The 5 Games Launching on Wii U in the First Quarter of 2014

(Source: Lego.com)

If anyone is still uncertain about the future of Nintendo's (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) Wii U, a look at the system's upcoming software lineup should make things pretty clear. While company President Satoru Iwata has repeatedly stated that Nintendo understands the problems inherent to software droughts, it's apparent that this recognition has not helped the company create a suitable lineup for its system. These are the five Wii U games with firm first-quarter 2014 dates attached. The list includes both retail and downloadable titles.

The LEGO movie videogame
Developed by TT Games and published by Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) , this game has already hit store shelves in conjunction with The LEGO Movie. Games in the "LEGO" series were a big hit on last generation's Wii console. The property is a natural fit for the family centric audiences that Nintendo's platforms tend to attract. While reviews of the game's Wii U version are hard to come by, the Sony PlayStation 4 version of the title currently has a respectable 75% critical average on Metacritic.

Since the Wii U's debut, Warner has been one of the system's biggest and most steadfast supporters. The company will also release LEGO The Hobbit early in the second quarter of 2014, but there are signs that the publisher will limit its future Wii U output. An upcoming downloadable content expansion for the Wii U version of Batman: Arkham Origins was recently canceled. Warner may continue to support the platform with family games, but it looks like the company's other properties will ignore the platform going forward.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

(Source: Nintendo.com)

The latest installment of the legendary "Donkey Kong" series marks the return of the great ape and his family of platforming monkeys. Developed by Retro Studios, the unit behind the esteemed "Metroid Prime" series and 2010's well-received Donkey Kong Country Returns, the game should deliver a high-quality genre experience. The differences in install base and platform momentum make it very unlikely that Tropical Freeze will approach the sales of its predecessor. That said, Nintendo should heavily promote the Wii U's lone remaining first-quarter retail release if it hopes to keep the system alive for the releases of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. 

It's worth noting that Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze makes sparse use of the Wii U's GamePad controller. President Iwata has stated that the company will concentrate on delivering compelling uses of the system's defining feature in the coming year, but Retro apparently didn't get that memo. Check out this article for more information on Tropical Freeze's under-use of Wii U's GamePad and what it might mean for the system at large.

Citizens of Earth
What's that? You've never heard of Citizens of Earth? Don't feel bad. With that glorious introduction, this list of year's first-quarter Wii U games dips into content that even most gaming enthusiasts have never heard of. Featuring a sprite-based art style and turn-based game play, the game takes inspiration from Nintendo's own Earthbound.

Developed and published by little-known Eden Industries, the game is slated for release as a downloadable title on March 14. A retail release is highly unlikely.

Pier Solar HD
Pier Solar HD is yet another downloadable title destined to be roundly ignored by the vast majority of the gaming public. Scheduled for a March 25 eShop release, the game harkens back to the days of old school RPGs. In fact, the game is an HD remake of a game that was originally developed for the Sega Genesis. The game is coming to the Wii U thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that exceeded a fundraising goal, made by industry-unknown WaterMelon Company.

Shovel Knight
Developed by indie team Yacht Club Games, Shovel Knight is the third download-only title on this list. It's also the third title on this list to make use of retro graphics, sporting an eight-bit art style that should make dedicated fans of the NES feel right at home. The game is currently slated to hit the eShop on March 31. The title will also release on Nintendo's DS, as well as Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Apple Mac OS X-based computers.

Bad strategy, bad results

 (Source: Nintendo.com)

There you have it: the Wii U's first quarter 2014 lineup. It's possible that the above list omits a small title or two. Some sources suggest that an Android game called Jett Tailfin will hit the system in March, however a Wii U version of the game has yet to be rated by the ESRB.

How did we get here? Take a look at this Satoru Iwata quote from 2002, courtesy of an interview with Spong: "The GameCube has been well received by the development community, but we don't believe in overwhelming third party support." In June of 2013, Iwata once again downplayed the importance of third party support in driving Wii U adoption. The results of this strategy are obvious. 

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Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 11:37 AM, targeyone wrote:

    "President Iwata has stated that the company will concentrate on delivering compelling uses of the system's defining feature in the coming year, but Retro apparently didn't get that memo."

    I'm not sure what that's even a jab at. Tropical Freeze went gold a while ago (original release date was in 2013, delayed in attempt to help an incredibly sparse Q1 2014).

    Do you expect Retro to completely redesign the UI scheme the moment Iwata announces gamepad focus?

    It's a fact that Wii U's Q1 release schedule is anemic, and Nintendo should be criticized for this. But unfounded potshots like this continue to erode any credibility of Motley Fool's contributor articles.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 12:29 PM, Genduke wrote:

    Come on nintendo. Build a system to beat the Ps4 and Xbox one put these winnies in there place. You guys owned the market for a long time now your dieing off. Your the Grandfather of Gaming save us.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 1:09 PM, joe368 wrote:

    @Genduke

    Why make a console that is just like the PS4 & the XBOX One? Nintendo's strategy is making an alternative. Frankly the Wii U is basicaly a home version of the 3DS & I'm okay with that. I have one & I really enjoy it, but the 3rd parties really miss the mark by not supporting it when they're the ones that are keeping the XBOX One & PS4 afloat.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 2:53 PM, JaredM80 wrote:

    ps4 and xbox is beating the nintendo so yeah we are winnies, we're winning. u mean WEENIES? yup we are that's why we are BEATING them. we CAME in first place. get it?

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 4:51 PM, keithnoonan wrote:

    Hey targeyone,

    Thanks for the comment. The lack of compelling GamePad use in Donkey Kong shows that there is a lack of unity in Nintendo's Wii U messaging. The company has been struggling to show why the system is worth purchasing, and a lack of quality titles that integrate its features is a big part of that. The GamePad being central to Wii U isn't new messaging or a new strategy put forth by Iwata. His recent commitments to the device are a reiteration of the previous strategy and a rejection of possible change. As such, the fact that one of Wii U's biggest games sees the GamePad screen kept completely blank during TV play is very noteworthy. That the game was delayed into 2014 only compounds the significance of the blunder.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 8:12 PM, targeyone wrote:

    Interesting perspective Noonan, and thanks for the reply.

    But Iwata's recent comments were that Nintendo hasn't accomplished its goal of integrating the gamepad into games in a meaningful way thus far. Tropical Freeze has been in development for years now, if anything, Iwata's comments of insufficient gamepad integration apply to Tropical Freeze as well.

    So again, using this to mock Retro still doesn't make any sense.

    Nintendo has never been one to force devs to implement features. Retro initially shoe-horned motion controls into the original Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii, and it was the one element of gameplay controls that was universally panned.

    You can choose to look at this as uncoordinated company goals, or, most likely, as Retro learning from their previous mistake, and leaving this traditionally-styled platformer's controls to a traditional setup.

    I'm not arguing that a lack of strong gamepad integration isn't a bad thing, but again, repeated small asides like this (off-topic this time in an article about an insufficient lineup, not gamepad integration) isn't doing any favors for Motley Fool's professional image.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 9:39 AM, wizardaeon wrote:

    constantly giving Nintendo bad publicity is really what hurts them the most. Motley Fool isnt the first or last to constantly write derogatory articles about Nintendo. X play didnt help them at all. Adam Sessler was constantly dogging Nintendo even with their best gamecube titles --- Zelda the windwaker was an awesome game- it had some nice features that nobody really tried before- but it got derided and chastised by Sessler for having cel shaded graphics. So what? There are tons of really good successful games that still use cel shading. There is too much emphasis on graphics and not enough on what really hooks people to a game. World of Warcraft has really outdated graphics, but the players keep coming back because there is so much content. You cant finish all the content in that game. There are years of it built in.

    What really kills Nintendo is simple = lack of games. I went into a Gamestop looking at the lineup the other day and the Wii and Wii U simply do not have enough big name games. Nintendo was focusing on their core, original successes like Mario, but they need to learn how to appeal to the FPS community. I dont play FPS, but 90% of my video game friends play them religously. Unfortunately FPS is what is dominating right now, and the call of duty versions were substandard on the Wii. A console needs 1080 p or at least 720 quality, a hard drive and a kick *** online option to win now. The Wii U may be HD, but they are still underpowered, are therefore the majority of players will not buy it.

    Still, all the bad publicity from Fool and Forbes is what really drives away developers. Im sure Nintendo can be coerced into doing better with the console if they had developers willing to work with them. Losing Nintendo from the console market will not help the industry- it will destroy it when Sony and Microsoft obtain monopoly power in the console market.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 10:39 AM, Relias27 wrote:

    Nintendo does not exactly need to make a lot of functions with the Gamepad. They need to get games. Also, everyone saying make a system comparable to the other two. I agree to a point, but they would have to make it weaker to save money, and they might as well launch it with third parties out of mind and sight. Cause in the end Third parties will find any reason to dump them. Nintendo could fix everything, the online, have the most powerful beast on the market, no gimmick, nothing out of the ordinary and what this would do in the end. 1. Raise the price of the system making it hard for families to afford it (This is a major thing) 2. Since Nintendo fans and families that can afford it and stick with Nintendo for family safe games actually prevent sells from third parties doing as well and 3. Have the third parties say well Nintendo systems only sell Nintendo games as thus it still sucks. so in the end there is really nothing Nintendo can do.. except grow, have a plan for the next system that involves third parties but very little.. release at least 20 or so heavy hitter and spin off titles(all first party and perhaps some second party exclusives) at Launch and have more planned and out within the launch window. Including a lot of stuff that has seemed forgotten or has not had a update for a while. Like Metroid, Pilot Wings, F-Zero, Starfox, and for the love of God Bring back Play Action Football, that thing EA has only limits third parties not first parties from making NFL football games.. or snap up NCAA football.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 1:12 PM, Amberyerno wrote:

    @wizard Right, because yet another Call of Duty franchise is what gaming really needs.

    God forbid developers come up with new and unique ideas. Even if Nintendo does like to focus on their core franchises, they at least try to put a new spin on them (IE, the upcoming Hyrule Warriors).

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 3:12 PM, sam54125 wrote:

    If Nintendo would create Pokemon MMORPG for the WIIU, that thing would hemorrhage money. People have been asking for that for years now. But Nintendo will not take any ideas form any one. To bad.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 4:45 PM, sternfan wrote:

    So...

    Donkey Kong, a multi-platform Lego game that will look better on PS4 and XB1, and 3 stinking turds that no one's heard of?

    Brilliant.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 6:45 PM, NBSN wrote:

    I know that this would never happen...so please don't bother saying it would not...because we all know it. However this is just my opinion, so take with as many grains or pounds of salt as you want.

    Nintendo's Next Console: What Does Nintendo Need To Do Next?

    Nintendo's current console, the Wii U is actually a well put together and thought out console and is definitely on par with the Xbox 360 and PS3 systems, if not slightly above them in technical power. It is fairly amusing that many people are bashing the Wii U for its technical specifications and processing potential, but still own the comparable systems from Microsoft and Sony. If third parties will support the Xbox 360 and PS3, then why won't they support the Wii U? A lot of that comes down to Nintendo's expectations. Nintendo will not pay millions of dollars to a company to create a game for their platform. Nor will they accept all of the DRM, online pass requirements, or other lie some developers want to pull on us the consumers. Yes, the PS4 and the Xbox One are more powerful than the Wii U, but if you look at how they operate, then you will see there is not as much of a difference between them as you might think.

    The rumor is that Nintendo's next console has the code named Fusion, and while that will probably be changed when it is released, for this article, we will leave it as is. Releasing another console within to quickly after the previous console release comes with great risks. You might alienate the loyal fans that already purchased your console, turning them against you by expecting them to purchase another several hundred dollar console, or they might fear you releasing another console quickly after the new one. You also have to worry about the research and development costs associated with the new console and game engines, and finding developers that will make products for it. Just because Nintendo releases a more powerful console, developers that have shunned the Wii U, will not automatically start making games for it, so its a catch 22. Nintendo could be right where it is right now, only with a more powerful console, less customer trust, and more operating losses. In my opinion though, Nintendo should make a new console, and I have been saying this since well before the Wii U's first birthday. It is a somewhat risky strategy, but it is something that needs to be done to shut up all gamers and developers out there. The phrase, "Go big or go home" comes to mind. By creating a new console that can be released before the next console generation, that is more powerful or at least on par with the other current offerings by Microsoft and Sony, it would create a point of contest for Nintendo to use against the nay-sayers. If the developers do not want to create games for their new console, then it would be evident that they just do not like Nintendo any longer, and gamers would then know what the real score in the video game industry is. That it consists of a lot of backroom deals for exclusive content, crappy ports, and businesses that lie to the face of gamers everywhere.

    The Nintendo Fusion needs to be a powerful piece of gaming glory and must have more than just powerful technical specifications. It has to have software and other enticements to promote itself to gamers that love Nintendo, and those that don't. It seems as though, the Fusion would require a much steeper price than the Wii U did at launch in order to properly decimate its opponents. The Fusion will need to be based on the same PC architecture as the PS4 and Xbox One and consist of a 8 core CPU clocked at 2.5 GHz minimum, preferably 2.8GHz to 3.0GHz. A dedicated graphics card would be preferably, but an APU would be acceptable for decreasing costs. As long as the graphics capabilities were on par with a NVidia GTX 760 2 GB GDDR5 GPU, but preferably the 4 GB GDDR5 version. For its RAM capacity, preferably 12 GB DDR3 1866 MHz or better. The console would use flash memory just like the Wii U does, only that would be used only for its operating system and any system updates that would be released. More than likely 32 GB flash memory would be sufficient for the requirements of the operating system and updates, and would allow the system to start up fairly quickly and perform all necessary functions while a traditional hard drive will be used for storage of games, save files, and applications. The system will support SATA III interface and the user will be able to replace the hard drive if they want to. The system will come with a 250 GB hard drive to drive down costs, but will support a hard drive replacement of up to 3TB. The system will also come with four USB 3.0 ports, a external SATA III port, a ethernet port, and two HDMI external ports. The system will support 802.11ac wifi and blu-tooth connectivity. The two HDMI ports are for those that have two televisions, and will allow the users to split functions between the two screens. Gamers will be able to stream Netflix on one screen while playing on the other. Or they can go head to head with each player having their own screen, so say goodbye to screen watching. The system will be compatible with the Wii U gamepad, which will not be packaged with it in order to reduce costs. The system will ideally be able to support at least two total gamepads, but of course a game would have to be made that supported that feature. By not including a gamepad, the costs to produce the system would be reduced greatly. Instead the controllers that comes with the system will be a revised version of the Wii U pro controller, a Wii-motion plus controller, and the sensor bar peripheral.

    All of that sounds great, but the technical specs of the console is not going to be a reason for everyone to buy it. Nintendo will need to reward those who have been patient and loyal consumers by offering full backward compatibility for Wii and Wii U games. And to take this loyalty further, it will offer more to entice loyal fans. Remember Club Nintendo? Many people have never registered there products to receive the Club Nintendo coins, or redeemed the rewards associated with those coins. It will cost Nintendo a bit of real life coin to do so, but in order to foster improved consumer loyalty, they will need to offer a monetary discount for being loyal thus far. More than likely the Nintendo Fusion would hit a price point of around $500, maybe even $550 depending on the contracts it can work out. It would be technically superior to both the PS4 and the Xbox One, and by not including a Kinect 2.0 equivalent in its price, it will be able to achieve a similar price, with better specs. Still, $500 for another Nintendo system when the Wii U came out at the end of 2012 and cost me $350 already. I don't fancy myself paying $850 within four years for a Nintendo console, or any console at that. I have been very loyal to Nintendo, my wife and I have a Wii, Wii U, two 3DS handhelds and hundreds of games between them. All of that is just within the past few years. So, I propose a discount based on what Nintendo product you have and when you purchased/registered it in regards to its release date. If you purchased a 3DS within 90 days you will receive a $25 discount, 91-180 days is a $15 discount, and anything after that is a $5 discount. And you can use up to two 3DS system registrations for the discounts. If you purchased a Wii U within 90 days you will receive a $100 discount, 91-180 days will be a 75 discount, and anything after that is a $50 discount. And if you have any Club Nintendo coins, then you can use them to receive another discount. For every 100 coins you have, you will be another $10 off. I don't know exactly when my wife and I purchased our 3DS systems, so for arguments sake we will just say that we qualify for two of the $5 off discounts, so that $10 off so far. Then we purchased a Wii U when it first come out, so that is $110 off so far. We have at least $700 Club Nintendo coins, so if we used them, it would another $70 off, bringing our discount to at least $180. So if the Nintendo Fusion costs $500, with a $180 discount, we could pick one up for $380 which is just a bit more than we paid for the Wii U at launch. yes it will cost Nintendo some money to do this, but it will create a wealth of good will for both the consumers and the company as a whole. And would be the best and most practical way to foster the loyalty that it deserves and needs to perform such a strategy. Also, the typical hardware is sold at a loss anyway, while the main profit comes from the software. By taking a larger loss on the hardware to foster the support of the gaming community and loyal Nintendo fans, it will allow a larger initial install base than would otherwise occur and it would free up more money for those consumers to purchase additional software and peripherals to use on their new system.

    Technical specifications that are better that its direct competition and a similar financial cost to the consumer is not enough to attain dominance in the video game industry. The operating system and overall programs must be better also. Nintendo should continue to provide free online gameplay for its users. However the online does need a major overhaul, it needs to follow the path of the Xbox360 online more than what it current does, but do it better than Microsoft does. Gamers should have more options for who they play with, so age restrictions should come into play. If a gamer does not want to play with anyone that is younger than 18, then they can set that in the their preferences. Of whatever age restrictions they want to set, so they can get the most enjoyable experience they can. Gamers will be able to adjust their settings to restrict the languages, region, age, etc of the gamers that they play online with so they can get the experience they want.

    Part 2

    In order to compete with Microsoft and Sony on their free games turf and paid online, Nintendo will introduce their pay for online service called, Nintendo Elite Service (NES), which will cost approximately $6 per month and will provide gamers an extra level of online service. It will consist of being entered into a random drawing each month to win a credit to their account for use in purchasing Nintendo products, receiving discounts on digital purchases, and with being given free products each month similar to the way Playstation Plus works. And for those that really want more out of their online experience, the Super Nintendo Elite Service (SNES) will be released that will feature the same pros as the NES only with better discounts, but will feature access to the Nintendo Gaming Console (NGC), which will be a service that allow users to get access to more and more of Nintendo's older games from their first system on forward. Currently you can access the virtual console or eShop and download some of the older games from Nintendo systems, but this would be a ongoing strategy of making more games available, and users would vote on what games they want made available, similar to Steam Greenlight. Of course the SNES and NGC would take quite a while to work on and would require a higher monthly premium for consumers, but it would also allow them to play the games they love and really want to. Similar to the way that Sony does with its Playstation Plus, if you stop paying the monthly fees for NES or SNES, then you will lose your games. You will retain the save files however, and any DLC you purchased, and Nintendo will do you one more step over its competition by allowing a grace period of two weeks before you permanently lose access to the games. The system will lock you out of the games initially, informing you that your subscription has expired, and you will have two weeks to renew your subscription before you permanently lose access to the games. In order to further promote digital distribution, Nintendo will allow users to share games to a degree. When you create your online account, or at any time you can set your initial Share With A Friend Account, which will allow you to select one user whether they are a family or friend to share your games with, and this can only be changed once every thirty days. If you have a free online account, then you can allow your friend to download and play a game that is in your digital library for 24 hours one time in a month with no restrictions. If you and your friend both have NES, then this is changed to two 48 hours in one month, and it does not matter if it is the same game each time or different ones. However if only one of you have NES, then it will only be one 48 hour period of time. If both of you have SNES, then you can share four 48 hour periods of time. If one has SNES and one NES, then it would be three 48 hour periods of time. And if one has SNES and one has the free online service, then it will be one 48 hour period of time.

    Nintendo will also take a page from its competition by requiring achievements for every game that will be worth Coins, each game will be worth 1,000 Coins, and you will earn digital trading cards for every 100 coins you earn. The trading cards will be specific to the game you are playing and when you obtain all of the cards from a set you can craft a badge for that particular game, just like you can in Steam. The trading cards that you receive will be random, and you can trade with other users. After you collect half of the cards for a game, then you will eligible to receive a booster pack of cards for that game as long as you sign into the network each week. So, even if you cannot get 100% on a game, then you can still earn that game badge, allowing every player to collect the badges. However, by obtaining all 1,000 Coins for a game, the badge will much fancier than the standard badge. Each user will also gain levels based on how many Coins and badges they have earned. And each level will unlock backgrounds, artwork, or other treats to entice you to continue gaining levels.

    By providing incentives to those who have already purchased the Wii U to spend more for another console so quickly, offering superior processing power, more online service, collectible and sharing abilities, and greater value, Nintendo can once again climb to the top of the industry and show its competition why the gaming industry has been made on the backs and minds Nintendo since they first came into the industry.

    Update 1: Blu-Ray playback

    I have seen quite a few individuals bashing the WiiU for not including blu-ray support, and claiming they did not purchase a WiiU for that reason. Well, I am glad that the WiiU did not include any blu-ray playback, and the Fusion should not have it either. There is very good reasoning for this. First off, there are still a lot of people that have not switched to blu-rays, as hard as it is to believe, many still use older CRT televisions and just don't have a need for blu-rays. Secondly, for every system and game that Nintendo would sell, that would be more for their competitor to earn, so why help your direct competitor. Don't try to give the argument that Nintendo courts children gamers, while Sony courts mature gamers. Nintendo would never be able to expand back into more mature titles if they continued to allow Sony and Microsoft to take the wealth of mature gamers to themselves, and the Fusion would require broadening Nintendo's market share into all gamers. Third, blu-ray playback is just that...blu-ray playback. Did you know that 4k televisions are literally right around the corner to becoming affordable? And did you know that the PS4 and Xbox One cannot play 4k blu-rays? There is a special sort of 4k blu-ray that is designed to be upconverted to 4k from 1080p, but it does not give the same experience as native 4k. And while there is speculation regarding whether there will be a firmware update to add true 4k capabilities to the PS4 and Xbox One, more than likely that will not be possible. There is a possibility that in a few years, when 4k has become more widespread, that newer versions of those consoles will be released with the ability for 4k playback, but even then that might not come to pass. The fourth argument is of course that those people that are interested in blu-ray playback, already have it. Via either a stand alone blu-ray player, a computer, or a gaming console, if someone really wanted the ability to watch blu-rays, then they would or should have it by now. All in all, Nintendo has done the smartest they could with their consoles, to use technology that they don't have to pay several dollars a unit to their competition. It decreases the cost for us the consumer, it decreases Nintendo's cost while increasing their profit(or at least getting them closer to break even on console sales), and prevents Nintendo from helping their competitors one up them. If you are one of those that did not purchase a WiiU just because it did not offer blu-ray playback, then you are kidding yourself, and maybe you should look at it from a different point of view.

    Update 2: Cross-play

    Nintendo needs to go the cross-play route on more of there games than they have. Being able to play together is an important part of Nintendo's platform. And some games have already used cross-play such as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Which is great, but should be taken a step further. It would be ideal if a redesigned 3ds successor came out alongside the Fusion. Something that is like the gamepad, that has responsive controls, and a dual analog configuration. Something that has the touchscreen and is a portable console in of itself would be great. But having the added feature of being able to use it as a controller with the Fusion would be perfect. Imagine four people playing the Fusion with 3ds/gamepad type devices. And if the Fusion supported dual HDMI output to two screens, that would be four players with their own smaller screens or dual screens, and then two of those players on each television screen. I see the perfect two vs two games with this. No need for another console for LAN parties, unless you wanted to play with several more friends. Cross-play is needed, whether it is via digital distribution, local play, or whatever solution comes to the mind of the designers. Its what will help put Nintendo further in front of the competition.

    Update 3: Working Together

    The absolute best things that Nintendo can do in order to fill out some extra hardware sales would be to work together with Valve and allow the distribution of the Steam OS on the Fusion. The flash memory used to hold the actual OS for the Fusion could be expanded a bit to add a partition for the Steam OS. The Fusion could be designed to allow the use of a keyboard and mouse for those that want to play games with that, and although the system would not read DVDs, it could still recieve digital distrubition through the Steam application. While this would not allow all of the games on Steam to run on the Fusion because the Steam OS is Linux based, it would still open the Fusion to many games. Yes I know that Valve is trying their hand with Steam boxes, but they are only licensing out the OS, or you can download it for free as an individual(unless something has changed). So there is a chance that Valve would agree to this. And if they did not agree to it, then since it is Linux based, Nintendo could just set their system to be able to accept the OS installed in a partition by the consumer, and allow it to be done according to their terms of service. I know that this would never happen, but you can't deny it would be awesome. Apparently Valve is worth as much as three billion dollars, so there is a possibility that Nintendo could work out some sort of mutual partnership. Since Valve is privately owned, it could either be easier or harder...all depending on Gabe Newell.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 6:46 PM, NBSN wrote:

    Game Ideas That Could Help Nintendo's Sales

    Nintendo is having quite a bit of issue pushing hardware these days, and its not really the hardware itself that is causing the issue. Its mainly the software playing the culprit. It is true that many developers are touting claims that the hardware of the Wii U is nothing but an inferior waste of time and way to difficult to port games for. I am not a developer, but there have been plenty of individuals inside of those same companies saying that the game was running on the Wii U, but it was cancelled due to costs or other reasons. And there have been plenty of developers that have claimed the Wii U is great and can run the games just fine. I won't go into all of that in this article. I will however, go into what Nintendo needs to do for its software lineup in order to draw the sales it needs to consider the Wii U a viable system. I have touted what Nintendo should do in another article for its next console, and these games would work fine either way you slice it. Of course, part of the issue that Nintendo has with its software is that they have finally switched over to high definition gaming with the Wii U, and although they have increased the amount of game designers within the company, that is quite a switch to make while still ensuring high quality products within a timely fashion. I will avoid the games which Nintendo has claimed they are working on and focus on what my honest opinion is. Without further waiting here is the list in no particular order and a description of the game:

    1. Star Fox

    Yes there is a Star Fox64 3DS game, but that is nothing compared to what the home console needs. This new entry in the series would be a retelling of the story featuring the air combat style of the beloved Star Fox64, featuring four player online or offline co-operative and competitive play. Each stage would offer plenty of unlockables depending on the rank received. Including unlocking the ability to unlock "landmaster" and "on-foot" modes such as in the N64 game. However it would also include unlockable naval modes, multiple ships, and expanded levels. After receiving scores on a particular stage the player would unlock "landmaster", "on-foot", and "naval" modes of that stage. After scoring sufficiently in each of these modes the player would then unlock various jets, tanks, ships, etc for use on the stages and for online play. After successfully completing all of the stages and stage variants with high enough scores, the player would then unlock the ability to completely customize their vehicles having to maintain a particular thrust and weight to firepower and shield calculation to ensure no overpowered vehicles. This game would entice all of the older fans like myself, as well as the bring in newer ones. And would allow the game a very high replay-ability and ensure several hours in the multi-player. As an added bonus, I have already come up with the perfect DLC for it that would add several more hours of play. The DLC would involve customizable mechs with ground combat and destructible environments. The stages from the games could be reused with the DLC and some new stages and combat arenas could be created solely for the DLC. It would allow players to enjoy the stages again as well as the new stages, while decreasing the development cost and time to a degree. Allowing a lower price point but still generating profit.

    2. ZombiU 2

    Of course Ubisoft has already denied this saying they did not sell enough copies of the first game to justify creating a sequel. I don't understand the logic behind this because ZombiU sold approximately 630,000 copies according to VGChartz. So either one of three things is behind the statement of Ubisoft claiming to not have been close to turning a profit. They are lying about their reason for not making a sequel, they calculated the costs of what they were originally making the game into before going the route of ZombiU, or they can't manage their assets properly causing bulging costs. Either way, not going into this any more, but there have seldom been a game that has caused me to worry about what is behind a door or around the corner. Yes ZombiU had its issues, but with properly testing, design, and quality assurance the sequel could be phenomenal. The sequel will need to have more weapons, an online multiplayer, involve actually fortifying structures in a manner that actually matters, foraging for supplies, all while completing a well crafted story. The dangers need to exist still much in the fashion of the original, however many improvements will need to be made. The gamepad was used wonderfully in ZombiU and if they can bring all of that over to a sequel that is handled better than the original it will be a great triumph. The original sold quite a few copies, and the sequel would easily surpass the 1,000,000 mark, of course not initially, but within one year it would. And by attaining those sales, it would be worthwhile to push out DLC to introduce a new story line alongside that of the main player controlled character. Perhaps another prepper skulking about London aimed at spreading the plague. Secretly and hidden to the gamer in the main story, until the end. Anyone with any interest in the game would love some DLC, and while the original is a cult classic already, the sequel would fit right in.

    3. Pokemon World

    Anytime people mention the making of a console Pokemon game two things come to mind. Its going to be spin-off and Nintendo would never let Pokemon leave the handhelds because of the handheld sales it helps generate. How about we take a page out of the competition book, but improve it substantially. How about a Pokemon game that is a console and a handheld game? And we have it...Pokemon World. Similar to the fashion that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate released a version for the Wii U and 3DS, allowing save files to be transferred between them, that is what Pokemon World would accomplish. But it would be taken many more steps into an amazing experience. People love collecting Pokemon toys and figures, as well collect Disney Infinity and Skylanders figures. Nintendo already tried bringing the collection of little Pokemon figures to the United States with Pokemon Rumble U, but it did not have nearly the appeal it does in Japan and is pretty much a flop in terms of figure sales. The main reason why is because of our culture, but of course the game does not offer enough to it to justify a huge cash purchase for a few hours of gaming. However if we take the Pokemon franchise and combine it with the setup of Skylanders or Disney Infinity, then we have pure Pokemon gold. Yes, the pun was intended. Pokemon World will be pretty similar to the handheld versions Pokemon in terms of world size, however, it would be more similar to Disney Infinity in terms of the buildings and environments. This would be the first completely up to date HD Pokemon game. And would span a series of games and DLC. The first game in the series would be Pokemon World, and would span the time frame of the first Pokemon games, taking place in the Kanto region. Of course the story would be a variation of the original story to allow for a new experience and gameplay mechanics while still staying true to the Pokemon canon. While you could catch and collect Pokemon in the game, they would not be usable in combat unless you owned the figure in real life. Whenever you caught a Pokemon in the game, it would be transferred to Professor Oak, who would then study it, until you purchased the figure, in which the Professor would have completed his study and returned the Pokemon to you for use. The starter pack would come with the three starting Pokemon, because the player would get to take all three starting Pokemon with them in this game, as well as their evolved forms. And it would come with a Pokeball which would essentially be its Portal of Power. You could only switch between Pokemon that was in your in game pack when you put a Pokemon on the Pokeball, in order to ensure players do not try and cheat. All of the original Pokemon would be available for the game coming out in waves. Each pack for the game would come with that particular Pokemon in its first form as well as its evolved forms to ensure the player can have a complete physical collection, and they can switch the figure out while playing the game. Since gamers will be able to transfer their save files between their handhelds and the Wii U, it will allow them to play the game on the go or at home on the big screen. The game would feature local trading and battles between users on their handhelds or Wii U console, and online trading and battles. And to bring this game from Pokemon gold, to Pokemon Diamond status, Nintendo will offer up the Pokemon World Cup. Similar to the fashion of the long beloved television series, gamers will go up against each other to determine supremacy. In a tiered system where the winner progresses, and all of the battles will be available to watch and will be showcased similar to Pokemon Stadium did years ago. Depending on the ranking a player reaches, they will be awarded either rare or one of a kind items or special Pokemon for free. For example, the top player could receive a special one of a kind gold colored Charizard in the mail or whatever Pokemon they used in their final match. Or the in game world would then have posters decorating buildings of that person or their Mii declaring them the winner. And the Pokemon World Cup could be a yearly tournament, with several smaller tournaments happening year round. All of these would ensure Pokemon World a bright future and would definitely increase software and hardware sales while generating millions of dollars in revenue in toy sales. Then following these games, Pokemon World 2 would be released being set in Johto, then the next game and so on. Securing several years of profitability and very enjoyable gaming for us consumers.

    4. Super Mario 64 HD Ultimate Edition

    Yes, people have been praising Nintendo for how awesome Super Mario 3D World has been. But it just is not the same as the much beloved Super Mario 64, that much to my chagrin, I never got to fully enjoy. I never got the pleasure of owning a copy of it and although I did get to enjoy the majority of the game, I never got to play through it in its entirety. Many of us Nintendo fans have been clamoring for a remake or sequel of that game and with good reason. The games offers a fairly open level design that provides just the right amount of challenge. If Nintendo will release it redesigned in HD, and offering extra content, it will be sure to draw a crowd. By allowing users to play as other franchise characters, upon completion of the game, such as Luigi or Peach, it would offer up some replay value. And they can offer DLC by using some clever coding and switch around the enemies a little bit by having the player control Bowser going up against Mario and his ilk, and upon completion of the game it is realized that Bowser was having a nightmare, and plans an attack upon the Mushroom Kingdom which will set the sequel in motion.

    5. Goldeneye 007 HD Special Edition

    A re-release of the childhood game that truly changed the way fps games were made has already come out, however it was a horrible game and trashed by pretty much everyone. No, that just won't do. I am not looking at the original with rose colored glasses, but that does not change the fact that the remake was horrible and the original is still a treasured game by many. While this game won't necessarily sell systems on its on, it will definitely help anyone that is on the fence. A HD remake of the original including extra characters, and additional levels would be awesome. We don't want another remake such as the ones we received in 2010 and 2011, and if it can't be done right, don't do it at all. Online multiplayer as well as local play will be required of course, so that we can throw sticky bombs on the wall and keep you out of the bunker. Ah, wonderful childhood.

    There are five perfectly good games that I have come up with that should generate at least tens of millions of dollars in profit. Of course other games would help would be updated versions, sequels, prequels, or re-telling of some of the less popular games that have very loyal fan-bases such as Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, and F-Zero. While there are many gamers that would rather be console elitists and focus on the Xbox One or PS4, and scream out against Nintendo continuing in the hardware market in favor of selling out their IPs to their competition, most of us would fight against that. Hopefully you are like me in that regard. It is better to have more competition and innovation than the same software and hardware barely changed, then re-branded and resold to us for the same or higher price. That would be the future if Nintendo were to collapse. I don't see them going down anytime soon, and I just hope that they take a bit of advise and create the games that people want, with the features that people want.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 6:46 PM, NBSN wrote:

    Wii U vs Xbox One Sales Numbers: Is The Wii U Really A Failure?

    There is a whole lot of talk of how horrible the sales numbers have been for the Wii U, and a lot of talk about the Nintendo being doomed. I won't be going into how doomed or not doomed Nintendo is. But I will quickly touch on the hardware sales for consoles between Nintendo and Microsoft for there newest systems to offer a comparison of figures. The Wii U was released in November of 2012, with the actual release dates across the globe spanning the 18th of November to the 8th of December. While the Xbox One had a release in November of 2013, pretty much across the globe on the 22nd of November, while planning to hit a few countries later on in 2014. Regardless of the structure that either company decided to use in the release countries and dates for their respective consoles, it all comes down to the numbers for many people. Both companies of course released their systems in the demographics that would represent the best sales, so the argument that Microsoft did not release the Xbox One in Japan yet, if it happens at all, does not matter, they know they would not have the huge initial sales they wanted in that country, so it was skipped for the time being and is not an argument for this comparison.

    The funniest aspect regarding the critics behind the Wii U's supposed failure to sell, is that they assume that the competition has been selling so much better. Without going into all of the offerings by any of the video game giants, going into political or financial discussions, hardware performance, or anything else...strictly looking at the hardware sales we see they are very similar. The Wii U had a release date in November 2012 and sold 3.06 million units by the end of that year. The Xbox One had a release date in November 2013 and sold 3 million units by the end of that year. The actual specific number is unknown and is probably just over the 3 million mark, probably between the 3 million to 3.06 million of the Wii U. Okay, so the first adopters picked up their consoles and the Christmas gifts are accounted for. So technically the Wii U had been outselling the Xbox One in the similar period. How about since then?

    Well, unfortunately the actual numbers for January 2014 Xbox One sales are not known since Microsoft has decided not to divulge that information. And in all honesty, they were definitely better than the Wii U the January after its launch which only sold between 45,000 - 59,000 consoles in January 2013. Looking through the data, it appears that the Xbox One more than likely sold around 300,000 consoles in January 2014, give or take 20,000 units. Which, like I said, is quite a bit more than the Wii U's comparison for the same time in its lifecycle. Of course now I am looking at the hardware sales for this past week for a comparison. According to VGChartz.com, from February 1st to the 8th, the Xbox One had global sales of 53,670 which I will round up to 54,000 for this argument. While the Wii U had global sales of 36,033 which I will round down to 36,000. The fact of the matter is that the Xbox One outsold the Wii U by a large margin during this time period. It does not matter why, only that it did. So how well are the systems going to really sell in comparison to each other?

    The Wii U was released November 2012 and as of 8 February 2014 it has sold 5.7 million units according to VGChartz. Without breaking up the days and nickel and diming the time period we will keep it very simple. From November 2012 to February 2014 the Wii U sold 5.7 million units. So in order to do the same, the Xbox One has to sell 5.7 million units from November 2013 to February 2015. Currently the Xbox One is sitting at 3.4 million units, so they must sell 2.3 million units within one year. Which is quite possible and likely to happen. Breaking the 2.3 million units down, Microsoft will only need to sell approximately 191,670 each month. If they continue selling at the same pace as this past week with around 50,000 sold, then they would be a bit over that number. But how would that actually look?

    If the Wii U is a "failure" and supposedly not worth developing games for, then why is the Xbox One not included in that category? Of course Nintendo does not pay millions upon millions of dollars to developers to make games for its hardware, and they insist on much higher quality control and better service for its consumers too. Yes Microsoft has a more powerful console in a technical perspective and since it is structured more toward pc architecture and the PS4, that helps developers also to a degree. Without pointing fingers at one console or the other regardless of my own personal opinions on each of them, the facts speak for themselves. If the Wii U is a "failure" then so is the Xbox One. Using the excuse that the install base is not large enough for a reason to not develop games for the Wii U is not good enough and a downright lie if being used as the sole reason. How about developers give the actual reasons why...just be honest. You don't want to because of a number of other reasons: The game will not sell the same on the Wii U, the cost of development compared to just porting to another console is higher, or whatever the reason is. But those of you that have put down the Wii U for its sale numbers need to think again. If you compare the Wii U to the Xbox One sales numbers, then you will understand they are more alike than different.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2014, at 3:19 PM, sam54125 wrote:

    I would never want a Pokemon game like Skylanders or Disney"s Infinity, where you have to buy figures to advance in the game. That's why I don't play those games. It becomes WAY to expensive. And no one I know plays them for the same reason. What would sell is a game like World of Warcraft or Skyrim or Minecraft but set in the Pokemon world. There is a MOD for Minecraft called Pixelmon. It is becoming very popular. But it is pretty much popular within the Minecraft players who also happen to play Pokemon. They love the idea of being able to be in a vast environment where you can build your own home and town and battle other people online and battle and catch Pokemon. It would sell like crazy if Nintendo would come up with one for a new console as the WiiU couldn't carry it. . Another thing I hear that annoys people is the whole friend code thing. You need a friend code tho play with others online but they prohibit friend code sharing on things like Miiverse. Everyone understands the privacy policy issues and Nintendo wants to keep it family friendly but there are a lot of adult players like my self that don't go to school any more and cant collect friend codes at recess. They need to get with the times and come up with their own version of XBOX live accounts. They can still somewhat control the age appropriate titles. But not all because I still see Grandparents buying Grand Theft Auto for their very young grandchildren.

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