There has been much speculation about Nintendo’s release date for it’s upcoming HD console, Wii U. Some swore blind it would be released before 2008; two years before it was even announced.
Now, another website is claiming they know the release date. This week, a new startup called ‘WiiUDaily’ posted that they had received an email from one of the most popular gaming stores in Japan; Media Land which is apparently based in Otaku paradise Akihabara.
In this email, it was said that the Wii U would launch on November 18, in North America, and then a week later in Japan.
This rumour is unlike most in that it actually names the source; apparently the email “circulated among staff” in the Media Land store. This could mean anything, though – maybe a staff member started the circulation. Maybe it was sent down from Head Office. Maybe it was a memo sent to them from Nintendo. We don’t know.
Of course, it would help if WiiUDaily actually posted the email, and the relevant meta-data required to verify the origins of that email. This is probably the biggest cloud of doubt surrounding this rumour; essentially, some website claims that some shop in Japan sent them an email that says the Wii U will launch on November 18 in North America.
Since so many publications have posted this rumour as gospel this week, there are many who have voiced their opinion on the matter. The general argument in favor of this rumour is that GameCube and Wii launched on or around the same date.
This, of course, isn’t entirely accurate though; GameCube was released in Japan two months before it was released in North America, and while North America got first dibs on Wii, Japan had to wait almost three weeks, so the only pattern that has been extracted is the November date for North America. It could be, then, that this shop (assuming WiiUDaily is telling the truth and actually received the email, which we find hard to believe…) could have merely looked up last console’s launch and applied a placeholder on their system, much like our very own EB Games did with the Wii U’s price, which has also not been announced.
Another pill that’s so hard to swallow here is the actual website; WiiUDaily is no IGN. Now, we’re not ones to talk about readership – we’re not exactly giving News Limited anything to worry about (yet…) – but of all the websites in the world, considering that gaming news is even bigger in Japan than it is in the West, considering that they could probably get paid a hefty sum for selling this information to sources like Famitsu Magazine, or even newspaper Nikkei – why the hell would this shop go to the trouble of finding one of the newest sources for Nintendo news on the planet and send them the email?
Even an idiot could assume that something might get lost in translation.
On the other hand, Nintendo will likely get a little more out of releasing the console in North America before Japan – us feeble minded Westerners are obsessed with graphics and hardcore games, after all. Truth is, Nintendo will be selling millions of Wii consoles this year when Dragon Quest X launches on Wii in Japan – even though there’s a Wii U version planned, the SD version will be a huge event in Japan.
And November 18/19 seems to be an important date for Nintendo in past releases. Of course, what this boils down to is that while Nintendo may indeed be prepared to launch the Wii U in North America on November 18, WiiUDaily has not published any proof that they even have an email, and as thus should be treated as an “educated guess” – a conclusion that anyone with access to Wikipedia could have come to.