Is Nintendo prepared to tackle the new year?
2011 wan’t all that nice to Nintendo. Even so, that hasn’t stopped the Big N from planning for the future. It seems like we’ve heard more about 2012 this year than we even heard about 2011!
As 2012 begins, I thought it would be nice to put the bad things of 2011 behind us and look ahead to 2012. What can we expect from Nintendo’s next-gen consoles? How about third-party support? Any hope for Nintendo’s current consoles?
We’ve finally reached the end of an era, eh? Yes, the DS has managed to revolutionalize gaming and has sold more units than any other console EVER. And Nintendo did a pretty good job in closing the DS’ lifespan with several new games, including Kirby: Mass Attack and a couple of third-party titles like Aliens: Infestation and Solatorobo: Red The Hunter. But what’s next for the DS? Is this really the end for Nintendo’s handheld? Well…
The answer is yes. DS owners, you have very little to look forward to in 2012. In fact, there’s only one game worth noting that is slated for a 2012 release: Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Not a bad good-bye title, right? And if you’re really dying for something else to play, why not import that weird Pokemon + Nobunaga’s Ambition game from Japan?
Let’s face it. After over seven years, the DS’ life has finally reached the end. Maybe we’ll see a few new games in the future, but for those holding on to their DS’ perhaps its time for an upgrade.
THE WII U
Ah… such an interesting console, eh? Nintendo wants to launch this baby some time after E3 2012, but exactly when, we’re not so sure. But what we’re sure is that Nintendo is trying their best to get what the fans want.
Do fans want third-party support? Yes! And hopefully, Nintendo has reached out to enough third parties to fill that hole. You want proof? Rocksteady plans to release the Wii U port of Batman: Arkham City at launch. Vigil Games’ Darksiders II is also on the road to launch. Ubisoft is lending strong support for the Wii U with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online (yes, you heard that right. ONLINE.) and an interesting Wii U exclusive: Killer Freaks from Outer Space. And that’s not all. Ninja Gaiden III: Razor’s Edge, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, and many others are on their way to Wii U, further solidifying Nintendo’s claim for strong third-party support.
Do fans want a robust online! Yes! Is Nintendo doing it? No one knows. Rumors have it that EA’s Origin and Valve’s Steam are competing to be the exclusive online service for Nintendo. Reggie has said that they’ll try to make a flexible online system with their publishing partners. What does all of this mean? Nintendo is trying very hard to get into online. Will they succeed? Only time will tell…
Do fans want a killer-app at launch? Yes! What is it? Again, we don’t know. Though Nintendo has confirmed Pikmin 3 for the Wii U, that isn’t exactly the killer launch game, is it? But Nintendo has promised to get out a killer app at launch for the Wii U to avoid those 3DS launch woes. So what are they going to release? I’m guessing Super Mario Wii U. Besides, what else can they be possibly working on, considering that the Wii has NOTHING COMING OUT NEXT YEAR.
I kid… I kid… kinda. The truth is that the Wii is dying, and we all know it. All we have left are 3 first-party titles: Xenoblade Chronicles (yay!), Rhythm Heaven Fever (yay.), and Mario Party 9 (yay?). Is that the end for the Wii? It depends. If you like RPG’s, then perhaps Square Enix’s major Wii release Dragon Quest X will interest you. If you like RPG’s and you like the Wii U, then you might get the game on Wii U, rendering your Wii dead anyways. Sorry, Wii. Wii’ve moved on (har har har!). And if all else fails, at least we still have PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond and Disney Epic Mickey 2 to look out for…
And here we have the dominating console of 2012 (hopefully). 3DS sales have been suffering for most of 2011, but thanks to the recent release of several big titles, the 3DS is gaining some huge momentum. But 3DS owners, don’t rest just yet. Nintendo and their publishing partners have a ton of titles lined up for 2012.
Let’s start with Nintendo’s own, shall we? Even though we got a ton of first-party 3DS titles last year, Nintendo doesn’t plan to stop spewing out titles for its fans. Though there isn’t much Nintendo for the first two months of 2012, March’s Kid Icarus Uprising will provide action-lovers with a crazy on-rails shooter and will expand Nintendo’s promise of robust multiplayer experiences with both local and online play. Then, a mere few weeks later, Nintendo plans to launch Fire Emblem 3DS (Fire Emblem: Kakusei in Japan) that is set to show us Nintendo’s first take on DLC.
These are just a few first-party title confirmed for 2012. Along with Kid Icarus and Fire Emblem, other first-party titles are set for 2012, including Paper Mario 3DS, Mario Tennis 3DS, Animal Crossing 3DS, and Luigi’s Mansion 2. Will there be even more titles first-party titles available in 2012? Who knows? Nintendo showed us Super Mario 3D Land at GDC 2011 and it came out last November!
Of course, we can’t forget the large amounts of third party support that Nintendo is getting for their newest handheld. Capcom promises to bring the RE franchise back to its survivor-horror roots with Resident Evil Revelations in less than a month, followed by Konami’s Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater, which is not just a remake, but a complete redesign of Metal Gear Solid 3. Square Enix is promising several brand-new titles for 2012, including action-adventure Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, dungeon crawler Heroes of Ruin, and music-based Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. And Nintendo’s once-rival SEGA is just throwing us a bunch of interesting titles like Crush 3D, Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure, and, of course, their highly popular crossover game, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Who knows, we might even get Monster Hunter 3G this year!
That’s not all the great third-party games coming out. Oh no, there are craploads more. Level-5’s Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle is set to arrive in 2012, along with other great titles! Namco still has Tales of the Abyss and Tekken 3D: Prime Edition for the 3DS and Ubisoft plans to push out Rayman Origins in Q1 2012. And don’t forget Inafune’s Kaio: King of Pirates and Atari’s RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D, both games that could be 2012’s sleeper hits!
Oh, and you thought the 3DS would stop there, did you? Well, you’ve underestimated Nintendo’s newest handheld, because Nintendo has proved that even eShop titles like Pushmo and Mighty Switch Force can sell thousands. Have you taken a look at Nintendo’s new I.P. in Dillon’s Rolling Western? How about Renegade Kid’s action-platformer Mutant Mudds? And Nicalis’ PC/WiiWare port of NightSky? The eShop is definitely picking up steam, and shows that Nintendo’s newest online systems may not be bad at all.
So, 3DS owners. What do you say? You ready for some 3DS games?