You’ve heard the debates about whether the Wii U is truly a more capable system than the Xbox 360 or PS3. They won’t end anytime soon, whether the Wii U is proven to be leagues ahead of those consoles or not. But one good thing about this new Nintendo system being port friendly is that it could receive multiplatform titles that the GameCube and Wii could only dream of.
There are some major third party titles coming out for the Xbox 360/PS3 in 2013. Next year should be a down year as new consoles from Sony and Microsoft are expected to be released. This isn’t the case as 2013 is jam packed with big name titles.
And that brings us back to the Wii U being port friendly. There are some blockbusters coming out in 2013 that could come to Nintendo’s new console, and some that will probably never come despite the system being receptive to ports.
I don’t think anyone thought we’d see Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Darksiders, Ninja Gaiden, Bayonetta on a Nintendo home console at this point last year. It should be clear to us now that all the rules of “don’t make that for Nintendo it won’t do well” may finally be over.
Here is a list of the biggest third party games slated for 2013 on Xbox 360 and PS3 that could end up releasing on the Wii U. All are just our estimates and are not based off of any inside information. Just our predictions.
Tomb Raider Reboot
Other than a mistaken ad in Game Informer months ago there has been little speculation about Lara Croft’s latest adventure coming to Nintendo’s new console. The Cube and Wii did receive all of the Tomb Raider games even if they showed up months after initial release on other platforms. I don’t think the Tomb Raider reboot will land on the Wii U at the same time as the 360/PS3 versions but a late 2013 port with all the DLC sounds very likely.
VERDICT: 75% likely for late port.
EA showed off how their Frostbite engine worked well on the Wii U at E3 2011 so the idea of Battlefield 4 releasing during the holidays in 2013 gives Nintendo a pretty strong chance to see DICE’s latest FPS is likely to materialize into a reality. Perhaps work hasn’t started on it until just now or maybe EA is waiting to see how good/bad Black Ops 2’s sales on Wii U are to gauge customer interest in FPS games on the new device. I’d say it is very likely we’ll see BF4 launch on the Wii U whenever it hits store shelves in 2013.
VERDICT: 50% likely for day one release, depending on how well other FPS sell on Wii U.
Call of Duty 2013
It’s no secret that there will be a brand new Call of Duty game in 2013. It will likely release for next generation systems as well as 360/PS3. With Black Ops 2 showing up on launch day for the Wii U I’d say that Modern Warfare 4 (or whatever it is called) is guaranteed to release sometime in November 2013 for the system.
VERDICT: 100% likely unless Black Ops 2 completely tanks.
Ubisoft hasn’t really said whether the 360/PS3 will receive Watch Dogs or not. They’ve hinted that they will and that next generation systems will be the best platform for the game. My guess is that Ubisoft may make this one of their few games that doesn’t arrive on Nintendo’s new console. At the same time they are supporting the system with Rayman Legends, Zombi U and others so they’re interested in the console in a big way. But if the game is for next generation systems like the 720 and PS4 this reduces the chances of a Wii U release if those consoles are dramatically more powerful.
VERDICT: 25% likely to hit Wii U if it releases in 2013 at all.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Like Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell games usually end up getting ported to a bunch of platforms at a later time. Conviction bucked this trend but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Blacklist release on the Wii U a few months after it’s initial 360/PS3 release. The game has been listed for the Wii U by multiple retailers already so it seems very likely that Sam Fisher will arrive on Nintendo’s Wii U console, even if he’s a bit late.
VERDICT: 50% likely that Splinter Cell Blacklist ends up on Wii U at some point.
Resident Evil 6 GOLD
While the vanilla RE6 is coming out in a few weeks and not on Wii U that doesn’t mean Capcom won’t bring it to the system at all. I’d expect Capcom to release a Gold Edition of RE6 with all the DLC they make for 360/PS3/Wii U in late 2013. Usually they release these Gold Editions about one year after their initial release so I’d count on playing RE6 on the Wii U around October 2013.
VERDICT: 75% likely that Wii U receives Resident Evil 6: Gold Edition in late 2013.
Grand Theft Auto V
This will spark endless debates but I think this is finally the time a brand new GTA game releases on a Nintendo home console. If the game is being built for the 360/PS3 then it would make for an easy port. Take-Two has said that they don’t have a lot of interest in developing games like this for the Wii U but we all know extra money can change minds.
Take-Two recently said that GTA V won’t release during this fiscal year meaning it will arrive no sooner than April 1st, 2013. A May release date is somewhat likely since they timed Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire to release at the start of summer. I’d say that if GTA V slips until fall 2013 that a Wii U port is even more likely. It simply makes too much sense to not release it on the system.
People often say GTA games won’t sell well on Nintendo platforms and use Chinatown Wars as an example. I’d counter that with the fact that Chinatown Wars released on a DS system with a diverse audience of 100 million + that wasn’t use to receiving games like GTA. Even some retailers are listing GTA V for the Wii U.
The Wii U will have a smaller audience for the taking, and so long as Darksiders, Assassin’s Creed, Black Ops 2 sales are healthy then the argument that a game like GTA couldn’t sell on the Wii U becomes more bunk.
VERDICT: 30% likely that GTA V releases on the Wii U depending on how good/bad other games like Assassin’s Creed, Black Ops 2 sell early on and whether Rockstar is planning the game for next generation systems or 360/PS3 release as well.
Those are just some of our predictions on which big third party games could end up on the Wii U in 2013. There are some titles like Bioshock Infinite and Dead Space 3 that I think are just too far along in development to receive Wii U ports.
The Wii U is a very capable gaming system that is breaking down barriers the Wii and Cube couldn’t even put a scratch in. It looks like it could buck the trend of not receiving as many big budget multiplatform games for Nintendo consoles. We’ll have to wait and see but we’re willing to go out on a limb and say that you’ll be playing some franchises on the Wii U next year that you never thought you would.