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E3 2012: Nintendo keeps us waiting with no word on Wii U price, few games, and vague details on online plans

After the Wii U’s enigmatic debut at E3 2011, the entire gaming industry was anxious to see just what Nintendo’s strange new home console would be at E3 2012. Rather than make a triumphant entrance at E3 2012 with details on simple, definitive games like the iconic Wii Sports for Wii, Nintendo mystified attendees with vague Wii U hardware details, scant new game announcements, and a general lack of clarity.

Nintendo’s major talking point at the event was the Wii U’s role in creating asymmetrical play, with people doing very different things in games depending on if they’re using a tablet controller or one of the Wiis old remotes, but the company was entirely silent on how much the console will cost when it releases on an undefined date this holiday season.

Rumors peg Wii U at $300 or more, but without knowing what Nintendo plans to pack in with the system, it’s impossible to tell. Will it come with a game, a Wii remote in edition to the tablet controller, or even the Wii U Pro controller shown on Sunday?

There was all little mention of what games would be available when the system releases. Of the 24 titles discussed—most of which were previously announced—only the Wii Play-like mini-game collection Nintendo Land was confirmed as a launch title.

If nothing else, the presentation betrayed Nintendo’s un-readiness to release Wii U. While it was discussed how the device can support two separate tablet controllers at the same time now, not a single game shown used that technology.

All eyes were on Nintendo, but the company kept everyone waiting for a clear idea of how it will succeed.