With thoughts now starting to turn towards Christmas (after all, it’s almost Halloween people), what better way to entice potential customers to chuck some cash in Nintendo’s direction than by offering a plethora of console and game bundles? With two new 3DS special editions announced, and three new Wii U sets, it seems Nintendo are leaving no stone unturned in their march for Christmas success this year - so let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
First up, hot on the heels of this year’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokémon X and Y themed 3DS handhelds are two new limited edition consoles, this time sporting ‘Year of Luigi’ and Legend of Zelda designs. The Luigi 3DS has been released already in Japan to coincide with the launch of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros there, and we’ve been hoping it would make its way to our shores for some time. This limited edition 3DS doesn’t come with a game though, so you’ll need to pick up Dream Team Bros. or Luigi’s Mansion 2 (not to mention a charger) for the full Luigi experience. The console will be exclusive to Nintendo’s new online store (store.nintendo.co.uk) and can be pre-ordered now for £179.99.
Possibly even more enticing is the Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS bundle. The shiny gold console features the legendary Triforce on the cover (and a dark anti-Triforce on the reverse) and looks suitably flash. There’s no exclusivity with this one, and it comes complete with a download code for the game so you can catch up with the latest Zelda adventure straight from the eShop. Available for pre-order now at GAME, the console will set you back £199.99 (again, you’ll need to buy a charger separately or use one you already have from a 3DS or DSi). Both of these new 3DS models come with a 4GB SD card to store games and photos.
On the Wii U side of things there’s three new bundles to choose from. The first bundles a black, "Premium" machine (essentially a black console and GamePad with 32GB of built-in storage - but no Wii Remote) with a special two-in-one disc, containing copies of New Super Mario Bros. U and its add-on New Super Luigi U. If you’re in the mood for some 2D Mario magic before his next 3D adventure is released in November this looks like a good set. New Super Mario Bros. U is traditional Mario fare, but loads of fun especially with four players, and while it wasn’t quite our cup of tea, New Super Luigi U brings more of the same with increased difficulty for platforming masters.
Next up is a pack aimed squarely at families. With the Wii Party U bundle you’ll get Nintendo’s latest minigame bonanza, Wii Party U, which is designed to use the GamePad and Wii Remotes in various inventive ways, along with a copy of Nintendo Land, which was released alongside the Wii U and is equally great in four (or five) player multiplayer. This bundle features the ‘Basic’ Wii U (a white console and GamePad, with only 8GB of internal storage), but happily, as both of the pack-in games require them, you’ll also find a Wii Remote Plus and sensor bar. For families looking to invest in a Wii U this is a pretty good option, as both the included games are designed around people of all ages and abilities playing together - and, most importantly, a lot of fun.
Last but certainly not least is a Just Dance 2014 bundle. As you might expect, this comes with Just Dance 2014 so you’ll be able to bust a move in the comfort of your own living room, but the set also includes Nintendo Land, a Wii Remote Plus and a sensor bar making it a pretty appealing prospect if you ask us. Like the Wii Party U bundle, this bundle comes with a Basic, white, 8GB Wii U model (for more on the difference between the 'Premium' and 'Basic' consoles, read our guide here). All three Wii U bundles are listed for pre-order on the Nintendo store at £249.99, but expect prices to vary at other retailers.
In all then, it seems there's plenty of options from Nintendo. With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One arriving very soon - but at a much higher price point - it makes sense for the big N to be putting together bundles that offer such incredible values for those looking for an appealing present this Christmas. While the Wii U's now hitting its stride, the 3DS already has a strong line-up of amazing games, with more on the way, so if you've been toying with the idea of getting a new console for yourself (or your little ones) this year, there's never been a better time to jump in.