One of the perceived weaknesses of the Wii U is that it doesn't have any third-party support. A survey of GDC attendees suggested as much as only 4.6 percent of respondents claimed to be working on Wii U games. Well, Nintendo wants you to know that it has plenty of third-party content.
Nintendo confirmed today that a number of third-party titles will be hitting its newest console starting this month with Injustice: Gods Among Us and continuing through the end of the year with high profile releases from Disney, Ubisoft and others.
“Disney, Ubisoft and our other third-party partners have a great lineup of exclusive games and unique experiences for fans of all ages,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s vice president of Licensing. “Their creativity spans every audience and genre, creating new ways to play that can only be experienced on Nintendo platforms.”
Disney seems to be throwing all in with Nintendo with the release of a Planes adaptation exclusively for Nintendo consoles. The game will probably not appeal to adults, but Disney's Cars adaptation for the Wii sold surprisingly well. If Disney's Planes film is even half as popular, it could see some success on Nintendo platforms as well.
In more exciting news, Disney Infinity will be coming to the Wii U on August 18. For those unfamiliar with the title, Disney Infinity is much like Activision's Skylanders franchise in that it's a game where players unlock new characters by buying physical toys. It worked amazingly well for Activision, and Disney's stable of classic characters should make it a hugely popular game across all platforms.
Despite earning the ire from Wii U fans for its delay of Rayman Legends, Ubisoft still seems committed to Nintendo's platform. The publisher announced today that Splinter Cell Blacklist will be coming to the Wii U. This one is a legitimate surprise as the publisher said the game would only be coming to the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC at E3 last year.
As for Rayman Legends, Nintendo says the expanded "demo," including the online challenge mode, will be available in late April. The challenge mode contains four levels, including "Murfy's Dungeon," which is exclusive to the Wii U version of the game.
Here's the other third-party titles confirmed for the Wii U in the coming year:
To be honest, it's strange to see Nintendo sending out a press release confirming a number of third-party titles when the respective publishers will probably be sending out their own press releases. It seems that the Kyoto-based company wants people to know that the Wii U hasn't lost on third-party support just yet, and Nintendo is obviously working to secure content from publishers and developers.
Unfortunately, it may not be enough as we move into the next generation of consoles this year. The PS4 and next Xbox will be more powerful than the Wii U, and developers may not want to downscale their titles for Nintendo's console. If that's the case, the Wii U may miss out on some of the biggest releases of the next few years.
That being said, most buy a Nintendo console for the first-party games and a handful of exclusive third-party titles that really take advantage of the hardware. That will probably be the case with the Wii U, and honestly, that's not so bad.