Poor old Wii U. It certainly hasn't had the easiest time of things lately. First its former exclusives decided to go multi-platform, then one of the largest publishers decided they were going to stop making games for the machine, and now another three big games have been delayed. Given the runaway successes of both the Wii and the DS, it's a bit of a comedown for the big N, but one of many their new system's experienced since it launched last year. Revealed during their Nintendo Direct broadcast at giant games convention E3 last week, Nintendo have announced that both Wii Fit U and Wii Party U won't be with us till the end of the year, as they plan to “create new features” to ensure we get “as high quality a gaming experience as possible”.
Our bodies have been ready and waiting for Wii Fit U, the sequel to the best-selling bathroom scales exercise program, for many months now. Revealed at last year's trade show, many believed the game would launch around the same time as the console and we'd have been carrying cakes, trampolining and bob-sleighing from the comfort of our living rooms for months now, perhaps even working off the post-Christmas podge and sculpting our bikini bodies for the summer. But alas, we've had near radio silence on the title until last week, when Nintendo revealed the game wouldn't hit consoles until December – once again just in time for this Christmas.
The second delay comes for Nintendo's other party game, Wii Party U. Similar to the incredibly popular Mario Party series, just minus the Mario characters, it features a range of mini-games to play together, wrapped up in the form of a board game. As you move around the board, you'll be challenged to compete with your friends in a series of challenge, from zoo animal races, to giant vs mini tank battles and a face-pulling guessing game, to GamePad only tabletop football matches and co-operative marble mazes. It's light-hearted zany fun, but sadly, the game seems to have missed it's planned Summer release slot in favour of an October launch.
Wii Fit U and Wii Party U arguably mark the beginning of another Nintendo push for the wider audience - the families and fairer sex that fell head over heels for the Wii and made it the stellar success it was, but due to some dodgy TV advertising, don't seem to have yet had the same reaction to their latest system, the Wii U. We've heard first hand of people purchasing Wiis then wanting to buy the Wii U GamePad controller as an extra, not realising it's for a different box, and it's these people Nintendo will need to educate if they want the games to succeed. With that in mind, it's entirely possible the delays could be to simply drum up awareness in the machine to give the games a chance to succeed.
While the other two delays were announced to the public, Mario Golf: World Tour was kept much more on the down low, with a 2014 release date slipped in during an analyst briefing at E3 – when Nintendo revealed the game originally back in February, it was slated for this Summer, but now seems to have slipped six months at least. Seeing the entirety of the Mushroom Kingdom – friend and foe – teeing up together for a spot of golf, but with a silly Mario twist, as each character has their own special moves to turn the tide, you'll now get to putt your way through Mario-themed courses crawling with Goombas at some point next year. It's by the same folks as the awesome Mario Tennis Open for the 3DS, though, so it's bound to be worth the wait.
While we appreciate that Nintendo are perfectionists, it can get a tad frustrating when things constantly get put off and delayed – after all, are Nintendo really that bad at time-keeping that they need to keep altering the release dates of their games? For a console that hasn't had the most stellar of years, the news of more delays is unlikely to help kickstart things either - although 2014 is looking much more positive indeed. With a drip feed of Game & Wario, New Super Luigi U, and Pikmin set to launch over the next few months, 2014 looks to kick things into a higher gear with the launch of Nintendo all-star beat 'em up Super Smash Bros. and perennial racing favourite Mario Kart 8, while multiplayer friendly platformer Super Mario 3D World slips in this December - and that can't happen soon enough.