Nintendo at E3: Great games are coming … eventually

Legend of Zelda for Wii U, release date TBD

Legend of Zelda for Wii U, slated for release sometime in 2015.

Great games are coming to the Wii U … but we’re going to have to wait.

That’s the main takeaway from Nintendo’s announcements this week at E3, the big video-game event in Los Angeles.

wiiuYesterday I argued that Nintendo’s problem selling home consoles has been building for decades, but was masked by the fluke runaway success of the Wii. The Wii U is merely continuing a sales pattern that began with the introduction of the Super NES in 1991. My prescription for Nintendo’s ills is simple: make lots of awesome games.

Nintendo definitely had a lot to show yesterday, and with the exception of the amiibo NFC figurines, their focus was indeed entirely on great first-party games. There’s just one problem. Of the thirteen first-party Wii U games Nintendo talked about at E3 yesterday, only three are coming this year.

This year Wii U players thirsty for new games from Nintendo will get Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros., and Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. There are a few other big third-party games on their way as well (like Bayonetta 2), but Nintendo only has three of its own creations to share before 2015.

Next year, though, it looks like the flood gates will finally be opened. Here’s what Nintendo showed with a release currently slated for 2015:

Plus, while there’s no release window yet, they also showed off three GamePad-focused projects by legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, including the first new home console Star Fox game in nearly a decade.

Here’s what Nintendo’s new focus on releasing lots of great first-party games looks like. The different colored bar on top of 2015 represents the three Miyamoto projects. Note that I’m not counting 2013′s “Wii Fit U” as a “game.”

Wii-U-first-party-games-per-year

Nintendo obviously isn’t giving up on the Wii U just yet, and that’s great news for gamers. Here’s hoping their strategy pays off and by the end of 2015, many more people are continuing to enjoy Nintendo’s unique flavor of fun.

  • Kaihaku

    It’s somehow comforting to see a graphic showing that 2014 is basically another 2013. As an early adopter of the Wii U I’ve really enjoyed the great gaming experiences it’s provides…about three or four times a year. It’s good to see that the release calendar for 2015 is looking more robust…but I am disappointed that 2014 only has three major first party releases and two major second party releases. I wish that Nintendo would throw us Wii U owners a bone, those HD remastered titles they talked about last year would go a long way to filling out the system’s library. I know that I’d love Metroid Prime Triology, Mario Sunshine, or Wave Racer HD.

    • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

      Oh I forgot to mention, I didn’t count the Wind Waker HD remake (came out in October 2013) in that chart, since it wasn’t a new game. The chart is new games only. I agree that throwing a few more HD remakes out there would be sweet.

      What if you could buy a disc with every single previous Super Mario platformer on it, with their original graphics and HD remakes, similar to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Microsoft announced for Xbox One? That’d sell more than a few systems, I bet.

      • Kaihaku

        That would be incredible. I was really hoping for something like that with the Mario Anniversary Collection…instead it was essentially just a nicely packaged Super Mario All Stars.

    • http://xentek.net/ Eric Marden

      I’m still hoping for an HD version of “Luigi’s Mansion Dark of the Moon” and anything that has “StarFox” in the title.

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