Con-soul Searching: What Will U Have In The Box?
E3 is coming. How can I tell? One, I own a calendar. Two, there has been a flood of rumors about new systems, new games and people seen talking to other people. Lately it’s hard to look at any games journalism and not see headlines labeled rumor. Likewise a lot of stories seem to cite some anonymous informant or insider source. I hate it! Rumors drive me crazy and I avoid them when I can. However, I am a fan of speculating and talking about what announcements companies may make. It’s a weird clash, I know. The difference is one is a lie which nobody wants to admit while the other is false and people are up front about it. I say all that because all the E3 rumors has me thinking about the Wii U; more specifically what will be in the box when I buy one. Before I go any further note this, I am basing this on no insider information nor did some secret person tell me something in a whisper. This is just me thinking things through.
First off, the system. We know it’s going to be in the box. It has to be. If it says Wii U on the outside, there has to be a Wii U inside. There will have to be some sort of voltage adapter as well. I say “voltage adapter” specifically over “power cord” since I’m pretty sure Nintendo will not but the power conversion parts in the system itself. They never have. Think about your Nintendo systems; NES, SNES, N64, GameCube and Wii. They all have a box that’s in line between the wall and the console. Next is the AV cord. Will it be component or composite? Nintendo has never shipped an HD system before and I’m really surprised the Wii U will have a HDMI port. That’s usually a license Nintendo wouldn’t want to pay for; like Blu-ray and DVD. Regardless, I bet the system will ship with a component/composite hybrid cable; having the six different RCA plugs. More TVs could work with a cable like that over an HDMI cable.
Now let’s talk controllers. The system has to come with a tablet controller; it’s the main selling point. It’s pretty safe to assume the Wii U will not ship with more than one tablet controller. At the moment, Nintendo hasn’t even told us if the system will respond to multiple Wii U controllers. Likewise, I think the controller will be the most expensive thing in the box (pound per dollar) so they won’t want to jack up the price of the package. However, this won’t be the only controller in the box. Remember the Wii U will work with Wii games and thus Wiimotes and Nunchucks. Nintendo cannot assume everyone that buys a Wii U has old Wii controllers lying around. Plus Nintendo has to prove the system’s worth right out of the box. The Wii did this with Wii Sports. The Wii U can do the same by showing buyers the different perspective you get with a tablet controller versus just a Wiimote. That extra six inch screen makes difference but Nintendo has to teach people that if they want to sell systems. I figure they will have to toss a Wiimote Plus in the box but probably not a Nunchuck. This will let players play Wiimote versus tablet controller games. Also, the Wii U will need a Sensor Bar – a stand too. Without it, Wiimotes are useless when playing Wii games. Nintendo has been making Wii stuff for over five years; their costs have to be pretty low by now. It wouldn’t drive up the price to add these items.
Nintendo has already told us the Wii U controller will have a built-in, rechargeable battery. That’s not too surprising since it’s essentially a DS. I wonder how the controller will recharge. Will it plug into the system via USB or will Nintendo ship a charging dock as with the 3DS? I doubt the controller will plug directly into the wall. A charging dock doesn’t make sense to me either. The controller is going to be huge and a dock would have to accommodate that size. It would be far simpler and cheaper to charge through a normal USB. And we already know the Wii U will have multiple USB slots. So let’s add a USB cable to the package.
I think there will be a pack-in game too. Last E3, Nintendo introduced Wii U with game demos like Chase Mii and Battle Mii. These are simple games (some tech demos) that inform people what the system is capable of; just like Wii Sports did for the Wii. For a lot of Wii owners, Wii Sports was the only game they ever had. If Nintendo wamts those same customers to buy their new system, Wii U has to be a complete package as the Wii was. Also, I figure this pack-in game will be on a disk. Nintendo built several games into the 3DS so there is a chance they would do the same for Wii U but A “Wii Sports U” will be a lot bigger than Face Raiders – storage space is going to be limited on the system already.
Other than some random stuff (batteries, warranty information, cardboard, etc.) that’s all I think Nintendo will put in the Wii U box. To recap: system, power cable (with box), six prong RCA cable, Wii U controller, Wiimote Plus, Sensor Bar and stand, USB cable, a pack-in game, two AA batteries and some documentation. So how much will all this cost? At the start of the year I predicted $350-$400. Will my prediction hold true. We shall see but honestly that seems a little high looking at things now.