Nintendo Bulks Up Wii, DS Development
If there's one fact in the gaming world less controversial than the Wii's dominance since its launch in November, it's Nintendo's role as the top producer of first-party console classics. From Legend of Zelda to a number of different Mario renditions, the company has often relied – in some cases a bit too heavily – on its own development team to prop up systems. It's been that way, it seems, since the competition became a bit fiercer about a decade ago with the introduction of the first PlayStation. Fortunately, the Big N appears ready to expand its own production for the mega-popular DS handheld and Wii, announcing an impressive 124 first-party games.
As with Microsoft and Sony, the flow of titles pouring out of Nintendo has been little more than a trickle lately. That's typical of the late winter and spring season, although President Satoru Iwata informed Bloomberg that this should change by summertime. Proven franchise Mario Party 8 will debut by the end of May, with third party strength coming in the form of equally solid Resident Evil 4 and the controversial Scarface game in June.
The bulk of the 124 titles will ship for Nintendo's widely popular DS handheld, which has easily separated itself from Sony's challenger, the PlayStation Portable, or PSP. A total of 79 first-party titles are planned for the DS, with the remaining 45 coming to the Wii.
Although many Nintendo fans will be satisfied to see the company promise an expansion of its own support for the Wii, others will point out the remaining troubles: too few third-party hits. Thus far, Nintendo has provided the strongest titles for the console, and that may not change in the coming year.
Finally, the company's announcement is marred slightly by the Wii's slim retail appearances. Nintendo remains mum on the subject, leaving many fans worried no end to the shortage is yet in sight.