Nintendo demonstrated an impressive amount of software at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) over the past couple of days. Going into the event, it felt as if the world was watching to see if Nintendo could initiate a recovery plan to turn around their recent performance of three periods of consecutive loss. On display were nineteen Wii U titles and nine for 3DS, with eleven across both formats previously unannounced.
The general consensus coming out of E3 across all media is that all three platform holders made an impressive showing, but there was also criticism leveled at each. All platform holders debuted some impressive and exciting new titles, but with release dates set in the distant future, it caused everyone to question what they would be playing for the rest of the year. This could not be any more true for Nintendo, who naturally receives just that little extra touch of negative mainstream press. It’s always been that way. I’m not questioning it — heaven forbid I reveal my mutant fanboy alter-ego.
Whilst trawling through press releases, fact sheets, and official trailers, it seemed that there were a great deal of release dates out there to be had. It seems that the releases for the rest of the year aren’t as bad as you may think. How many of you can honestly say you purchase and complete more than ten games in any one month? Head on below to see a month-by-month analysis with first-party, third-party, and indie releases scheduled for the next eighteen months across the Wii U and 3DS. Also bear in mind that there is still an enormous list of indie titles coming to both the Wii U and 3DS eShops, but for the sake of keeping this list reasonable in size, these are just the titles included in Nintendo’s E3 2014 materials.
*Indicates confirmed Amiibo compatibility.
We’re currently in the month of June and have already had a couple eShop releases. The highlights of the month are clearly the eShop releases of Pushmo World and Shovel Knight. The only retail releases come in the form of Farming Simulator 14 and the latest blockbuster cash-in from Activision – Transformers: Rise Of The Dark Spark.
- Pushmo World (Wii U eShop) – June 19th
- Farming Simulator ’14 (3DS) – June 24th
- Transformers: Rise Of The Dark Spark (3DS) – June 24th
- Transformers: Rise Of The Dark Spark (Wii U) – June 24th
- Shovel Knight (3DS eShop) – June 26th
- Shovel Knight (Wii U eShop) – June 26th
Summary: Wii U Retail: 1 3DS Retail: 2 Wii U eShop: 2 3DS eShop: 1
The month of July so far features a strong spread of titles with a retail release, but is currently lacking in confirmed eShop releases. The highlights in retail releases come from the physical version of Wii Sports Club meaning that the final sports, baseball and boxing, will also be released onto the eShop. One Piece Unlimited RED also arrives for both the 3DS & Wii U. The stand-out title has to be Nyamyam’s Tengami, a beautifully crafted adventure set inside a pop-up book. This atmospheric adventure game from ex-Rare developers is certainly worthy of attention.
- One Piece Unlimited World RED (3DS) – July 8th
- One Piece Unlimited World RED (Wii U) – July 8th
- Wii Sports Club (Wii U) – July 25th
- LEGO Ninjago Nindroids (3DS) – July 29th
- Scooby Doo & Looney Toons Cartoon Universe (3DS) – July 21st
- Tengami (Wii U eShop)
Summary: Wii U Retail: 2 3DS Retail: 3 Wii U eShop: 1 3DS eShop: 0
A summer drought certainly seems on the cards for this month, as there are currently just two confirmed releases, both for the 3DS. The recently announced Thorium Wars: Attack Of The Skyfighter has yet to set a concrete release date and Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright isn’t due until the very end of the month. Nintendo will need to get on the case immediately and start arranging some software to drop this month.
- Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright (3DS) – August 29th
- Thorium Wars: Attack Of The Skyfighter (3DS eShop)
Summary: Wii U Retail: 0 3DS Retail: 1 Wii U eShop: 0 3DS eShop: 1
September certainly looks like an improvement over August, but all of the confirmed release dates are at the tail end of the month. Disney will be releasing the new installment in the Disney Infinity franchise, adding a touch of Marvel magic. The Wii U-exclusive Stealth Inc. 2 is due to launch sometime during the month but, as we’ve yet to see much from this recently announced action title, it feels like it could slip. The blockbuster of the month is, no doubt, Nintendo and Tecmo Koei’s Zelda-meets-Dynasty Warriors collaboration, Hyrule Warriors. After all of the footage and details coming out of the LA Convention Center, this title definitely needs to be on your radars.
- Falling Skies: The Video Game (Wii U) – September 20th
- Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes (3DS) – September 23rd
- Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes (Wii U) – September 23rd
- Hyrule Warriors (Wii U) – September 26th
- Stealth Inc. 2 (Wii U eShop)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL World Duel Carnival (3DS eShop)
Summary: Wii U Retail: 2 3DS Retail: 1 Wii U eShop: 1 3DS eShop: 1
As we start to head into the holiday season, the releases certainly start to pick up. The month kicks off in style as Nintendo release the first ever portable entry in everyone’s favorite fighting series. Super Smash Bros. For 3DS launches on October 3rd. There are two other noteworthy 3DS titles coming from Nintendo this month; Pokemon Art Academy is set to add a specific spin on this impressive drawing and painting tool. Nintendo also plan to follow the success of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Tomodachi Life with Fantasy Life from Level-5. While it may seem rather similar on the surface, this game adds deep RPG elements to the mix, making it a certain hit for any fans of the Harvest Moon series. The stand-out Wii U title this month has to be — no, not Just Dance 2015, but in fact, Bayonetta 2. This much-anticipated exclusive game from Platinum Games will include a free download code for a Wii U-enhanced port of the original! Two games for the price of one — nothing wrong with that!
- Super Smash Bros For 3DS (3DS) – October 3rd
- Skylanders Trap Team (3DS)- October 5th
- Skylanders Trap Team (Wii U) – October 5th
- Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetite (3DS) – October 20th
- Just Dance 2015 (Wii U) – October 21st
- Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
- Fantasy Life (3DS)
- PAC-Man And The Ghostly Adventures 2 (3DS)
- PAC-Man And The Ghostly Adventures 2 (Wii U)
- Pokemon Art Academy (3DS)
Summary: Wii U Retail: 4 3DS Retail: 2 Wii U eShop: 0 3DS eShop: 0
This month’s release schedule is certainly set to fill up in the coming weeks. Usually the busiest month for video game releases, November will see just four titles releasing across Nintendo’s platforms. There are currently no titles yet announced for a December release as well. The month appears rather back-loaded, probably thanks to a little event known as Black Friday. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, along with the Amiibo figurine line, launching in time to benefit from the increased seasonal footfall. The biggest release currently confirmed, however, has to be the releases of Pokemon‘s Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby on November 21st. These two games are remakes of two of the most popular entries in series history! Sega also release their latest Nintendo-exclusive Sonic titles, but despite being made by outsourced and arguably rather talented third-party developers, these titles have received mixed reactions at this year’s E3.
- Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (3DS) – November 21st
- Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS) – November 21st
- Sonic Boom: Rise Of Lyric (Wii U) – November 25th
- Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (3DS) – November 25th
Summary: Wii U Retail: 1 3DS Retail: 3 Wii U eShop: 0 3DS eShop: 0
There are a whopping thirty-five titles scheduled to launch before the end of the year that have yet to receive concrete release dates. Many of these are indie titles, which are very difficult to peg down. Once a developer submits their final build to Nintendo for approval, should no issues arise, they are added to a queue. The developer finds out just days ahead of the rest of the world when their game will be made available on the eShop. Several titles have been pegged as Summer or Fall, but take this with a grain of salt. Some of these titles were previously said to launch in the first few months of this year — I’m looking at you, Armillo, Cubemen 2, Nihilumbra, Teslagrad, and Wooden Sen’SeY!
- 6180 The Moon (Wii U eShop) – Fall
- Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U eShop) – Fall
- A.N.N.E (Wii U eShop)
- Armillo (Wii U eShop) – Summer
- Art Academy For Wii U (Wii U)
- Blast ‘Em Bunnies (3DS eShop)
- Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (Wii U)*
- Chariot (Wii U eShop) – Fall
- Chromophore – Two Brothers Director’s Cut (Wii U eShop)
- Citizens Of Earth (Wii U eShop)
- Cubemen 2 (Wii U eShop)
- Devil’s Third (Wii U)
- Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (Wii U eShop) – Summer
- Gunman Clive 2 (3DS eShop) – Fall
- LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (3DS)
- LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Wii U)
- Moon Chronicles: Episode 2 (3DS eShop) – Fall
- Nihilumbra (Wii U eShop) – Summer
- Persona Q: Shadows Of The Labyrinth (3DS) – Fall
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (3DS)
- Pier Solar And The Great Architects HD (Wii U eShop)
- Shantae And The Pirates Curse (3DS eShop)
- Shantae And The Pirates Curse (Wii U eShop)
- Siesta Fiesta (3DS eShop) – Summer
- STARWHAL: Just The Tip (Wii U eShop)
- Story Of Seasons (3DS)
- Super Smash Bros For Wii U (Wii U)*
- Swords & Soldiers II (Wii U eShop)
- Tappingo 2 (3DS eShop) – Summer
- Tenkai Knights Brave Battle (3DS)
- Teslagrad (Wii U eShop)
- Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy – Curtain Call (3DS)
- Watch_Dogs (Wii U)
- Whoah Dave (3DS eShop) – Summer
- Wooden Sen’SeY (Wii U eShop)
Summary: Wii U Retail: 6 3DS Retail: 6 Wii U eShop: 16 3DS eShop: 7
First Half of 2015
This is where things certainly get interesting, as Nintendo could almost be accused of sacrificing Wii U development in favor of turning around the 3DS’s stalled launch. This then came back to bite them in the ass and caused the Wii U to suffer software delays and, in turn, stall after launch. Now, after three consecutive quarters of losses, Wii U development has been cranked up to the max and we see that the first half of 2015 currently has no planned 3DS releases and four exciting Wii U releases. It remains to be seen if Nintendo plan to release Mario Maker as a retail title or an eShop exclusive and Project: Giant Robot may be included as an additional mode in the new Star Fox game. Splatoon and Yoshi’s Woolly World, however, are sure to be at the top of every Wii U owner’s most wanted lists.
- Mario Maker (Wii U)
- Project: Giant Robot (Wii U)
- Splatoon (Wii U)
- Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U)*
Summary: Wii U Retail: 4 3DS Retail: 0 Wii U eShop: 0 3DS eShop: 0
Nintendo have been criticised at this E3 for showing titles we all want to play now but are having to wait until next year before we get our hands on them. While we have four titles above confirmed for the first half of the year, the following titles could be released at any point. Firstly, Nintendo’s plan to expand the Amiibo universe to 3DS software should swing into full effect when they release the wireless NFC adapter. Due to the small size of this device, it would be a wise move to bundle it with a compatible software title, but judging by the releases planned for 2015 that we know about, this would have to be as as yet unannounced title. Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is set to engross fans of the series when it launches with a new online mode never before released in a handheld version. Nintendo’s other two new 3DS games, Code Name STEAM and Fossil Fighters Frontier, will also make their debut in 2015.
It looks like the Wii U could certainly come into its own in 2015 with flagship titles in Xenoblade Chronicles X, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and a brand new Kirby game. It could be expected that we would see Xenoblade Chronicles X towards the start of the year after it was only recently moved from its 2014 release date. Project: Guard might also be included in the full release of Star Fox, but we’ll have to wait a while before we find out for sure. It’s also interesting to see that Mario Party 10 will not make it to store shelves this holiday season but instead, at some unannounced time during 2015, Nintendo wouldn’t hold it back until Christmas 2015, would they?
- Amiibo For 3DS (3DS)
- Code-name STEAM (3DS)
- Fossil Fighters Frontier (3DS)
- Kirby And The Rainbow Curse (Wii U)
- Mario Party 10 (Wii U)*
- Mario Vs. Donkey Kong For Wii U (Wii U)
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)
- Project: Guard (Wii U)
- Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem (Wii U)
- Starfox (Wii U)
- The Legend Of Zelda For Wii U (Wii U)
- Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)
Summary: Wii U Retail: 8 3DS Retail: 4 Wii U eShop: 0 3DS eShop: 0
Which games are you looking most forward to and why? Have any theories as to when a certain game may release? Tell us in the comments below!