Nintendo today revealed the release date for the WiiMotion Plus peripheral and WiiSports Resort. Plus arrives on June 8th and Resort on July 26th. The peripheral and game were originally promised for a Spring release, so the delay comes as a bit of a letdown for those waiting to play the new game & device.
But we ask, why the delay?
There are several possible reasons why Nintendo opted to delay the device, but we will focus on three of them. Read on to find out what they are.
1) The game needed to be tweaked. Nintendo is usually known for not putting out a great game without a prolonged development schedule as it works out the kinks (note: that is why tehre are minimal patches & updates released for Nintendo-published Wii games). Perhaps the game needed a few more major updates before it was ready for release.
2) Nintendo wants to evenly spread their games throughout the first half of 2009. With the New Play Control versions of Mario Tennis and Pikmin recently released, as well as the upcoming Excite Bots, Punch Out, and key 3rd party products (Madworld, House of the Dead, Conduit) Nintendo may be focusing on evenly spreading the thin plate of AAA-quality games to one or two per month. Instead of releasing a heavily-condensed Spring and the usual void of gaming during Summer, Nintendo is mimicking 2008’s early-half release schedule.
3) There were issues with what Nintendo was planning to show at E3 for its remaining 2009 schedule. The abysmal second half of 2008 saw only one or two great first-party games for the Wii (Warioland, Animal Crossing). With a huge dark cloud hoovering over the system’s long-term viability, Nintendo has been leading many to believe that E3 2009 will “bring the sexy back” to the system, with several key launches and blockbuster product announcements for the remainder of the year. This is where we put our conspiracy hats on. Nintendo may have been hitting a bump in the road with what it was planning to reveal. If certain products were not available for the show in June, Nintendo would have had to fall back on WiiSports Resort and WiiMotion Plus as its key E3 message with a fall/winter release for the peripheral & game. Would that have made anyone happy? Probably not. This leaves the door open for a second half of the year with new, unnanounced products.
Whatever the reason for the delay, Nintendo appears to have righted the ship (for now), and also allowing the 3rd-parties to jump into the peripheral’s release timing with products like Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods 10.
See you in June, Plus… And see you all at the Resort in July.