It’s already on practically every other gaming system, and now Minecraft is finally coming to a Nintendo console.
Nintendo announced today that the insanely popular brick-builder is coming to Wii U on Dec. 17, priced at $30. Minecraft: Wii U Edition will be available to download from the Nintendo eShop and will feature off-TV play, so you can build and fight on your console while someone else is watching TV. It will come complete with some of the most popular current add-on packs, and additional DLC will be available to buy through Nintendo’s online store.
Microsoft paid $2.5 billion for Minecraft developer Mojang last year, and that’s because Minecraft is such a strong, popular brand with millions of fans worldwide. It’s sold over 20 million copies on Mac and PC, over 30 million on mobile devices, and 20 million on Xbox One and Xbox 360 combined. It’s also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita. Finally having Minecraft available on Wii U could help give Nintendo a massive sales boost with families this Christmas.
“With so many included add-on content packs, Minecraft: Wii U Edition brings an exciting collection of Minecraft content and experiences to Nintendo fans,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s president. “Wii U players will have plenty of reasons to keep coming back to this iconic gaming experience.”
Even better is that we won’t have to wait long at all! Minecraft: Wii U Edition will be debuting on the Nintendo eShop on December 17th, just over a week from now. This marks the first new console port of the open sandbox game since Microsoft purchased Minecraft developer Mojang.
Nintendo was fairly quiet on all the details of Minecraft: Wii U Edition, but did confirm that the game can be played solely on the console’s GamePad controller, eliminating the need for a TV. In addition, several content packs will be included with purchase, while another 16 will be available to buy individually, with more on the way. Also interesting is that Nintendo said it was working directly with Mojang on developing its own unique theme packs, most likely skins and textures based on Nintendo’s own games and characters.
While Microsoft has direct ownership of the Minecraft franchise, in addition to its own Xbox One and Xbox 360, it continues to support development on rival platforms, including PlayStation 4, PS3, iOS, Android, and now the Wii U.
The one notable difference, however, is that Minecraft on Wii U will support off-TV play, so that you can play it on the Gamepad when your TV is otherwise occupied. The game will also be launching alongside a bevy of downloadable content, including skin packs based on everything from The Simpsons to Star Wars. Nintendo also says that it is working with developer Mojang to create “new content for Nintendo fans to be released at a future date.” Expect to hear news on that soon.