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We knew something big was going to be announced today at Nintendo's press event, and we knew it was probably going to include the words "Wii U" and "release date."  Lo and behold, the Wii U will be coming to a home near you November 18th, just in time for the Winter shopping season.

What we didn't know was that the console will be launching with a new media application called TVii (these names really are getting old).  This app will allow Wii U owners to watch TV --  including live TV, their TiVo DVR and video-on-demand services such as Netflix -- on their Wii U gamepad.  It appears that Nintendo has been paying attention to the way modern gamers are using their consoles.  I actually watch more TV on my Xbox 360 than play games these days.  We are a multimedia generation, and it only makes sense that Nintendo step up and realize that we like our content in as many ways and as easy as possible.  Soon I imagine we won't need a cable box at all, and will instead just use our consoles to access all our television programming.

So the wait begins.  In 66 days the Wii U will launch, with two price points.  The Basic will provide you with a white Wii U console with 8 GB of internal storage, one white GamePad controller, AC adapters for both the console and controller, a sensor bar and an HDMI cable for $299.99.  For those of you interested in the Deluxe Set, that comes with a black 32 GB Wii U, a console stand, GamePad charging cradle and a stand that allows users to place the GamePad vertically on a table. Consumers who purchase the Deluxe Set also will be enrolled in the Deluxe Digital Promotion, which lets Wii U owners receive points for each digital download and redeem those points for future downloadable content from the Nintendo eShop. The promotion is currently planned through 2014.  The pricing for the Deluxe Set is $349.99.

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Im actually very eager to own a Wii U, despite my feelings about the name. From what I have seen so far, game developers are really getting a chance to think outside of the box in terms of new gameplay mechanics, and that will drive new and creative experiences going forward.

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