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.
Yesterday 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:
- Yoshi’s Woolly World
- Mario Maker
- Mario Party 10
- The Legend of Zelda
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong
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.”
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.