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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...

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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

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Nintendo

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33 comments

  • IIIIIACEIIIII - July 12, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    Am I the only one who still thinks that controller is going to be horrible to hold and use?
  • AngelsandDemons1 - July 12, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    Interesting...quite the Gambit by Nintendo to steal the spotlight at E3; but, will they truly be able to acquire more hardcore gamers and compete with the Big 2's next gen systems once released.
  • Defguru7777 - July 12, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    @ACE I won't have anything to think about it until I get my hands on it. I never really assumed that Bioshock Infinite would be on the Wii U. I just thought Levine was either throwing his support to the Wii U, or that it was his way of indirectly announcing a secret Wii U game. Either way, this doesn't surprise me that much.
  • db1331 - July 12, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    I love Nintendo, but I hope this fails hard and they go all but bankrupt, then they make an actual core gaming system timed to release with the next Xbox and Playstation.
  • Yahcoo - July 12, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    I really want to like the wii U but it's getting more difficult as the days go on.
  • mrplow8 - July 12, 2011 12:49 p.m.

    Ken Levine hasn't announced that he's ever going to make another game after Bioshock Infinite; so let's all assume that that will be his last game ever.
  • Crypto140 - July 12, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Good for Nintendo, sticking though it even though they know this will be trumped by the PS Vita. The little game company that could.
  • spongeboy - July 12, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    I never remember Nintendo or Levine ever saying Bioshock was coming to Wii U
  • Darkmessiah24 - July 12, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    I think we're all nervous about what's going to be on the new console from Nintendo but at the same time for me, I'm excited for it. I plan to buy the console no matter what if they keep their promise of having a strong line-up of games at launch.
  • spongeboy - July 12, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    @mrplow8 So Levine has no involvement in the unnamed Bioshock game for PS Vita
  • ParagonT - July 12, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    Nintendo is trying to get an early start against Sony and Microsoft, so it was a pre-mature release of the console. This in mind has set the ball rolling with a next generation console wars, but is really lacking from what I thought it would be. People are ready to pay for a new console, and Nintendo is just trying to get a piece of the pie before Sony and Microsoft takes it all. It's not up to Nintendo if third party hardcore games are coming to the system, it's if the third party developers think that there is a big enough crowd and target audience for their game from that specific system. Which the Wii/Wii U from what my friends say, doesn't have. I'm not buying the system and promoting shit systems until those promised "hardcore" games are released for it.
  • bawrash - July 12, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    This coming from the man that wrote the articule how microsoft could be in bigger trouble than their admitting with the connect only to provide no evidence of such but rather contradicted yourself with showing how well their sales figures were doing. You then went on a rant about how you hate the kinect discrediting everything you've ever written. Now you've heard that one company isn't developing for the wii U and that obviously means all the other companies lied. Its articules like this and the 'new final fantasy XII-2 screenshots show bias to ps3' which have no evidence to support it are turning this web site into a trash rag where you cant believe anything that you read.
  • TheDigitalG - July 12, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    Ninja Gaiden is all I need. Why is everyone so cynical? The Wii was fun, whether you admit it or not. Anyone throwing around 'casual' and 'hardcore' is my enemy, stop being so snobby and elitist and understand 'casual', or easy, games are fun. When did the gaming community get so retarded? Pick up a party game and HAVE FUN, or pick up a copy of Dead Space and HAVE FUN. Just because a game is cutesy and not a FPS it's too childish? While you're moaning about how the casual gaming ruined Nintendo, I'll be having a great time playing Mario Party with friends.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?

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