After no word whatsoever about the Wii U all year, we have just recently learned about a launch window for Nintendo’s upcoming console that is sure to take the world by storm. Well, that’s nice and all, but like many of you, I am more intrigued about the software the Wii U will boast at launch. After a rather slow start for the 3DS, Iwata seems to have learned his lesson in how to properly release a console in these modern times, and thankfully sales have now skyrocketed after a very successful holiday for the shiny new handheld.
The big question to many is, just what will the Wii U launch with when it eventually hits shelves? Are we going to see a massive change in third-party support, or is Nintendo going to yet again be forced to pull their load and head out into the marketplace alone?
Let us show you our predictions of what Nintendo might have up their sleeve this time around…for better or worse.
Wii U Sports
Is this an obvious choice? Well, not really. Wii Sports and it’s follow-up, Wii Sports Resort have became two of the best selling video games of all time. Part of this is mainly due to both games being bundled with the Nintendo Wii over the years, but you still have to admit the impact that the Wii Sports series have had in the market during the past generation.
To be honest, I really don’t know what sports are left for a new Wii Sports to cover, but the brand is now a household name and will surely sell by the truckload if pushed on the Wii U. We already know that Miis will be making a return, so another sequel makes perfect sense if you think about it. The only way I could personally see “Wii U Sports” not happening is if Nintendo attempt to change the system’s image before release so that consumers don’t confuse it as a mere upgrade, rather than a brand new console.
New Super Mario Bros. Mii
Yes, this was announced last year as a tech demo, but Nintendo needs a Mario game at launch. In my opinion though, New Super Mario Bros. is now a relic of the past and really shouldn’t be priced at full retail value, Mii additions or not. So what should be done?
Just like Wii Sports, the Wii U would benefit greatly if “New Super Mario Bros. Mii” was included with every new console. Whether it’s a digital download to show off a hard drive or simply a disc, when potential buyers see Mario’s face on the box of Nintendo’s new console, they will feel even more inclined about shoving out a lump sum of cash in one go. Add a couple of new levels and then craft the control scheme around the Wii U’s controller and you have a terrific title, ready to please both the hardcore and casual markets and give us something to enjoy while Nintendo perfect Mario’s true debut on the platform.
I know, many of you are probably seeing the word Metroid and thinking another game for the series is not even in the picture at the moment after the financial failure of Other M, especially at a launch. Try to think positive though. Metroid is still a well known series and if any first-party name is going to show us what the Wii U can do visually, no hero is more fit for the role than Samus.
The Wii U’s controller could be utilized to the fullest for scanning environmental objects and there certainly could be room to add some kind of touch screen mechanic if the series went back to the Metroid Prime perspective. Nintendo seem to be trying to cater to the hardcore more this time around with the Wii-U as well, which makes a new Metroid seem like a likely candidate to debut on shelves with the new hardware. Honestly, after the fan backlash from Other M, there isn’t a whole lot left to lose by letting Samus strap on her armor and give it another try.
Why does WarioWare still exist? Sure, Wario is a pretty popular character and the games are fun, but after several incarnations the series still hasn’t seen a ton of success as of yet. That is all for good reason though. Everytime a new console is released, whether it be a handheld or a home platform, WarioWare not only provides hours of fun with quick, nonsensical mini-games, but also shows off just what that unit can do with it’s technology.
If Nintendo want to give us a full view of the Wii U’s capabilities, releasing yet another WarioWare title would indeed be a smart move. Whether it be flicking items at the screen via the touch-controls, trying out those dual-analogs, or getting a feel for the brand new controller in general, Wario and his chaotic gameplay stylings would certainly start off the system with something anyone could jump in and enjoy.
Lego City Stories
I really don’t have much to say with this one. We know it’s coming at launch, and it will probably have some kind of online system utilized. Many gave Nintendo flak for choosing to announce Lego City Stories last year at E3 as the first Wii U title, but I can easily say that GTA with legos sounds fine by me.
What we won’t see by Nintendo at launch
Even though Zelda has been getting a ton of love as of late, I can’t really see another journey with Link opening up the Wii U’s lifespan. When one does come, be ready as we are surely to see yet another masterpiece grace the console with a ton of new features added into the esteemed franchise.
Super Smash Bros.
The already announced Super Smash Bros. has already been nixed as well and won’t be seeing life for at least a couple more years.
While Nintendo are just now starting to promote Pit’s grand return, a Wii U title is more than likely going to be out of the picture until Masahiro Sakurai finishes Super Smash Bros. for both the 3DS and the Wii-U. If Uprising fails to capture an audience, we might not even see our beloved angel get his own title on the platform, period.
Super Mario Galaxy/World/Land/Boat/Whatever magical kingdom there is left to be explored…
Yes, I said it. There is almost no chance an original Mario game will launch with the Wii U. Why? Because Nintendo care about Mario and would rather master their own platform before rolling out the red carpet for the grand-daddy of gaming.
Don’t cry, Pikmin fans. There is a chance we will finally see Olimar make a comeback, but the Pikmin series as a whole just seems better fit on the 3DS. This doesn’t mean that Pikmin won’t see life on the Wii U, but I think a well done portable version would be more preferred than a potentially rushed out the door console title.
The Third Party Factor
At E3, Nintendo were really pushing to let us all know that they have the big publishers at their side for the Wii U. If you look at the 3DS though, many of those same companies made quick delays in their own software to wait for a bigger audience, which may mean that Batman, Ninja Gaiden, and many of the other AAA releases could very well get the same treatment.
With that said, very few publishers stuck with Nintendo for the 3DS’ rocky beginnings, and two of those brave heroes are none other than Ubisoft and Majesco. Now, there wasn’t anything too spectacular put out by either party, but you have to hand it to both companies for at least filling up store shelves and giving us some kind of alternative to Nintendogs. You can bet that both names are already brewing up something for the Wii U’s big premiere.
We knew it was coming already, but I could easily see a spin-off of the Assassin’s Creed series being released on the Wii U to snag up interest from owners of the Xbox 360 and PS3 right from the start. With the newly revamped friend system, online play would be fantastic and the system’s specs could treat our eyes to graphics never-before-seen on a Nintendo platform. Hopefully the story would be canon as well and open up doors for an exclusive branch-off, but as long as the gameplay is solid I don’t think many are going to mind as fans will finally be able to stab citizens on a Nintendo console.
Ubisoft love launching new hardware with the rabbids and whether you like it or not, there will more than likely be a new title for the console featuring the chaotic bunnies. It’s not a bad idea, really. The first Raving Rabbids was fantastic on the Wii and paved the way for quick and enjoyable party games for this generation. Some may call that a curse when they think about the Wii’s library, but when you add up the numbers of sales versus Nintendo’s other competitors, that formula was successful then and the trend of casual and fun is sure to not pack up and leave anytime soon. Let’s just hope
As you have probably noticed, we are more than likely going to see some new (or remade) version of Splinter Cell come out of Ubisoft for the Wii U. This would show fans of shooters just how the system handles the genre and will hopefully be a solid product to start with. I can’t imagine anything other than a Chaos Theory port due to past history alone, but considering the new controls, the game would at least feel like a new experience for most.
Ah, yes. Mama. Queen of the handhelds. Just look at the Wii U controller. It screams for some kind of Mama game. I could easily imagine it being used as a cutting board, where players can chop up their delicacies in a brand new way, and I’m sure some new title is in production as I am writing this due to that alone. Cooking Mama is a solid series as it is, but this new platform’s tech could finally give Majesco a reason to take the series in a new direction altogether.
The Darkness II
The Darkness was one title that didn’t get a ton of attention on the Xbox 360 at launch, but has slowly gathered a cult following and became a big name off word of mouth alone. Digital Extremes recently let the world know that the sequel would be a launch title on the Wii U, which gives us a lot of hope on not just the game itself, but all future releases for the console.
Other franchises that are likely to show up at launch:
Some of this:
Can’t forget this (What would the world do without it?):
and the one and only…
Keep in mind that these predictions are not really a glimpse of what we want to see, but a more realistic way to think of the way the Wii U will actually launch. Will there be more? Probably. Nintendo have surely learned a lot in the past year and will probably ship the system with at least 25 titles from the start. With that said, the more you recall past history, the more you have to think with a more realistic outlook on a launch. All we can do now though is wait for E3 and hope for the best. The Wii U will be successful because it’s Nintendo, and we can just hope that early adopters will see the best lineup possible.
So now you tell us, what do you WANT to see released at launch, and what do you see actually coming out on day one?