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Nintendo Launch Windows Through the Ages

by Neal Ronaghan - November 1, 2013, 11:28 am PDT
Total comments: 6

Every system's launch window is just shy of a year, right?

With the release of Wii Fit U, the Wii U’s launch window officially ends. Yes, technically the generous period ran from launch to March 31, 2013, but since games such as The Wonderful 101, Wii Fit U, and Rayman Legends didn’t make it out until the past month or two, the lovely post-launch period has continued on in our hearts.

That means we can now compare the Wii U’s launch window, which was just shy of a year, to other Nintendo system launch windows. Let’s start, of course, with the Wii U. For the purposes of this article, we’ll only be covering Nintendo-published games.

Wii U Launch Window


Launch titles: 4 (New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Sing Party)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 1 (Lego City Undercover)
Months 5 to 7: 2 (Game & Wario, New Super Luigi U)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 5 (Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U)
Total “launch window” games: 12
Hot games after launch window: Wii Sports Club, Super Mario 3D World

3DS Launch Window


Launch titles: 3 (Nintendogs+Cats, Pilotwings Resort, Steel Diver)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 1 (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D)
Months 5 to 7: 2 (Star Fox 64 3D, Pokémon Rumble Blast)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 2 (Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7)
Total “launch window” games: 8
Hot games after launch window: Kid Icarus: Uprising

Wii Launch Window


Launch titles: 3 (Excite Truck, Wii Sports, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 2 (WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Wii Play)
Months 5 to 7: 4 (Super Paper Mario, Mario Party 8, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, Pokémon Battle Revolution)
Month 8 to the launch window end: 4 (Mario Strikers Charged, Metroid Prime 3, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, Battalion Wars 2)
Total “launch window” games: 13
Hot games after launch window: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Super Mario Galaxy

DS Launch Window


Launch titles: 1 (Super Mario 64 DS)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 3 (WarioWare: Touched!, Pokémon Dash, Yoshi Touch & Go)
Months 5 to 7: 3 (Polarium, Kirby Canvas Curse, Meteos)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 4 (Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Nintendogs, Trace Memory, Metroid Prime Pinball)
Total “launch window” games: 11
Hot games after launch window: Mario Kart DS, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Animal Crossing: Wild World

GameCube Launch Window


Launch titles: 2 (Luigi’s Mansion, Wave Race: Blue Storm)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 3 (Pikmin, Super Smash Bros. Melee, NBA Courtside 2002)
Months 5 to 7: 1 (Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 4 (Super Mario Sunshine, Star Fox Adventures, Animal Crossing, Mario Party 4)
Total “launch window” games: 10
Hot games after launch window: Metroid Prime

Game Boy Advance Launch Window


Launch titles: 2 (Super Mario Advance, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 2 (Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Advance Wars)
Months 5 to 7: 2 (Golden Sun, Wario Land 4)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 1 (Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2)
Total “launch window” games: 7
Hot game after launch window: Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Nintendo 64 Launch Window


Launch titles: 2 (Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 4 (Wave Race 64, Killer Instinct Gold, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Cruis’n USA)
Months 5 to 7: 2 (Mario Kart 64, Blast Corps)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 3 (Star Fox 64, Tetrisphere, GoldenEye 007)
Total “launch window” games: 11
Hot game after launch window: Diddy Kong Racing, Yoshi’s Story

Virtual Boy Launch Window


Launch titles: 4 (Mario’s Tennis, Galactic Pinball, Teleroboxer, Red Alarm)
Post-launch months 1 to 4: 5 (Mario Clash, Golf, Virtual Boy Wario Land, Panic Bomber, Vertical Force)
Months 5 to 7: 2 (Nester’s Funky Bowling, 3D Tetris)
Months 8 to the launch window end: 0
Total “launch window” games: 11
Hot game after launch window: Ummm...about that...

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Talkback

Jasae BushaeNovember 01, 2013

You just HAD to mention Virtuaboy didn't you? XD

pashavelikiNovember 01, 2013

But... I picked up the Gamecube at launch and went home with Luigi's Mansion and Rogue Squadron

pashavelikiNovember 01, 2013

Also: Anyone who likes Mutant Mudds should check out Virtual Boy Wario Land... it's a legit game.

Quote from: pashaveliki

But... I picked up the Gamecube at launch and went home with Luigi's Mansion and Rogue Squadron

Nintendo-published games were the only ones factored into this.

Mop it upNovember 02, 2013

Looking at these lists, the Wii U lineup seems fine, especially compared to the handhelds.

For some reason I thought Rogue Leader was a Nintendo title. Odd that it was exclusive if they didn't publish it.

Quote from: Mop

Looking at these lists, the Wii U lineup seems fine, especially compared to the handhelds.

For some reason I thought Rogue Leader was a Nintendo title. Odd that it was exclusive if they didn't publish it.

I think Factor 5 just liked the GameCube hardware a whole lot. Doesn't look like there was anything more than marketing money in it for them/LucasArts.

Shadows of the Empire, on the other hand, was published by Nintendo for N64 but also came out on PC (published by LucasArts).

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