Odds are good that the Nintendo Wii U will be out on November 18th, 2012. Nintendo’s promised all along that the new console would be out in time for the holidays in the United States, and the date just makes sense, both from a marketing perspective and based on Nintendo’s habits. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 ships on Nov. 13, the Tuesday before. Nintendo traditionally releases new hardware on Sundays. The Wii, the 3DS XL, the 3DS, the DSi—Nintendo always does Sunday, and the 18th is the last Sunday in November free of major one in an uncontested marketing week but still before Thanksgiving.
A representative of gaming accessory company PDP also gave up the date during the GameStop Manager’s Conference on Monday.
According to a source that spoke with Kotaku, a PDP representative showing off its fall line up of goods said that everything would be available just before Wii U’s Nov. 18 release. A poster at NeoGAF reconfirmed the rep’s statement.
When asked for comment, Nintendo offered up the usual, “We have nothing to announce at this time.” Naturally. Nintendo is saving its announcement for Sept. 13 at a New York City event.
PDP meanwhile went into damage control mode swiftly. The company’s community manager told Kotaku shortly after the story first went online that “we can’t confirm Nintendo’s dates and we don’t know exactly what was hear, but we simply do not know at this point.” Shortly after PDP’s senior vice president of sales and marketing said the company “has no knowledge whatsoever of the official Wii U release date, and thus it is not possible for PDP to have ‘leaked’ this information.”
The original source reconfirmed that PDP definitively said Wii U will be out on November 18th.
It’s an unfortunate slip of the tongue for PDP. Nintendo is an especially secretive company, severe in its public relations practices to the point of obsession. It’s partners know the plan for big releases though. They have to. PDP’s marketing staff can protest all it likes, but there’s no way that Nintendo has prepared an official licensee for getting product to market.
When leaks like this happen, why don’t companies just come clean? A whole hell of a lot of money is spent on the pomp and circumstance of a product announcement. Think of the sheer expenditure Nintendo goes through to bring its employees to an event like the one in New York, the temps it hires, the food, lodging, and rent for an event space. All that’s in the service of making a big audience aware of something in a short amount of time, and most people don’t hear about dinky little leaks like this one. Only geeks.
Yes, I’m talking to you.