it could be good news for US since the games we want are on this list for Japan and are coming out this year
April 30, 2007 - Last week, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata held a conference to talk about company financials and to outline its plan for the year. At the Japan-hosted event, Iwata noted that the Big N had 45 Wii games and another 79 DS titles in development. Now, through officially released financial documents, we've gained a much deeper understanding of which titles players can look forward to this year - both in Japan and in America.
Nintendo officially states that the following games will be coming out for Wii in Japan in 2007:
Donkey Kong Taru Jet Race (DK Jet or DK Bongo Blast, US) - June 28, 2007
Wii Health Pack -- 2007
Disaster: Day of Crisis - 2007
Mario Party 8 - 2007
Project H.A.M.M.E.R. - 2007
Wii Music - 2007
Super Mario Galaxy - 2007
Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 2007
Battalion Wars II - 2007
Forever Blue - 2007
Mario Strikers Charged - 2007
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - 2007
Mario and Sonic at the Olympics - 2007
In a word, wow. The list confirms that, at least in Japan, Nintendo is planning to release all of its big Wii guns, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, this year. In addition, the list reaffirms that the company is underway with Wii Health Pack and Wii Music, two games destined to follow in the footsteps of the ultra-popular Wii Sports. Wii Health Pack is allegedly an exercise-focused game that rates players' health scores in the same way that Nintendo's brain titles rank brain ages. Meanwhile, Wii Music will very likely include both Wii Orchestra and Wii Drums, as demonstrated or shown at previous events, such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
While skeptics may argue that Nintendo carelessly listed all of its major games for 2007 without much thought, or to remain vague, it is important to note that it also made a distinction for two projects. Both Animal Crossing Wii and Hoshi no Kirby (Kirby Adventure) Wii are listed in the same documents as "TBA," or to be announced. Clearly, some separators were set for the official list and Nintendo still chose to define the majority of its Wii projects for the 2007 time frame.
Of the games listed, only four have been officially confirmed to debut this year in America. Mario Party 8 is set for May 29 in the States; Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree for June 11; Pokemon Battle Revolution for June 25; and Mario Strikers Charged for this summer. SEGA has revealed that Mario and Sonic at the Olympics will ship this year, but no specific date has been set. However, readers should remember that titles like Metroid Prime 3 are set for 2007 in Japan and these games have always shipped in America first, suggesting that Corruption is certain to debut in the US before the end of the year. In addition, we have to think that fans would riot if Japan got Smash and Galaxy in 2007 and the Americas did not.
Nintendo has historically shied away from releasing too many major games during a single year and as a result fans have become accustomed to bracing themselves for software delays. Beyond the second quarter, though, this year's Wii release schedule is anybody's guess and there is now real hope that the company could actually debut many of its biggest games before the holiday season.
While PlayStation 3 may not yet be a threat to Wii, Xbox 360 sales are continuing at a steady pace with no visible signs of slowing. The house that Mario built could choose to counter some of Microsoft's kings with aces of its own - Smash, Galaxy and Metroid can certainly compete with titles like Mass Effect, Halo 3 and Too Human. And Nintendo may be able to do this without losing sight of the mainstream crowd, dishing out efforts like Wii Health Pack and Wii Music.
Furthermore, Nintendo's 2007 Wii schedule consists of only 13 titles -- a far cry from the 45 projects the company has in development.
For now, the release schedule is not speculation, but truth - at least overseas. What remains to be seen is whether or not Nintendo will stick to the schedule or delay one or more projects to next year. If it does indeed move ahead as currently planned, 2007 may prove to be one of the biggest years in company history.
In separate, but semi-related news, rumors began to circulate late last week that Nintendo was interested in hiring former Sony head Ken Kutaragi, who, having fathered the PlayStation and its predecessors, is leaving the company. But speaking with the Japanese press, Nintendo's president said that such rumors were unfounded.