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Learning from the 3DS, Nintendo will put its best foot forward with Wii U's launch games
Learning from the 3DS, Nintendo will put its best foot forward with Wii U's launch games
May 1, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

May 1, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
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    23 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Nintendo's still not ready to reveal its launch titles for this year's Wii U, though company president Satoru Iwata tells investors that its first batch of games could potentially include long-term sellers.

As it prepares to debut Wii U, the company hopes to replicate the same success it experienced with key Wii games -- so-called evergreen titles like Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Play that continued to sell plenty of copies years after their release.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata admitted that preparing those games in time for launch can be a challenge: "There is always a limit to our internal resources. The company now has to develop software for the Nintendo 3DS, has to prepare for the Wii U launch and has to finalize the hardware functionalities."

"With these circumstances in mind, if I said that an overwhelmingly rich software lineup would be prepared from day one, it would be too much of a promise to make," Iwata told investors at a Q&A session last week.

Many criticized the company for releasing its last system, the Nintendo 3DS, with a weak lineup of games that lacked any must-have titles. It wasn't until months after the portable's launch when big 3DS titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Mario Kart 7 hit stores.

Nintendo is working to make sure that won't be the case with Wii U, though. Iwata noted, "On the other hand, we are making efforts so that we will be able to make several proposals even from the launch period that can eventually become evergreen titles for the Wii U."

"We have learned the lesson that we have to make that kind of preparation for the Wii U, or the Wii U will not gain enough momentum to expand its sales," he added. "At the E3 show this June, you will be able to experience not only Nintendo's Wii U software but also the titles being prepared by the third-party publishers."

Nintendo has not yet announced any launch titles for Wii U. One of the company's launch games for Wii, Wii Sports, went on to sell more than 79 million copies (the game was bundled with the console in most countries).


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Comments


Bob Johnson
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I think they always say they have learned their lesson. But the reality seems to be that launches are always slow for every platform and that Nintendo never has had a reputation of releasing too many titles in a given time period.

Nintendo generally takes an attitude of not wanting to burn out their customers. And that a good 3-5 yr old game is still a good game.

Phil Nolan
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It seems like every console Nintendo releases gets more and more gimmicky.

Joe Zachery
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When you say gimmicky what do you mean actually? Are you using it the same way across the board? For example the Sony Playstation going to CD compared to the N64 using cartridges. The CD made games some what cheaper to buy, and made it possible for developers to make bigger games. Still the PS1 cost 300 dollars back in 95. The N64 with it's limited storage allowed for faster, but smaller games. The N64 also launched a 100 dollars cheaper than the PS1. The cartridge gimmick gave us games like Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, and Goldeneye. The foundation to every popular game that is making money now. What did the cd drive give us Cd quality music. Can you imagine playing those games I mention with the PS1 loading time? The same for the PS2, and Gamecube. While for Nintendo the mini disc gave them a 100% free from piracy console. The PS2 was more expensive, and was huge for playing pirated games. The Wii birth place to the casual movement which include motion controls, and quick short cheap games. Which now is the Kinect, and the Apple/Android movement. What did PS3 blu ray do for gaming besides cost us 600 dollars. So like I said everyone uses some kind of gimmick. The question is which gimmick benefits the customers. From what I can tell it's been Nintendo's, and not Sony's gimmick. Cheaper consoles that leads to ground breaking games.

Eric Geer
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What about the analog thumbstick on the N64 controller(not the first--but you know what I mean)---I think that was a gimmick, but quickly let to 2--which lead to todays standard.Gaming is gimmicky...get over it.

Mike Siciliano
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"Actually there was a dual analog controller from sony before n64 came out. "

Hmmmmmm. You sure you don't want to revise that statement? I don't normally trust Wikipedia, but their information seems accurate and reflects what I remember from the '90s.

"The Dual Analog Controller was first displayed under glass at the PlayStation Expo 96-97 which was held from November 1 to November 4, 1996. It was released in Japan in April 1997, coincident with the Japanese releases of analog-capable titles Tobal 2 and Bushido Blade."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_Analog_Controller

The N64 was released in Japan in April 1996 and in America in September 1996.

Mike Frascoia
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Would it be too much to ask for a friendlier indie marketplace on the WiiU? The hardware has so much potential for creativity and new ideas. I think, if the incentive is there, smaller teams could come up with some amazing content. Do you think there will be support for Augmented Reality available for developers?

Eric Geer
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They should create some sort of game creating software for the WiiU that could be shared.--similar to LittleBigPlanet but possibly more in depth---the touchpad would make it ideal for this sort of thing.

Michael Redford
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Well defining gimmick as "A trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business" ( http://goo.gl/UPBOK ) I don't think businesses have an issue with that & neither should gamers. Formats are gimmicks. If not then why companies advertise being able to have rumble support, being able to play CDs, DVDs, Blurays, Motion Controls, etc. to people? I think this industry is based around gimmicks. I do believe that Nintendo needs a Indie Marketplace on the WiiU & 3DS.

Bob Johnson
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YOu have a point. Even media formats have gimmicky properties to them especially in the way they are marketed.

But consumers don't get "tired" of formats and need something new. They aren't entertained by media formats themselves. I never hear anyone say they are tired of games on DVD and are waiting for the next format before they buy the latest and greatest game release.

Formats may be a selling point, but a selling point doesn't mean it is a gimmick.

Bob Johnson
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Then again maybe it does mean it is a gimmick. Once everyone has a DVD player you can't sell something by saying hey it has DVD.

Rob B
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Nobody here is using gimmick in that sense they are using it in the 'to equip or embellish with unnecessary features, especially in order to increase salability, acceptance, etc.' and that much is very clear. Now you can debate whether these are unnecessary or if they are genuinely boosting the experience but that would be a proper argument and not just twisting language to suit your needs.

Use semantics to make a point clearer, dont use them to make a point full stop.

Eric Feliu
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I have high hopes for the Wii U. It's too early to tell how well it will do this early on. I just think it is ridculous to be writing it off without any real information. Of course if you are the typical "gamer" you tend to hate that which you don't like or get. So I can understand to an extent why some are already dismissing the system.

I think gamers, and the game industry itself, take things way too seriously. Games are meant to be fun and not judged by how far they push technologies or what features they support. I personally judge a system on the quantity and quality of the games. I think all 3 systems this generation had some awesome titles. The Wii was certainly the most successful system this generation so it is hard to argue the Wii console lacked quality software based on sales alone. Gamers need to understand that success in the world is measured by sales like it or not. You may not like the software that is released on the Wii, but that does not make the system garbage. It just means you have different tastes in gaming. I personally can't stand the Call of Duty, Halo, Gears or war, etc series. I have at least given them a try and although I don't like those games I at least acknowledge that the titles are of high quality and meet the needs of certain gamers. I think gamers need to be more tolerant of differing points of view and get over themselves.

Oh I do like shooters by the way. I thought the Bioshock series was amazing. So it's not like I can't appreciate a FPS or anything like that. I just found Call of Duty and Halo very boring.

A W
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If Capcom announces a Monster Hunter for the Wii U, I'm getting it no doubt. Heck they can even just do a remake of an old one and I'm still get a Wii U. I'll raid my savings account just to get it. Talk about a game that has sucked my game time away in a big way, and to think I didn't even start really playing it till BF3 and LoZ:SS came out. Nintendo... Capcom is your way to gold. I wish I knew the sales for MH Tri. I hope they where successful for another one to be made or ported to the west.

A W
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Hopefully those numbers translate into Monster Hunter for the Wii U. I know the have Monster Hunter 3 and 4 for the 3DS in Japan.

Eric McVinney
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Nintendo definitely needs to be more open about having indies titles on the Wii and soon to be Wii U, just to appear more "open minded" about who their target audience is and how diverse they can be. There's been plenty of successful PC indie games that could easily (IMO) be ported over to the latest Nintendo device/console. Mobile, be it iOS or Android, is raking in the number of casual players than Nintendo can in a year and will continue doing so, unless they (Nintendo) are willing to support other formats in order to keep their fans. IMHO, Nintendo is better known for their software than hardware, so having a few Mario, Metroid, and Zelda games would be a God send to (almost) every Nintendo fan. Because, a Nintendo fan is just another person like you and me with a budget and a life (I hope).

Eric McVinney
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Not saying that what I said was the only answer, but a helping hand to their current situation.

kevin Koos
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I would bet a lot of money Mario Kart is one of those games. They have had 6 years since the last console Mario Kart game was released, plenty of time to get one done and it was I think the biggest seller on the Wii.

Bob Johnson
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Maybe. Nintendo generally never releases its big guns day one.

IT would be news if it happened though.

Mario Kart was a massive hit. Sales were north of 30 million last time I checked.

Yet of course Nintendo is doomed!!!!!

Funny how a company is so doomed after selling the boatloads of software that they sold the past few years.

Then again maybe that just means that there are 30 million households out there that have gotten MarioKart out of their system and aren't going to buy the sequel.

A W
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Nintendo is Doomed is a old thing. Nobody uses it anymore.
Nintendo doesn't appeal to me / real gamers / hardcore gamers is the new hotness now.

Makes a better shielded argument.

Besides this report is just about Iwata telling his investors that he intends for the titles at launch to be good enough to sell well through out Wii U's life cycle. I gather he's talking first party titles and not third party ones which would be sad because the argument put forth by developers in the past has been about not being able to compete with Nintendo games on Nintendo consoles.

I think Nintendo best move would be to open up development for tablet only DL games. get at least 20 third party / indi games (and not tech demos) on the launch list.

Bob Johnson
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@Anthony

So your analysis is I don't like most of their games. I am not going to buy their console.

.....

NIntendo is going to do gangbusters?

Or ....

you just wanted to let us to know you aren't going to buy their console?

Sean Kiley
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they have a lot of convincing to do at this E3. Online needs to be done right, they need something that will compete with halo, CoD, etc, strong launch games, first and third party, good price and something that just makes me say.. oh cool...

Bob Johnson
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They won't have anything to compete with CoD nor Halo.

Online will be improved over before, but won't be like Xbox Live.

Console isn't going to be more powerful than PS3 nor 360 in some respects.

Price should be good.

They will compete indirectly with 1st party games, the new controller (new ways to play) and some new functionality.

Bob Johnson
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I also question all those that want another "Xbox Live" btw as if we all can't wait to pay for another online console service. I am glad all 3 aren't doing a pay to play online gaming service.


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