The Wii U cat is out of the bag! After spending many months without revealing many facts to the public, Nintendo finally confirmed launch details for the Wii U. On November 18th here in the U.S., you'll be able to pick up either a basic model for $299 or the deluxe premium model for $349.
Whichever one you choose, you're going to need some games to go with it. If you're going premium, you'll get Nintendo Land right off the bat but what about other offerings? Variety is the spice of life after all.
We're here to help with our favorite picks for the Wii U launch window, and even though they aren't all entirely day one releases, they're certainly games we can't live without…
New Super Mario Bros. U
What is it about Mario games that keeps drawing us in? Perhaps it's the gameplay that all ages and skill levels can adjust to or the sheer chaos that ensues from a multiplayer session? Regardless, New Super Mario Bros. U is a huge draw, particularly with its five player support (four with Wii remotes, one with the GamePad as a "side player") and its new abilities, including the multiple Yoshis and the flying-squirrel suit. Besides, it's been a while since we've had a Mario game launch with the system.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
No matter what console you get it for, Call of Duty: Black Ops II is a war machine that's going to stand out, but after seeing the gameplay demo for it yesterday, we're convinced that it'll be quite an animal on the Wii U console. Along with the ability to play along with a friend in co-op fashion using a TV and the GamePad, Black Ops II also provides the option to play the single player session on the touch-screen device while your loved ones watch TV. Oh yeah, did we mention it was action-packed? Because it certainly is…
The Wonderful 101
Previously known as Project P-100, Platinum Games' crazy multiplayer action game puts you in control of 100 would-be super-heroes as they battle enemies and attempt to save their beloved city from peril. This game features a unique control set-up, along with the over-the-top design that Platinum Games is known for. Don't be surprised if this one turns into a sleeper hit - then we'll have Bayonetta 2 to look forward to once Platinum wraps up with this game. We can't wait!
Lego City: Undercover
The Lego games have been great over the past few years, especially as of late with Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, but with Lego City: Undercover you ain't seen nothing yet. Expanding into a much bigger world to explore with hundreds of goodies to find, the game also benefits from its own original story, where a dedicated cop is trying to stop a loathsome criminal. But don't worry, this one's comical enough that players of all ages will enjoy it. Let's pay a visit to the city, shall we?
Seeing as how NBA Live 13 has been indefinitely delayed – again – the only real basketball game in town is a must-own on the Nintendo Wii U. Though we have yet to see this particular version in action, NBA 2K13 sounds very promising with an All Star Weekend event roster that any fan will love. There's also authentic play-calling using the Wii U GamePad and the inclusion of the original Olympic Dream Team – yes, with Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley thrown in for good measure. While we're still waiting on a final release date on this one, it'll be a slam dunk once it finally arrives.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
At first we were skeptical about the release of a fighting game for the Wii U, worried that the GamePad control set-up wouldn't feel right when it comes to executing throws and techniques. But when we heard that Namco Bandai was throwing in some exclusive options with this game, such as a mushroom power-up that lets you double up in size and pummel your opponent, we were sold. Though not all the contents have been confirmed yet, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will come with plenty of features to win the skeptics over. Hey Namco, can you throw in Tekken Bowling too?
The Pikmin are back! This latest chapter in the series picks right up where the first two left off, featuring both classic and new Pikmin characters as you battle enemies and explore a luscious new high-definition world. With the touch-screen support of the GamePad and dozens of levels and challenges to overcome, Pikmin 3 is definitely a title that will grow on you.
Assassin's Creed III
Bring on the killing! Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed III will be released on launch day alongside the Wii U, and we're looking forward to playing the game with full 1080p support and a slew of weapons literally right at our fingertips. The multiplayer should do wonders for the Nintendo Network as well, letting us get the most out of hunting opponents and winning the war for our team of assassins. Bring on Connor!
The latest Rayman game isn't quite the same as you'd remember from the old Rayman Origins, as it involves a tricky bit of touch-screen gameplay and a new engine that isn't quite so hand-drawn. That said, the sessions we had with it were undeniably fun, especially when we got friends involved and smacked them around like crazy. With more levels to explore and secrets to unlock, Rayman Legends could be one of the biggest surprises of the launch.
Finally, we focus on one of the gems for the Wii U launch, an original game that will send chills up your spine as you grasp your GamePad controller for dear life. Zombi U is a haunting survival/horror adventure where you scramble to find ammunition and tools in the midst of a zombie invasion. The single-player mode is harrowingly good and the new survival mode will test your shooting skills to the max. Fid we mention you can turn yourself into a zombie?
Get our official strategy guide for New Super Mario Bros. U!