The Wii U is available in New Zealand from today.

Nintendo’s Wii U succeeds 2006’s Wii and is that company’s first high-definition console, capable of producing video output up to 1080p.

It plays Nintendo’s proprietary 25GB single-layer optical discs, and is fully backwards compatible with the Wii.

The machine’s complete specs aren’t available at this stage, however it is known that it runs on an AMD Radeon GPGPU, and features 2 GB RAM – 1 GB available for games and 1 GB available for the operating system.

The Wii U is available in two flavours. The Wii U Basic Pack features a white Wii U console with 8GB internal storage and a white gamepad, and has a suggested retail price of NZ$469.95. According to retail aggregator PriceSpy, the Basic Pack is cheapest at Bond + Bond and Dick Smith, both of which are offering it for $429. However, it appears that The Warehouse is selling it for $425.

The Wii U Premium Pack features a black Wii U console with 32GB of internal storage, a black gamepad, a stand for the gamepad and console, a charging cradle for the gamepad, a sensor bar, a copy of the Nintendo Land game, and a subscription to Nintendo Network Premium. Nintendo Network Premium grants points for digital purchases made in the Nintendo eShop. Valued at around 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price, this credit can be used against future purchases once you reach a minimum of 500 points.

Its recommended retail is NZ$569.95. According to PriceSpy, the best place to purchase the Premium Pack is once again Dick Smith, where it will set you back $539.

Both Basic and Premium Packs also feature an HDMI cable and AC adapters for both the console and GamePad, and each user account is granted 512 MB of cloud storage.

Despite initially claiming it wouldn’t do so, Nintendo is selling the Wii U at a loss.

Disappointingly but unsurprisingly, the Wii U is region locked. More shockingly, voice chat is not standard across all games or the system itself. There are also no system-wide achievements.

The console’s power was loudly questioned by 4 A Games, Tecmo Koei developer Akihiro Suzuki, and – of course – Microsoft.

However, both Virgil and Ubisoft claimed it was easy to develop for.

Atypically, Nintendo intends to lean on third-party titles to keep interest in the console high.

Games available now include: Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Darksiders II, FIFA 13, Just Dance 4, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Rabbids Land, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition, Transformers: Prime – The Game, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013, ZombiU, Assassin's Creed III, Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Sports Connection, Ben 10: Omniverse, and Game Party Champions.

Over 400,000 Wii U units were sold in the US in the week after release. Nintendo is aiming to sell 5.5 million by the March 31, 2013.