The delay of Star Fox Zero into 2016 was something of a blow for Wii U fans who had been hoping to play the game this Christmas. The unwelcome news has also left the system without a tentpole first-party Nintendo title this festive season - but according to Nintendo UK Marketing Manager Chandra Nair - speaking to MCV - that isn't an issue:
There's this old-school expectation that a company has to launch their most high profile software title in November, otherwise it doesn't have a system seller for Q4. This definitely isn't the case especially since the Nintendo audience is so broad. We will always focus on releasing games when they're ready and this has led to us having some of the highest review scores in the industry.
As Miyamoto once said: 'A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever'. Nintendo's development teams focus on creating the best experience they possibly can rather than what effect a delay will have on console sales. We all know from generations gone by that Legend of Zelda titles are a huge undertaking. They are passionately anticipated and any kind of extension to the development time will inevitably lead to disappointment for the fans. But the fans also know that the end result will be worth it. Star Fox Zero was recently delayed to Q1 2016 and Mr Miyamoto expressed his apologies to fans via a video. But many fans have reacted in a positive way, pleased that the game will have the time it needs to be as good as it can be, but also genuinely relieved that they will have the time to sink into intense adventure games such as Project Zero and Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Nair believes that the Wii U's library - both past and new - is so broad and so packed with appealing titles that there's something for everyone, removing the need for a single big AAA release to soak up all the sales:
You'll have seen that we've been driving desire for Splatoon and Wii U with kids and parents since the summer. We've been doing the same with Super Mario Maker since September. Both of these titles have heavyweight TV campaigns during October, November and December, and will absolutely be driving hardware.
In terms of new titles we have several key releases coming up. Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water might not be a huge hardware driver, but it'll lead the way in the ghost-horror genre. Similarly, Xenoblade Chronicles X is the spiritual sequel to one of the best JRPGs of all time, and you can be sure that this highly anticipated title will break boundaries all over again. We've also got Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash and Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, which will continue to strengthen our family proposition in the run up to Christmas. On top of this, many of our customers can only afford to buy so many titles a year, so we're in an enviable position whereby many of our Wii U owners have yet to play all the classics. There's plenty to enjoy for Wii U owners and an array of reasons for newcomers to buy a Wii U now.
Star Fox Zero's absence may have left a big hole in the release schedule, but Nintendo UK is giving the Wii U a big push this Christmas, with existing titles like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon getting plenty of exposure thanks to promotional work:
It's a really exciting time for us because in the Wii U we have a console that really feels like it's a fantastic proposition for both families and gamers. The potential was always there from the beginning, but now we have such a compelling line-up of games and that line-up of must-have titles just keeps growing.
Mario Kart 8 continues to be popular week-in, week-out, even after all this time. And Splatoon is still a relatively new title and something that kids have been pestering their parents for, so we anticipate that bringing these two fantastic games together in one value bundle should be a popular move. We'll be tagging the bundle in all our Wii U kids' TV ads in November and December, as well as our November radio campaign.
What do you think of Nair's bullish attitude? Does the lack of Star Fox Zero really matter when the Wii U is blessed with so many critically-acclaimed titles? Let us know by posting a comment.