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Nintendo Wii U pricing, release date revealed?

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Would you pay $249 for a Wii U? (Credit: Nintendo)

A fresh leak from a major distributor could finally pinpoint pricing and timing for the highly anticipated successor to the Nintendo Wii console.

By Christopher MacManus, CNET

We still don't officially know when the Wii U arrives or how much it costs, but a substantial rumor emerged today concerning Video Product Distributors -- a wholesale media distribution company that works with companies such as Amazon and Newegg -- supposedly listing on its intranet three Wii U bundles along with a November 11 release date.

Video Product Distributors and Nintendo did not immediately reply to CNET's request for comment.

The purported Wii U bundles, with prices of $249, $299, and $349, came with no real description whatsoever on VPD's site. Instead, the listings contained ambiguous text such as, "WIIU SYSTEM - GM - 11/11/12 $249.99," "WIIU SYSTEM W/ - GM - 11/11/12 $299.99," and "WIIU SYSTEM 349 W/ - GM - 11/11/12 $349.99."

The leaked information got an additional boost of sorts from a video made by someone with access to the private VPD intranet that clearly shows the Wii U product listings and price. Additionally, a screenshot shows the same Wii U listings. However, without any sort of official word, these listings could merely stand as placeholders based on speculation.

Naturally, Crave tapped CNET's gaming gurus for their input on the supposed Wii U information leak.

CNET editor Scott Stein noted he had a "strong feeling" about the bundles, and the $249 pricing "seems dead on." Meanwhile, CNET editor Jeff Bakalar believes the entry $249 bundle most likely contains the console with a bundled tablet and a copy of Nintendoland, while the further bundles may offer an additional tablet and Wii remotes. In rebuttal, CNET editor Dan Ackerman suggests that "I can't imagine adding a second controller and a Wiimote for only $50 more. N's gotta charge more like $70 or more for one of those tablets as a standalone, considering a standard wireless Xbox controller is still $50."

Our readers should keep an eye on CNET on September 13, as Nintendo plans to spill the beans at a major Wii U event in New York that should reveal more information.

So what do you think about the rumored Wii U bundles and release date? Do you think Nintendo may offer two Wii U tablets in a bundle, more Wii U nunchucks, or storage space with the higher-priced packages?

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