There were a bunch of Wii U games that were slated to hit the launch window but have since been pushed back to Q2 of 2013: Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Wii Fit U, among many others. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto told Time that the delay had a lot to do with getting used to Wii U development while at the same time devoting more resources than expected to improve the processes related to development.
As time goes on, they’re becoming more and more familiar with these processes, and things are going much more smoothly. He expects that software output will increase – both in terms of performance and quality and in terms of the frequency and timeliness of game releases.
He also reminded us that a new Zelda is coming, but it’s going to be “a little bit longer” before we see it hit the system.
Time: The launch window lineup for the Wii U was light on titles starring mainstream Nintendo characters, which was actually kind of refreshing given all the off-the-beaten-path alternatives like ZombiU, Nano Assault Neo, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Toki Tori 2, LEGO City Undercover, Pikimin 3 and The Wonderful 101.
If you look back at the launch of Wii, we were able to prepare a game like Wii Sports, which at the time was clearly a new game, and launch that alongside a Zelda game. With the Wii U, we took a similar approach by launching Nintendo Land as well as a Mario game — though we’re working on Zelda for Wii U, that’s going to take us a little bit longer.
From my perspective, I think ideally it would have been nice if we’d been able to release Pikmin 3 closer to launch, but the Wii U — though it shares the Wii name — is obviously a brand new system, with new chips and graphical capabilities. It can do a lot more, and in the process of developing a lot of the features and functionality, the resources required to best utilize those features drew on some of the same resources that might have been spent developing games, thus we weren’t able to bring quite as robust a lineup initially.
At the same time, we still have new things to learn about how to leverage the features and functionalities of Wii U in ways that create fun and interesting new ways to play, including new gameplay systems. As we become even more familiar with the hardware, we’ll be able to do more from a software standpoint. That’s an area we’re currently devoting resources to.
Zelda fans will I’m sure be anxious to learn what he means by “a little bit longer.” He’s saying this in reference to the launch window period, remarking that Wii was able to launch with a new Zelda. Could it just be a few months? Or a few years? We know we’ll see the newest Mario and Smash Bros. at E3, but will Zelda make an appearance as well?