Fri 14 Sep 2012
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime would only confirm two titles that would definitely be ready when the Wii U launches in North America November 18—"deluxe edition" pack-in NintendoLand and side-scrolling, Super Mario World-inspired New Super Mario Bros. U. But Nintendo also unveiled a list of 50 titles that would be available in the "launch window," which the company defines as the period from launch through the end of March 2013. Individual launch dates for each of these titles will be announced directly by the publishers, Fils-Aime said.
Perhaps the most notable thing about the list is how many titles are simply ports of games that will be anywhere from a month to a year old on existing consoles by the time the Wii U launches. That list includes versions of Mass Effect 3, Darksiders II, Madden NFL 13, FIFA Soccer 13, NBA 2K13, 007 Legends, Batman: Arkham City, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. While each of these games will sport new features that make use of the Wii U's touchscreen GamePad, it's hard to imagine any of those features compelling people to buy a Wii U if they've already played the game on a current-generation HD system. More likely, these older ports are targeted at customers that might only own a Wii and are looking to play catch-up with some of the high-profile releases they've missed over the last year or so.
The launch-window game list also includes a number of contemporaneous ports of games that will be coming to other systems later this year. Some of these games are titles that would likely not have received a port on the underpowered Wii, such as Assassin's Creed 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Other multiplatform titles seem best suited to the family-friendly audience the Wii U appears likely to cultivate, such as Skylanders Giants, Just Dance 4, and Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Overall, it's a good sign for Nintendo that its system won't be missing out on versions of some of the most-anticipated multiplatform games during the launch window. The long-term test, though, will be whether the Wii U can handle ports of games designed for Sony and Microsoft's next consoles (currently expected for the 2013 holiday season at the earliest).