The old argument “there are no games for Wii U” is rendered moot when you consider the sheer number of titles on the system already available.
In fact, Nintendo lists a very healthy 88 games, all but eight of which are already released and ready to buy either on eShop or in stores. And despite all the negative arguments against Nintendo’s latest console, the breadth of titles that are on the machine make it the most robust console launch in history.
Nintendo’s first console, Nintendo Entertainment System, launched in 1983 with only three games. They were Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Popeye. The console was only available in Japan and took two years to hit shelves internationally. In those two years, only 18 games were made for the system.
The follow-up console, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, launched in Japan with only two games in 1990. In 1991 the system started shipping internationally, however in that one year only five games were made available.
The story was similar for Nintendo 64 which launched in Japan and the US with just two games, Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64. Twelve months later the console shipped to European countries however only six games were available at that point.
Nintendo GameCube which launched in 2001 had a slightly different story. In Japan, the console had only three games on day one, and two months later for the US launch the number of titles ballooned to twelve. Titles included Crazy Taxi, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and Luigi’s Mansion. Eight months after GameCube release in Japan, the console hit stores in Europe and there was a respectable 20 games available for the system.
Nintendo’s most successful console, Wii, had a better launch and like its GameCube father it had a different launch story.
Wii hit stores in the US before Japan and when it did there were 21 games on day one. Some of the highlights include The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Rayamn Raving Rabbids, but it might be cute to point out that Call of Duty 3 was along for the ride, too.
Six months into Wii’s lifetime the console enjoyed over 40 game releases which is half the number Wii U has achieved in the same timeframe.
To suggest Wii U has “no games” is not only incorrect, but an insult to the hundreds of developers feverishly working overtime to get their games on the system as quickly as possible.
And if you think “surely PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 had a better launch than Wii U”, I’m here to tell you that you are wrong.
Xbox, Microsoft’s first console launched with 12 titles, the same as GameCube’s US launch. However, one year later when the system was avalible worldwide, the total Xbox games were less than 20. Some of the highlights were Halo: Combat Evolved and Max Payne.
Xbox 360 launched in 2005 and was up against Nintendo’s Wii system in regards to volume of titles at launch, however launched with less titles. Microsoft clocked 19 games on the system at launch, and six months into the consoles’ life only 30 games were made available.
Sony’s gaming efforts date back earlier to 1994 with the launch of PlayStation. That console enjoyed eight titles at launch in Japan, and a full year later only eight titles made it to the US launch. PlayStation went on to release over 1,100 titles over its long life, however in the first six months only three games were released outside the first eight.
PlayStation 2 launched in 2000 with a decent array of ten titles, two less than its competitors. Six months after launch, the library had grown to 29 titles with highlights being Ridge Raver V and Eternal Ring.
PlayStation 3 fared a little better at launch with a total of 13 games released, of those only five were available outside of the US. Six months on shelves saw PlayStation 3 enjoy only 28 games in its library.
So what is the lesson here? I could give you a philosophical insight into how the mainstream media fuels fanboyism, leading to more money for media companies, however I think the main thing to take from this revelation is that Wii U is not in the dire state of emergency some alarmists would have us all believe.
Eighty eight games with at least twenty already announced to come is a respectable number. You might not like every one of those games, you might not think they should have been released in the first place, you might not think any of those games are going to convince you to buy a Wii U. None of that matters because for every entitled brat seeking yet another first-person shooter, there’s a level-headed person picking up a game that exists today and enjoying it.
The fact is there are many games on the Wii U today, right now. Plugging your ears and screaming the opposite will not change that fact, so let’s stop pretending the Wii U is some kind of ghost device that does nothing. Besides, launch titles don’t matter. The thousands of games that come later are the ones that define the console.
List of Wii U Games
Here is a list of all games currently on Wii U at time of writing. Note that not all games will be avalible in every region, and applications such as YouTube have been omitted. This list is from Nintendo.
- The Wonderful 101*
- Pikmin 3*
- Bayonetta 2*
- Rayman Legends*
- Disney Infinity*
- Fast & Furious: Showdown*
- Resident Evil Revelations*
- Sniper Elite V2*
- Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
- Solomon’s Key**
- Kung Fu Rabbit**
- Mega Man**
- Kirby’s Adventure**
- Donkey Kong Jr.**
- Wii U Panorama View**
- Ice Climber**
- Super Mario World**
- Rayman Legends Challenges**
- Injsutice: Gods Among US
- Toki Tori 2**
- Zen Pinball 2**
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
- The Croods
- The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
- Need for Speed Most Wanted U
- Lego City: Undercover
- The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition
- Runner 2: The future Legend of Rhythm Alien**
- WiiStreetU powered by Google**
- Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2**
- The Cave**
- Tank! Tank! Tank!
- Wii Fut U*
- Game & Wario*
- Wheel of Fortune
- 007 Legends
- Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
- Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
- Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
- Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
- Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
- Nintendo Land
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
- Warriors Orochi 3 Hyber
- Rabbids Land
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013
- Scribblenauts Unlimited
- Assassin’s Creed III
- Just Dance 4
- Batmand: Arkham City Armoured Edition
- Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
- Skylanders Giants Wii U
- Darksiders II
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2
- ESPN Sports Connection
- Game Party Champions
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- NBA 2k13
- Transformers Prime
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
- SiNG Party
- Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
- Ben 10 Omniverse
- Chasing Aurora**
- Cloudberry Kingdom**
- Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition**
- Nano Assault Neo**
- Wipeout 3
- Trine 2: Director’s Cut**
- Little Inferno**
- Funky Barn
- Madden NFL 13
- FIFA Soccer 13
* Releasing soon
** Only on eShop