So Sega has just announced that Geabox's long-awaited Aliens: Colonial Marines is now set to drop on the new, later-than-expected release date of the 13th of February, 2013. Given that the game was originally slated for late 2012, many are understandably decrying this as a delay. But is it, really?
You see our lovely friends at Nintendo-Gamer.Net have noted (and the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to agree with them) that there's something quite intriguing about both the press release and the trailer that have arrived to announce the new date. Because the Wii U version of the game, which Gearbox has oft-touted as the best, isn't listed amongst the versions dropping early next year. Or listed at all. We've simply been told that "a release date for the announced Wii U version will be revealed at a later time". And that's where things get interesting.
Above: References to Nintendo conspicuous by their absence, are they not?
You see ever since the Wii U was announced, I've - either accurately, or by way of the simple wishful thinking of someone who really wants Nintendo to get it right this time - detected hints of a special relationship between Aliens: CM and Nintendo's next console. It's just come from little things really. Randy Pitchford's repeated advocation of the Wii U's power. His slightly odd, unexpected, almost out-of-turn proclamation that the Wii U edition is going to be the best looking, even going so far as to recommend that people buy a Wii U if they want the definitive version. His outspoken claims that the Wii U controller is the best for FPS that Nintendo has ever released...
But it's not just Randy. Remember that Unreal Engine 3 showreel that turned up recently, showing off some of the sexiest high-profile games currently using Epic's tech? There was a brief chunk of Colonial Marines in that, and it was conspicuously flagged up as the Wii U version. And while Nintendo stated at E3 2011 that the Wii U is going to be a console for everyone, President Satoru Iwata's most recent comments have taken a serious turn for the hardcore, sounding almost like disavowments of the whole casual Wii experiment.
So all that, and a Wii U Colonial Marines release date not listed amongst the delayed dates for the other formats. And that new date delayed from late 2012, the window long-suspected to be the Wii U's launch period? My eyebrow is raised. While it's a long-shot, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see that "later time" Sega mentioned turn out to be Nintendo's E3 2012 press conference, and the release date of the Wii U version to remain in 2012. Stranger things have happened in the world of mega-ton Nintendo exclusivity after all, particularly when the company has been hankering after a gritty image change with a new console. Resident Evil 4, anyone?
Though this is Nintendo, so as hopeful as I am for even a scrap of this to be true, there's also the possibility that we're just looking at yet another short-changing of yet another Nintendo console on yet another third-party release. There's kind of a precedent for that sort of thing.
But not this time, please.
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