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3DSWii

Is Q2 2011 Really That Bad?

by Neal Ronaghan - April 8, 2011, 5:02 pm PDT
Total comments: 28

The releases on Nintendo systems from April to June look terrible. Are we just spoiled or is this awful?

While most of us are still busy loving the hell out of Pilotwings Resort and Super Street Fighter IV on our shiny new 3DSes, there is still a large chunk of the Nintendo faithful that either couldn't afford or didn't want the 3DS at launch. If you're one of those people, I'm sure the next few months have your Nintendo gaming habit severely depressed. Currently, Nintendo does not have a game slated for release over the next two months, and the only game that looks to be for certain releasing in June is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

On 3DS, which did have a healthy 16-game launch, the rest of the launch window doesn't seem to be dynamite, but it's not terrible. You've got a few Ubisoft titles, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, and a smattering of other titles. The 3DS outlook isn't that bad, and understandably due to the existence of the 3DS, the DS outlook is bleak, with just a few movie tie-ins on the horizon. The true cause of concern for Q2 2011 is the Wii releases.

There are currently 10 Wii games of mild interest slated for release over the next three months. That might not sound terrible, but six of those are movie tie-ins (Thor, Green Lantern, Transformers 3, Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2, and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean), and three of them are sports/racing games (Virtua Tennis 4, NASCAR The Game, Driver: San Francisco). The remaining title, High Voltage and Sega's Conduit 2, is the only game I'd label as a high profile and notable title. I don't mean to sell any of the other games short, as LEGO games are usual solid, and Red Fly's take on Thor could be interesting, but regardless, the point still stands, the Wii looks like a system in its death throes.

Say hello to your marquee Wii title for the first half of 2011!


Now that could likely change. We might hear about the next prospective Excitebots-esque game soon and see it debut in June (likely to poor sales if it gets crapped out like Excitebots did). According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo is holding back games because they're juggling Pokémon Black and White and the launch of the 3DS. Well, the 3DS has been out for nearly two weeks. The second quarter of 2011 is upon us. Where are the Wii games?

Is this kind of drought unprecedented, though? Let's analyze the Q2 period of every year of the Wii's existence, highlighting the amount of notable releases:

2007 - Super Paper Mario, Pokémon Battle Revolution, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, Mario Party 8, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
2008 - Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, Boom Blox, Okami
2009 - Excitebots, Punch-Out!!, New Play Control! Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, Boom Blox Bash Party, The Conduit, Klonoa, Overlord: Dark Legend
2010 - Super Mario Galaxy 2, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, Monster Hunter Tri, Trauma Team

As you can see above, every single year has featured at least two Nintendo-published Wii releases, and the times when it was just two involved Mario and/or the sales juggernaut that is Wii Fit. Q2 2011's slate of Nintendo-made Wii releases is blank. Hell, 2011's sole Nintendo-published Wii release is Mario Sports Mix, a game that came out in 2010 in Japan. I'll repeat again: Where are the Wii games?

Here's your only Nintendo-published Wii title in the first half of 2011!


This absurd drought reminds me of a Kotaku interview with Fils-Aime. "As we sit here today we're saying the Wii has many, many more units to sell," he said. "After we've reached an installed base of 45 million here in the U.S., we can have a conversation about the next generation."

So, are you going to release games for this system to help push it 45 million units sold? Is Nintendo counting on Zumba Fitness and Just Dance 2 to sell the Wii for them? Truthfully, that's not a terrible plan, as those two Majesco and Ubisoft titles have been mainstays on the NPD Top 10 list since their release last fall.

And, to open up a porous wound, is there any hope for games such as Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower to hit North America? Will the next Kirby Wii game actually come out? Is Rhythm Heaven Wii making the jump across the ocean? If I were a betting man, I'd say if Kirby Wii actually sees the light of day, it's a lock for a North American release. I think Xenoblade is likely as well. Sadly, I'm not feeling too certain about the other three games. The recent revelation that a The Last Story domain has been owned by Nintendo of America since early 2010 doesn't confirm a damn thing!

There are way too many questions about the Wii's software lineup in North America, and sadly, there haven't been any concrete answers, just non-committal ones saying "we're doing something, guys! Seriously!" and "We're so not planning to come out with a new system, dudes."

2011 could prove to be a curious year. After all, it's the 10th anniversary of the GameCube, and the 5th anniversary of the Wii. It might also be the debut of a brand spankin' new home console. Two new Nintendo systems in the same year? Crazier things have happened…

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Talkback

EnnerApril 08, 2011

It really is a dry release slate.


The thing about Nintendo releasing a new home console for this winter is that I think we would've heard some substantial leaks or rumors by now due to third-party developers. Then again, maybe Nintendo is much better at keepings secrets than Sony or Microsoft.

NintendadApril 08, 2011

It's definitely bad but these dry spots never bother me. I've got 6 or 7 Wii titles I'd still like to purchase and play through, 15 or so DS games, and 5 or 6 WiiWare/DSi titles. Plus I've been messing with my 3DS and don't even have a game for it yet. I'll be plenty busy.

To be fair, it's pretty dry on the other platforms in Q2 as well, though that doesn't excuse Nintendo (or Sony or Microsoft, for that matter).

broodwarsApril 08, 2011

Quote from: insanolord

To be fair, it's pretty dry on the other platforms in Q2 as well, though that doesn't excuse Nintendo (or Sony or Microsoft, for that matter).

I wouldn't call...

- Portal 2
- L.A. Noire
- Mortal Kombat
- Infamous 2
- Prince of Persia: SoT Trilogy
- Brink
- Alice: Madness Returns
- Child of Eden
- Duke Nukem Forever
- Catherine

..."pretty dry", and that's just games I found on GameFAQs' upcoming games list (which doesn't usually include digital download games).

What broodwars said.

Hell, just Portal 2 by itself bests the Wii's entire release schedule in 2011 thus far.

Yeah, I forgot about Portal 2, which I'd argue tops the entire release schedule so far this year on any system, not just the Wii. The rest of them aren't that high profile, but they do easily top the Wii lineup.

ThomasOApril 08, 2011

Too bad none of those games, save for Portal 2 (but only slightly), interest me. I mean, I'd buy it, but my hardware's outdated and I don't plan to buy a new console just for it.

Quote from: Nintendad

It's definitely bad but these dry spots never bother me. I've got 6 or 7 Wii titles I'd still like to purchase and play through, 15 or so DS games, and 5 or 6 WiiWare/DSi titles. Plus I've been messing with my 3DS and don't even have a game for it yet. I'll be plenty busy.

Same here. There's still a lot to do in my other Wii games to keep me busy. I recently started new playthroughs in Super Paper Mario and Twilight Princess, as well as finally getting into Okami and Cursed Mountain, so yeah. I still need to 100% some of my other games, too.

That's one of the few upsides of having as big a backlog as I do: droughts don't really mean all that much to me. I actually started playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the first time last night.

ThomasOApril 08, 2011

Exactly. 2-3 months without releases don't bother me. Back in the Gamecube days, almost every game I got was given to me on my birthday or at Christmas. If I could deal with long stretches without new games then, I can do so now, especially with my own backlog.

I'm in the same boat as Insanolord, my 20 Wii Game backlog from past extravagances means I could really go an entire year without buying anything. I'm like a Wii Game Camel! And besides, there's always my 2.5-years-old PC Laptop.

This IS an amazing dry spell though, and I should know since I have pretty... umm... wide-ranging tastes. I'm tempted to speculate that maybe this disappearance of traditional mid-tier developers, publishers, and gaming eco-systems might have something to do with it. Or maybe development resources are getting pulled into other avenues of the gaming ecosystem, like social and mobile development. Either way, I figure Nintendo's taken notice since this has got to impact the royalty income they get as a 1st party.

BeautifulShyApril 09, 2011

This "drought" doesn't really affect me that much. Droughts are relative to the person. If you are a type of gamer who rushes through their games in a week and what something now then yeah this "drought" would affect them. For me I have a backlog of Wii games that I need to get. Off the top of my head here is the Wii games I haven't gotten in the Wii's lifespan.

Super Paper Mario,Kornopia:Marble Saga,Fragile Dreams, Sonic Colors, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Trauma Team,Super Mario Galaxy 2, Pokemon Battle Revolution, and Sin and Punishment 2:Star Successor.That isn't counting any Wiiware or VC games that I have been wanting as well.

the asylumApril 09, 2011

Between Conduit 2, Brink, DNF and Portal 2, I'll have more than enough to keep me happy. I ain't complaining.

OblivionApril 09, 2011

If COnduit 2 ever comes out. It was supposed to come out back in November.

Quote from: Oblivion

If COnduit 2 ever comes out. It was supposed to come out back in November.

Conduit 2 is coming out. While Sega does have a history of delaying games at the last second (Alpha Protocol), we're two weeks out. Review copy should be in our hands soon.

It is coming out.

OblivionApril 09, 2011

They delayed it back in November with like a week before it's original release date. I'm not holding my breath.

Quote from: Oblivion

They delayed it back in November with like a week before it's original release date. I'm not holding my breath.

If early September is a week before release, then sure.

Dude, we're getting the review copy in a week or so! That means it is coming out!

OblivionApril 09, 2011

Alright, alright. I've just been butthurt about it being delayed. I first paid for it around this time last year. I would've rather used that money to buy other stuff that I wanted more so than Conduit 2.

Quote from: Oblivion

Alright, alright. I've just been butthurt about it being delayed. I first paid for it around this time last year. I would've rather used that money to buy other stuff that I wanted more so than Conduit 2.

You paid for it six months before it was originally supposed to come out? Can't you get a refund or something?

BlackNMild2k1April 09, 2011

I'm assuming he did it at GameStop, so he should be able to use that credit to buy something else and then you can re-pre-order it and start slowly paying it off all over again.

OblivionApril 09, 2011

Don't you think I tried? Fraking Gamestop employees wouldn't give me a refund, even as store credit. It pissed me off. They told me they couldn't refund my money. Though I went to a different one the same day and they said that they COULD refund. >.

Quote from: Oblivion

Don't you think I tried? Fraking Gamestop employees wouldn't give me a refund, even as store credit. It pissed me off. They told me they couldn't refund my money. Though I went to a different one the same day and they said that they COULD refund. >.<

I guess they just didn't want their reserves quota to go down. Just be rough with them. Sometimes they think they're better than you when they're really not. Like the one guy who I overheard tell a customer that you could buy full games online with the 3DS.

OblivionApril 09, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: Oblivion

Don't you think I tried? Fraking Gamestop employees wouldn't give me a refund, even as store credit. It pissed me off. They told me they couldn't refund my money. Though I went to a different one the same day and they said that they COULD refund. >.<

I guess they just didn't want their reserves quota to go down. Just be rough with them. Sometimes they think they're better than you when they're really not. Like the one guy who I overheard tell a customer that you could buy full games online with the 3DS.


I love knowing more than GS employees. And I love telling them wrong. I've been thinking about getting a job at a Gamestop; I'd be the smartest guy there. :P

Mop it upApril 09, 2011

The first half of this year is certainly light on worthwhile releases, but it doesn't matter to me personally. I haven't come close to playing all of the games I want released in years prior, and have many others I still need to finish up. Sure, it'd still be nice to have a steady stream of new releases because there can never be too many good games, but I'm not disappointed that this is happening because I'm plenty satisfied with what I have right now. As such, I probably won't be buying any games released in 2011 right away since I likely won't get to them for some time, so I'll be waiting for sales and price drops.

What annoys me is that there are barely any 3DS games coming out. What's that? A new handheld? It should be getting some hardcore support right out the gate! It's NOT! Dead or Alive comes out in June, but...anything else of note that I'm forgetting? Oh, well, RE: Mercenaries, but I'm still waiting for Revelations.

I didn't make a clear mention of this in the article (though I do admit that the 3DS lineup isn't awful), but this lack of releases for the 3DS post-launch isn't crazy. Look at any console launch. The ensuing months are always rough. Its just it is usually over the Christmas season, so that month is usually empty anyway.

SonofMrPeanutApril 10, 2011

Nintendo is handling the 3DS with a "launch-window" approach.  Like it or not, this does mean they are not giving it a traditional launch-week treatment, and as a result we don't get anything focused outside of the 3DS from Nintendo for Q2.  Aside from a couple announcements prior to it, the fans are being assured that "there are still lots of games to come. I’m sure you’ll see at this year’s E3."  Again, like it or not, we will probably have to wait until at least the end of May before anything is heard.

I'll also remind the readers that Captivate was last week and details about 6 games will be released on Tuesday.  Four are already known:  Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (it has a demo of Revelations, for the record), Street Fighter X Tekken, Asura's Wrath and Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City.  However unlikely it might be, at least one of those two games could be a Wii title.

One more thing:  It's been said before that Reggie just tossed out a random number with his "45-million units" quote, and I tend to believe it.  After all, it goes against their message of "we always start work on the next home console as soon as the previous one's released."  Even with that in mind, I doubt that there will be any announcement this year of a new console aside from a "speaking of which, we're working on our next console" line @ E3.  I call it a Revolution-esque quote.
The rumor mill seems to keep coming up with Monster Hunter 3DS being a possibility, but that has yet to be seen.

You could be right about the 45-million unit remark.

Though when he says they're not going to talk about the new console until they hit that mark, he's right. It doesn't mean they're not working on it right now, so Reggie's comment doesn't go against the message of "we always start working on the next home console after the last one's released." They're most definitely designing it now, whether it comes out in 2011 or 2014.

KDR_11kApril 11, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: Oblivion

If COnduit 2 ever comes out. It was supposed to come out back in November.

Conduit 2 is coming out. While Sega does have a history of delaying games at the last second (Alpha Protocol), we're two weeks out. Review copy should be in our hands soon.

It is coming out.

Magazines already have review copies.

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