nintendo TVii. Maybe it'll make more sense in our hands?

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Over in Japan, there were some big announcements that should guarantee some folks on day one (like, say, 8-4). In addition to an even more deluxe package that comes with a Pro controller and a copy of Monster Hunter Ultimate, anyone who buys the premium version of the console also gains an invite to the upcoming beta for Dragon Quest X.

Patrick Klepek on Google+