There have been lots of threads about the Wii U, so I wanted to make an official one that will be like the main discussion and friend information exchange thread.
Here is what you need to know:
1. The Wii U is not a peripheral for the Wii. It is a new system, with HD graphics, a new main controller, and new games.
2. The specs are here on this page.
3. There are two different versions for the Wii U to buy, one for 300$ and one for 350$, European prices are never announced because apparently your retailers like to screw with you guys. The basic version comes with an 8GB hard drive, the Gamepad controller, and an HDMI cable, and your basic cables. The deluxe version comes with all that plus a free game (Nintendo Land), a 32GB hard drive, a 10% credit on all your digital purchases, and some holders for the console and controller. Each console accpets USB storage.
4. The Gamepad is a touchscreen controller that responds to finger and stylus (included), it has gyroscopic sensors, a camera on the front, all the buttons and sticks we all love, and headphone/charger/USB outlets.
5. Nintendo is trying to incorporate T.V with the system, so even when the system is off, you can press an alternative TV button to turn on your TV and cable boxes and what not, or use Netflix/Hulu to watch stuff on your TV. Essentially a touchscreen TV remote.
6. Release date is November 18th 2012 in North America, Europe is on the 30th of November, and Japan is December 8th.
7. Video calling, they have it, and it works using the Gamepad's built in camera.
8. The Miiverse, is where all your miis congregate around icons of your games. Other people's miis appear near games they have been playing, including your friends. After you die in some games, your friends will leave messages about the time they died at that spot.
Now here are some videos.
Iwata unboxing the system (it shows sizes).
The official site.
Video chat featuring Iwata and Reggie.
What the menu looks like.
Here is the Zelda tech demo from E3 2011.
All the games coming out in between launch and March 2013.
Thoughts? I predordered a Deluxe edition in September. I am quite excited. The launch games are not mind blowing, but but much better than the 3DS launch. I am getting New super Mario bros U and Nintnedoland, and Pikmin 3 and Lego Ctiy Undercover when they come out.