Nintendo was ahead of the curve in 2012, having released the first console of this new generation, the Wii U, a whole year ahead of rivals Microsoft and Sony. Now that the competition have caught up the gaming world wonders what tricks Nintendo has up its sleeve for 2014.
Given that Sony and Microsoft will dedicate 2014 to outracing each other in terms of the variety of exclusive videogames, Nintendo’s strategy is probably going to involve reassuring its loyal fans that they made the right decision buying a Wii U last year. Below follows some possibilities of just how they may go about this.
The Year of Luigi Celebrations Continue
Last year, Nintendo announced that to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Luigi’s debut in Mario Bros., 2013 would be the official Year of Luigi. Reggie Fils-Aime, the American president of Nintendo, has announced that the celebrations will go into 2014 too. Expect more videogames, collectibles and downloadable content (DLC) starring one of your favourite Nintendo characters.
LEGO Hobbits Abound
With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug having just been released, Warner Bros. has been quick to announce that the LEGO version of The Hobbit will be launched this year on various platforms, including the Wii.
LEGO: The Lord of the Rings enjoyed a positive critical reception when it was released back in the day, so it’s fair to assume that the LEGO rendition of The Hobbit will also earn good reviews. Each character (whether you play Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin or the other dwarves), will have their own individual powers and the videogame will span over several different Middle Earth locations: The Misty Mountain, High Pass, Rivendell, Goblin-town and Mirkwood.
Super Smash Bros. – what’s going on?
According to a Nintendo of Germany representative, the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS was going to be released in Spring 2014. Apparently this was an error stemming from misinterpretation; Masahiro Sakurai, the director behind the Super Smash Bros. series, has now confirmed that this was a mistake.
Fans shouldn’t be too disappointed, though: Sakurai claimed that the videogame would still be released in 2014, just not that early. Mario Kart 8, on the other hand, is still expected for a Spring 2014 release.
Perhaps the one release all Nintendo fans will be hyped about is Hyrule Warriors, announced to a fanfare just before Christmas. This is a crossover between The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors, developed by Omega Force. While the gameplay is similar to the latter, the setting and characters will mostly be from the former. According to the Nintendo Direct broadcast, there will be a stronger emphasis on combat than in other The Legend of Zelda videogames and the weapons will be from earlier titles in the series.
Now that the Wii U is in full swing, it’ll be interesting to see how many titles Nintendo will manage to release in 2014 in comparison to the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Having a whole year ahead of its rivals is surely a big advantage, but the real test will be in retaining players and not losing them to the newer consoles. Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the movers and shakers on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in 2014.