Iwata apologizes for Wii U software drought

Nintendo president says new titles will start showing up in March, extra dev time needed to meet quality standards

Recent weeks have seen Nintendo's Wii U "launch window" releases thinned out by delays, with first-party titles Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U, The Wonderful 101, and Game & Wario no longer expected to make it out before April. In a Nintendo Direct presentation today, company president Satoru Iwata apologized for the lack of releases in January and February, but said the pace should pick up starting in March.

"Nintendo takes seriously its responsibility to offer a steady stream of new titles in the very early days of a new platform to establish a good lineup of software," Iwata said. "On the other hand, we also firmly believe we have to offer quality experiences when we release new titles. Based on our software development schedules at the end of last year, we concluded we should spend a little more time to satisfy our Nintendo standard of quality. I apologize to those supporting Wii U about the lack of titles in January and February."

In October, Iwata told investors that the company was limiting the number of first-party titles at the Wii U's debut specifically to avoid a post-launch software drought.

"Nintendo tends to release too many titles at the launch of a hardware system and as a result suffers a drop in new games for quite some time after launch, and for the Wii U launch, we are being very careful not to let it happen," Iwata said at the time.

Elsewhere in the Nintendo Direct presentation, Iwata reassured fans that Nintendo had plenty of first-party efforts on the way. He confirmed that new Mario 3D and Mario Kart games would be playable on Wii U at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and announced a new Yoshi game with a Kirby Epic Yarn visual style. He also addressed Zelda, saying that the first original Wii U installment of the series is a ways off, but adding the company will release a Wii U version of the GameCube title Wind Waker in the meantime.

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Latest comments (14)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Out of that 35 minute presentation, this was the main aspect you guys wanted to cull from it?
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Brendan Sinclair Managing Editor, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
More on the way. That was the first news-worthy bit in there.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent8 years ago

It's certainly the most interesting bit, so why not?
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Show all comments (14)
Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
Oh deary me, thought lessons were learnt post-3DS.
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Steve Peterson Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
Wind Waker? Really?
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange8 years ago
Did not even mention stuff they're planning for the Virtual Console?
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd8 years ago
Wind Waker? Really?
Care to elaborate? Out of Nintendo's catalogue of the past decade it seems like a good choice to bring to a new audience.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games8 years ago
@Jim absolutely agree with you!

there are so many interesting news in this presentation.
miiverse app for mobile phones!
pushing even more the social features.
youtube on posts
official miiverse accounts
vConsole 30 year anniversary offers
and so many new games coming up!
forgot to mention the exclusive Bayonetta2 footage!

it is best if you watch the video yourself.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 24th January 2013 1:42am

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Steve Peterson Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
Wind Waker is a good game, but if you want to show off the graphics capabilities of the Wii U, and live up to the Link demo shown, that is not the title to lead with. Nintendo is setting themselves up for the same reaction the first Wind Waker got, coming after another terrific graphics demo featuring Link.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Steve, the Wind Waker remake is just an interim Zelda title to tide fans over until the bigger production launches. That was noted in the presentation.
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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 8 years ago
I'm glad they take their time and release polished games instead of rushing to get stuff out quickly.

Also oh god why does the wind waker remake look so... neon?
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
@ Steve

I'm not sure why a remake of Wind Waker would generate anywhere near the same outrage or reaction. The graphics style of Wind Waker was a complete curve ball when it was unveiled in 2001. The title has been around for nearly a decade and if anything, the general consensus on Wind Waker has improved. I'd say appreciation for the art style has generally improved, too. Nintendo were also clear that this is something to tide fans over until the 'real' Zelda comes, whereas when the original Wind Waker was announced, that was the only Zelda title fans would get.

An apology is all well and good, but for me, it becomes redundant when Iwata didn't follow it up with firm, or even vague 'month' release windows, for titles like Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101 and Game & Wario. Really, they should have dated those titles as coming in Quarter 2, adding weight to Iwata's assertion that titles are coming from March onwards. All that existing and potential Wii U owners know right now is that there are some games in March, and that some games will be coming after March--but how soon after March? That's a question Nintendo should have answered, really. They did show some fantastic content, and they mentioned content we all knew was coming at some point, but as a potential Wii U buyer, I don't feel any more inclined to buy. I prefer to know when games are actually being released, not just knowing that these games are in development.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Daniel Hughes on 24th January 2013 10:26am

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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 8 years ago
@Kingman Cheng: This isn't the lesson post 3DS. This is a lesson that Nintendo should've learned when they made the Wii and the Gamecube and the N64. This is what has happened with every Nintendo non-portable console for over a decade now. The virtual console announcement is an embarrassment after the similar VC drought on the Wii.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
The hilarious thing about WInd Waker's visuals is some people complained up and down about them (they're wonderful all around, I think), but no one seemed to say a thing when the same art style was used in a number of Zelda games made for Nintendo's portables.

That said, Nintendo is now in HD-land, so I'd gather they're finally going to give the fans who want it the Link they "deserve"... Hmmm. now I sound like I'm in a Batman movie...
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