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Nintendo hasn't lied to you about the Wii U's future game library, but it has let you assume A LOT...

You know that bit in The Simpsons when Homer points out that he isn't strictly eating a pie if he just walks forward with his mouth open and there just happens to be a pie in front of him? Well that's basically Nintendo's E3 2011 press conference and your assumptions.

We already know that all that third-party Wii U game footage came from the 360 and PS3 versions. And that's fairly understandable, given how far off the Wii U versions of those games are. And we also now know that Masahiro Sakurai's crowd-pleasing Wii U Smash Bros. announcement referred to a game he hasn't even started planning yet. But what's a bit more damning, and rather potentially worrying in terms of that all-important non-Nintendo support going forward, is what Nintendo let you assume in terms how many third-parties actually have Wii U games in the pipeline. Because it turns out that one of the most exciting developers who appeared at E3 vouching for the system is producing absolutely bugger all for it.

Above: Proof! Well, proof that Ken Levine has appeared in a video and knows what the Wii U is, anyway  

Ken Levine, he of beard and Bioshock, popped up on Nintendo's third-party reel at its E3 press conference. He seemed to love the Wii U. He was all excited and animated, and seriously pumped for the idea of headshotting the faces off things while his wife slept next to him, oblivious to his nocturnal violence.

"Yay!", we all thought. "Bioshock Infinite on the Wii U! Nintendo has got this third-party support thing sorted for the first time since the SNES" But it turns out that the second sentence in that little proclamation of vicarious triump is about as grounded in reality as a schizophrenic unicorn. Irrational games, you see, currently has no plans to develop anything for the Wii U. Ken has admitted that. He's "not saying it can't happen", but absolutely nothing is on the go at the moment.

Hmmm. I'd say that this means we can't assume that any of the developers in the video who didn't mention specific games are actually doing anything either, then. We know that Ubisoft, THQ, Warner Bros and EA and Namco Bandai are on board (two of whome will port to absolutely anything. You know who I'm talking about), and Sega's Aliens: Colonial Marines very probably on the way, but Warren Spector is most certainly an unknown quantity. As are Vicarious Visions and 5th Cell, but to be honest I'm not too upset about perhaps not getting a new Spyro or Scribblenauts. Though I am a little suspicious that 5C's publishing history is tied almost entirely to EA, WB and THQ, perhaps making Nintendo's E3 showreel developer pool even smaller.

I've no doubt that the Wii U is going to get significantly more hardcore third-party support than the Wii, mind. Its vastly increased horsepower and proper controls will see to that. And much like the DS, it looks to be a Nintendo console whose gimmicks can really help in the development of worthwhile, exciting new forms of gameplay.

Until I get a full launch-window line-up though, I think you'll forgive me for being a little bit nervous. And that's ages off, so let's just cross everything in the meantime, shall we?

July 12, 2011

Topics

Nintendo

33 comments

  • TheDigitalG - July 13, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    @jmcgrotty you're a cynical bastard, aren'tcha. The Wii was fun, this will be fun, move with the times, accept innovation, games aren't all about high-powered FPS', etc. etc. Stop being so angry at a barely announced console without seeing it for real.
  • jmcgrotty - July 13, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    While not addressing specific peoples comments by names, here are thoughts I had while reading the comments: Every rational person in the world KNOWS Cafe will fail and this controller is a mistake. Want a sure bet? By 2013 at the latest, Nintendo follows Sega and goes software-only. Nobody needs to actually touch/use the controller to know it sucks. Give me a break and either quit lying to us or to yourself into thinking it matters. Someone said how they never saw Nintendo or Levine say they were making anything for the Cafe. Congratulations! You understand the whole point of the article! There is one good thing about the Cafe being released. Now that Nintendo will have released 2 piece of trash consoles in a row, motion control won't show it's ugly head for another 15 to 20 years. An additional thanks to the Move and Kinect (772 days since Natal/Kinect was announced and not a SINGLE USE for it has been found! Way to go, Microsoft.) for speeding along this path as well. As worthless as both products are, comparing the Cafe and Vita is just pathetically pathetic. Shoot. Had some other things, but can't remember what now. Oh well. Summary: FK Cafe. Quit supporting this garbage, people. It's people like you who bought the Revolution and falsely convinced Nintendo (and Sony and Microsoft) it was a good idea.
  • majorlynch - July 13, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Heading into the hardcore gamer side of town without any hardcore games is a bit risky. The Wii U can have great graphics if they like, but I know plenty of people who bought a wii to impress people at a party and then let the thing gather dust. Alot of casual gamers won't bother with it this time. And hardcore gamers demand hardcore games!!
  • D0CCON - July 12, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    @db1331 You want them to go bankrupt and THEN make a new console? I don't see that happening. Not to mention this could appeal to the hardcore gamer. We don't know what they are going to do with it yet.
  • lilbuddha - July 12, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    The D-pad has been too small (and not pronounced enough as well) on nintendo controllers since the gamecube. Personally I think a slightly more streamlined Dreamcast controller or the japanese Saturn S controller (which the x360 controller comes very close to) are "perfect".
  • Enclave84 - July 12, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    @Ace: I'm definatly with you, the controller just looks akward.... I think the success of the Wii U really depends on it's exclusives at the time. If your a nintendo fan you'll definatly buy it but if your not really into their games, and already have another console, why buy a new one that has a few extra gimicks. I'm probably not getting it until the price drops, and I'm pretty happy that their putting the new Smash bros on 3ds so I don't -have- to buy one of these things to get in my smash fix Also, anyone know how much this thing is gonna cost, cause that's probably another thing that'll effect sales.
  • Ravenbom - July 12, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    @ ACE - Yeah, that controller looks more than kind of awkward. @ DaveH - Personally, I was still under the assumption that the Wii U will undergo final tweaks (like to the controller) and that there's no dev kit (at least outside of Nintendo) yet. Release is still probably a 1 and 1/2 away, in Japan. 2 years for the rest of us. So, probably a year for the hardware to be finalized and a dev kit to be sent out to devs to make quick ports for launch. I bet the launch will be as shitty as the 3DS launch.
  • statutoryreparez - July 12, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    Im hoping people dont overhype this console too much, it has potential to bring nintendo back to what it used to be (my favorite console maker) but if people keep bringing it up for debate all the time, i just see dissapointment on its way
  • Svage - July 12, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    Whom*
  • mrclam - July 12, 2011 6:36 p.m.

    Oh boo hoo, i wont be able to play the latest overly hyped mediocre borefest shooter... Oh wait - yes i will, i own a 360 for that sort of thing (if i REALLY wanted to play another over hyped fps borefest). - I dont buy a nintendo console to play those sort of games.. When will game sites (who seem OBSESSED with fps games) get it into their heads that not all of us like that sort of game?
  • MD1500 - July 12, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    If Bioshock Infinite was going to be released for the Wii U, they would have showed footage of the game alongside Darksiders and Batman. They didn't, therefore I never assumed it was going to be released for the console.
  • MancisFrorkYorgan - July 12, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    Nintendo's biggest problem is that it can't launch a direct attack against Sony and Microsoft by creating a console almost identical to the PS3 or the Xbox 360. Currently, Nintendo has to innovate in order to stay relevant and, yes, the Wii U is definitely innovative. However, gamers -- on the whole -- do not *like* innovation. Well, at the very least, they enjoy it in moderation. I do not have a concept of how the Wii U will actually *work* and, thus, I feel that I cannot invest in it until its function(s) are actually explained to me.
  • RedOutlive10 - July 12, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    Not really surprising to see third party developers skeptical for making games for Nintendo's home consoles, since the N64 times they already opted for other platforms thanks to Nintendo charging bigger royalties for their platforms. The big N should just realize they do need third parties (to make their platforms solid) much more than they need Nintendo.
  • Letter11 - July 12, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    @bawrash Whoa, relax guy. "Trash Rag", LOL that's a new one for me. @ACE I'm with you I think, I still can't get over the analog stick and the buttons being swapped on the right side. I'm beginning to wonder if they'll have a 3DS like system launch with no real must-have software behind it. Just some third-party ports. Next Zelda is the for the Wii, StarFox, Kid Icarus and Mario are going 3DS at the moment, and Smash Brothers isn't even it's conceptual stages. I wonder what they'll launch with? A secret new F-Zero maybe?
  • DuffMufflin - July 12, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    @Crypto140 Hahaha thats pretty accurate id say. Nintendo has always put out fun games for both the family and solo gamer setting, but ever since sony put out its revolutionary playstation to compete against the N64 (which by the way is one of my most favorite sysems ever) nintendos gaming technology technology could never keep up. And to lay a chuck norris roundhouse kick with salt laced on the bottom of his boot to the already gushing blood wound that sony made, bill gates just woke up one mornin and said "hey, i think ill try to rule the gaming industry with the iron fist that made me king of computers." And so the xbox was created, and all of nintendo land was at a state of unrest and dispair.
  • Gex4212 - July 12, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    @TheDigitalG its not about being snobby or an elitist. Yes the Wii was fun but only for about the first 2 years of release and after that it became a paperweight. The casual gamers are exactly what they are casual. You lose all your core players who play videos games about 4-5 hours a day and the Hardcore games who live on a console. The Wii has lost its stride in sales which is why they are pushing for a new console release. I don't mind party games. But when 80% of your system is party/shovelware than it becomes a problem.
  • Cyberninja - July 12, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    when will people learn its just a waste of time to bash the wiiu until it will supposeditly fail because i am all for a ps4 and nexbox we all know sony and microsoft wont take any risks and as a result take no crap from fanboys before the system released. the wii's hardcore games only failed because everyone said they wanted them but let them die in retail causing tons of crap shovlware to sell like hot cakes. so in other words give wiiu a chance to release before fanboys destroy it. by the way i have a interesting idea maybe to so 3rd party developers interest is in the wiiu you could i dont know buy it and let 3rd party sales skyrocket showing wii dont want the same to happen as the wii. end rant
  • Aletheon - July 12, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    Why anybody would assume anything from an E3 conference is beyond me. The Wii U will deliver the goods, almost as well as Rob Halford.
  • jaico22 - July 12, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    @db1331 There's a possibility they could go bankrupt without launching a new system. The Wiis sales are declining and it has become a dying fad. Gaming technology, in terms of hardware, is not evolving as rapidly as it used to be thus the gap between this generation and the next will be longer than previous generations, as shown through the fact that Sony and Microsoft still don't have plans for a next gen system. The only real things that are evolving right now are game engines.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - July 12, 2011 2:21 p.m.

    @bawrash 1. Not sure what you're getting at with reference to my E3 Kinect article. That was an analytical piece about how I see that MS is making mistakes in terms of the long-term effectiveness of its casual-focused strategy by being blinded the short-term, fad-based sales boost of Kinect. Seriously, it's all in there. I'm not sure how anything in that article discredited the points I'd made, given that the article was about business strategy, no personal game taste, but if you have anything else to add, please let me know. 2. There's more context in this article in regards to the overall presentation of Wii U games than the simple fact that Irrational aren't working on anything. It's about the bigger picture. 3. Chris' Final Fantasy XIII-2 article is an ironic joke story to liven up what would otherwise be a rather dry screenshot release. The tone of his text throughout makes that clear. It actually parodies inflammatory fanboyism throughout, rather than inciting it.

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