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It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Wii U 

How much will it cost? When can I buy it? Oh, the anticipation…

E3 is long behind us, and while we got to see some launch and launch window titles for Nintendo's new home console, the Wii U, the Big N has been continued to be mum on when the system will hit shelves.

But, that's all looking to change. Nintendo is hosting a conference next Thursday, September 13, (curiously a day after Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5) and is rumored to be announcing the release date and price for the system, at least for America.

click to enlarge The Wii U was promised to be released before the end of the year, but when and how much it will cost is still up in the air.
  • The Wii U was promised to be released before the end of the year, but when and how much it will cost is still up in the air.

The date for me seems the easy part. Since E3 we’ve seen rumors of almost every kind for the launch date: November 11, November 18, December, or even those that point to a staggered and possibly delayed worldwide launch. The problem with most of the November rumors is that guessing that Nintendo will launch the system on a Sunday in November before Black Friday is like guessing that Mario will probably collect coins and eat mushrooms in his next adventure: it’s pretty much a given if history be our guide and Nintendo wants to capture the holiday shopping crowds. Anybody could guess November 18 and claim it was a leak, November has always seemed the likely choice.

That leaves the how much question, which seems a lot more wide open. Recent reports are hinting at a multiple SKU launch (which would differ from both the Wii and GameCube launch strategies) ranging in price from $250-$350. Can Nintendo launch the Wii U, its jump into the high-powered HD world, for the same price that it launched the Wii at? And, if Nintendo is hoping to catch the same casual wind, perhaps keeping it as low as possible is better, even if the system might need a premium price tag to entice a premium crowd. It's a tough line to walk, and after the 3DS required a price drop so soon, Nintendo is claiming to have learned its lesson on pricing hardware.

As for me, I’m taking bets now. I’m putting all my coins on November 18 for $299.

What do you all think? How much would you be willing to pay for the Wii U, or what would you price it at from what you have seen? Will you be picking one up at launch?

Willie Clark waited 13 and a half hours for the Wii many moons ago on a Sunday in November. He hopes he doesn't have to wait quite as long this time around, you can share in his joy and pain by following him on Twitter or Facebook.


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