Okay, and we're in. Is this thing on?
Welcome to Nintendo's Wii U launch, live from New York City. Should be an exciting day - Nintendo is firing the first shot in the next generation of video game console wars. The question is: can the company recapture the magic it scored with the original Wii years ago?
Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage. "This is a day many of us have been looking forward to for quite a while."
He's going to answers some of the key questions. Wii U arrives in U.S. stores on Sunday November 18. Presumably in Canada too
Basic Wii U set with 8 GB memory, console, GamePad in white. Deluxe set will have 32 GB plus a charging cradle for GamePad, and Nintendo Land game.
Deluxe set buyers will get digital points for every download they make, which can be exchanged for purchases
Wii U already works with existing Wii controllers and most games
There are 100 million Wii controllers already out there in the US, 65 million nunchuk add-ons
Basic set will be $299, $349 for deluxe set. Deluxe set sounds like a better deal
Reggie is rhyming off some reviews. Several of them use the word "potential"
They're showing off Nintendo Land, which is a collection of mini-games designed to show off the features of the Wii U controller
Metroid Blast: one player is using standard Wii controller to shoot stuff on the ground, while the second player is floating above in a ship, using the Wii U GamePad
Lego City: Undercover - oh yeah! Played this at E3 and it looks awesome
If you pre-order early, you'll get a Chase McCain mini-figure
Reggie is back on stage to talk about something "different." The most different non-gaming initiative for Nintendo ever
Wii U has three pillars: games, the social Miiverse network, and the "entertainment" portion provided by TVii
Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon movies through your Wii U
Canadians can start groaning
The promo video is showing off interacting with live football games on your GamePad
Zach Fountain, director of network business, is on stage with Reggie to explain it
It's about finding something to watch, a personalized program guide that connects to your TV channels, DVR, Amazon, Hulu, etc. You can also start playback from your GamePad - it's like a remote
Thirdly, it's about social television... i.e. watching and commenting on shows with your friends
It's Mii-based, so you can set up different accounts and customizations for every person in the house
You can recommend shows to your friends and set your TiVo to record it, right from the GamePad
How much of this will be functional in Canada is the zillion-dollar question. I'll find out afterward
The Wii U social/TVii interface is still kind of cutesy. Don't know if that's good or bad
Fun comments you can share during Modern Family: "I wanna high five the guy who created Phil Dunphy"
Reggie says they'll be rolling out Nintendo TVii in the U.S.... and Canada.
It won't cost anything extra. It's included with Wii U, with no additional monthly fee
They're going to have demos of Nintendo TVii here after the press conference
That's good, because I still have questions about how it works
Bayonetta 2 will be a Wii U exclusive published by Nintendo
The Wonderful 101 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate are another pair of exclusive games. Details coming soon, Reggie says
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg is coming on stage. He must be here to talk about Call of Duty
"NIntendo is once again going to bring some freshness to the living room:" Hirshberg
"What I've most admired about Nintendo is that their ideas for hardware and software are so tightly intertwined."
That influenced Activision's development of Skylanders. Someone told him that it was a game that Nintendo could have come up with, which he took as a compliment
Skylanders Giants, Wipeout (like the TV show), 007 Legends are among Activision's Wii U titles
Transformers Prime too. Sadly, it doesn't look nearly as a good as the recently released Fall of Cybertron, which was excellent
They're going to do a live demo of Call of Duty Black Ops 2
"It looks great on the Wii U"
Multiplayer is "completely reimagined for the Wii U"
"We've never been able to achieve this level of realism before on a Nintendo platform"
Black Ops 2 has a lot of drones. The Wii U GamePad lets you control them via motion control. That's kinda cool
You can also play splitscreen with your friend, but there's no actual split screen. Player 2 gets their view on the GamePad
You can also play just on the GamePad without using your TV
Reggie is back. Beyond Super Mario and Nintendo Land, he can't guarantee which games will be available with launch.
Launch window is November to the end of March. More than 50 games in that period
Wow, Ubisoft is going hog wild on Wii U. 8 launch titles, more than anyone else
That's it for the presentation. Thanks everyone for joining us. Be sure to come back later for analysis and (hopefully) some interviews.