The launch window line-up for the Nintendo 3DS, which runs from late March to early June, is scheduled to include over 30 games. Just three of those games will be from Nintendo (“Steel Diver,” “Nintendogs + Cats,” “Pilotwings Resort”), which is a bit surprising given how much launch support Nintendo has given to their hardware in the past. The biggest omissions are probably “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” and “Kid Icarus: Uprising,” two of the more promising games I saw at Nintendo’s 3DS unveiling last week.
While speaking with Reggie Fils-Aime, the President and COO of Nintendo of America, I asked him why those big, franchise games hadn’t made it into the launch line-up for the 3DS.
“Between ’Nintendogs + Cats’ and ’Pilotwings,’ those two franchises, either on the original DS or on other legacy systems like the NES or Super NES, have sold tens of millions of copies. Those two franchises have a lot of strength all by themselves. ’Steel Diver’ is a brand new experience, and from a compelling standpoint, we think it’s awfully compelling.”
But what of Nintendo’s triple-A franchises? “Mario, Zelda, all of those titles are coming,” said Fils-Aime. “From our perspective, we like to launch titles when they’re ready. And so they’ll be ready, they’ll be ready soon. Just not in that initial time period of late March to early June.” He went on to say that those games will launch “after E3.”
Which leaves us with the question: is there enough for hardcore gamers at the 3DS launch? Fils-Aime gave his thoughts on which launch games would best serve that audience. “I would say ’Super Street Fighter 4,’ I would say ’Dead or Alive,’ I would say ’Madden’ and I would say, yes, the three first-party launch games that we have, as well.”