Nintendo made a bold claim a few weeks ago when they said that the system would have 51 launch window titles. Granted, Nintendo has given the Wii U an exceptionally large launch window that will last until the end of March. Fortunately, it seems most of those games will hit the console before the end of the year with 23 of them hitting at launch.
Nintendo of America announced today that the Wii U will launch with 23 games available for the system on November 18. For comparison, the Xbox 360 launched with 18 titles back in 2005. The PlayStation 3 had it even worse with only 12 launch titles. In fact, the Wii is the only console that can compete with the Wii U's launch lineup as it hit the street with 21 titles.
“We’re making sure that Wii U owners will have great games to play from the moment they open the box, and that a steady stream of fun new games is always on the way,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s president and COO. “We have something for everyone, from new franchises to creative new approaches to familiar favorites.”
Nintendo also announced that there would be another 29 games available during the launch window extending into March. The only real disappointment is that Nintendo's more promising first party titles, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101, have been pushed into the launch Window. Ubisoft's Rayman Legends has also been pushed back into the ambiguous launch window. Capcom is suspiciously absent from the launch list, but the company already announced that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate would hit the Wii U in March.
Here's the full list of launch titles alongside launch window titles. It's definitely one of the most impressive launch lineups that I have ever seen.
It should be noted that there are only a few eShop titles scheduled for the launch window. There also doesn't appear to be any available on launch day. We can only assume the November launch for Toki Tori 2 and Mighty Switch Force HD means that these titles will be available on launch day. Nintendo can't afford to launch without any quality eShop titles.
Regardless, Nintendo has just raised the bar on launch title lineups. It's very impressive, and it will be interesting to see if Microsoft or Sony can match it with the launch of their respective next gen consoles next year.