A Successful Wii U Launch Lineup

Nintendo took home the biggest E3 headline by unveiling their new console, the Wii U. The big reveal has both puzzled and excited gamers, but it seems that quite a few developers are willing to put their faith in the new system. This bodes well for Nintendo considering the Wii’s slumping software sales, possibly due to a lack of quality game releases in recent months.

Unfortunately, all that was shown at E3 was a small selection of tech demos, showcasing the innovative controller and the hardware’s HD capabilities. That’s not too surprising considering the Wii U’s launch is still a year away, but that gives gamers plenty of time to speculate about what games should come out for the system from both first- and third-party developers.

Especially key will be the launch lineup; something the 3DS failed to impress with a few months ago. When gamers are expected to purchase mediocre titles such as Steel Diver and Bust-A-Move Universe, there’s something wrong. It’s a little easier to let that slide with a portable, but Nintendo needs to capitalize this time around.

Here are some suggestions to help Nintendo start on the right path. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, especially since the Wii launched with approximately 20 game, but if the company can incorporate at least a few of these titles for the Wii U’s launch lineup, then the new console may get off to a hot start.

Zelda tech demo

Nintendo often hangs its hat on its most prized franchises, such as Mario and Zelda, so it’s absolutely essential that the Wii U launches with one such big name. During E3, Nintendo showed a Zelda tech demo, and though the company stated and reiterated that it was only to demonstrate the Wii U’s HD visuals, imagine an entirely new Zelda game for the new system. Gamers have always been curious about seeing Link in glorious HD, and the tech demo at E3 looked amazing. In addition, the Wii U’s controller would make for a perfect inventory system. No more fumbling through menus, just select an item and use it. In reality, a new Zelda title with Skyward Sword launching this holiday season would be a quick turnaround; but it would also make for a buzz-worthy launch.


Another popular series that would be a welcome sight for the Wii U’s launch lineup is Pikmin. It may not have the same name recognition as Mario or Zelda, but there is certainly a loyal fanbase that has been waiting patiently for a new entry in the series. Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned last week that Pikmin 3 will be coming to the Wii U, so fans should be excited about that. Given the Pikmin games are top-down strategy titles, adding the Wii U’s controller to that equation and seems like a match made in heaven. Being able to drag Pikmin by using the controller’s touchscreen would probably simplify management and also add a sensory element to the game. Just the story of Pikmin 3 launching for the Wii U, eight years after Pikmin 2, would be great.


Sticking with big names, it seems like Nintendo fans are due for another Metroid title soon. When Team Ninja’s Metroid: Other M came out last year, it was met with mixed reviews, but the game did not sell well, and it didn’t really feel like a Metroid game. Nintendo needs to bring the franchise back to its former glory, and a big launch title for the Wii U would do the trick. A new Metroid Prime game is probably out of the question, especially since the series creators (Retro Studios) have moved on to Donkey Kong, but some elements of a first-person perspective would likely mesh well with the Wii U’s controller. During Nintendo’s preview video of the new system, it was shown how the Zapper peripheral and the controller could be used together for first-person shooters. Also during the video was a short clip of someone using the controller as a glove of sorts during baseball. Utilizing that same idea for a first-person adventure game could possibly lead to some interesting results.

All of the examples cited thus far have been first-party titles, but Nintendo has never had a problem creating successful games based on its core franchises. What it has lacked is third-party support, so its E3 press conference tried to alleviate any concerns regarding that. With recognition from key industry figures such as Ken Levine and John Riccitiello, it seems like Nintendo will try to address the “hardcore” gamers who have been hoping for a wider selection of games from other developers.

One very interesting announcement during Nintendo’s E3 press conference came from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who announced that Assassin’s Creed will be coming to the Wii U. An actual game wasn’t mentioned, but one made specifically for the new system would be great for Nintendo. Even better would be having an Assassin’s Creed game as a launch title. Seeing that name amid the rest of the launch titles would speak volumes and bring in fans who have expressed their disappointment at the lack of great third-party games. With the Wii U’s HD capabilities, Ubisoft would finally be able to create an Assassin’s Creed game for Nintendo that is faithful to the main series.

Other big game announcements at E3 for the Wii U were Darksiders II, Batman: Arkham City, Tekken, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online, DiRT, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. There are some prominent titles in this list, but none of them really have that launch title appeal (especially Arkham City, since it will have already come out for the other consoles by the time the Wii U launches). As these games indicate, Nintendo is making a conscious effort at bringing in more third-party support, but they need to showcase that support early by having more quality launch titles from other developers. They can’t just throw out sub-par party games and call it a day… anymore.


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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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