There’s playing it close to the vest, and then there’s what Nintendo is doing with news about the Wii U. With summer fast reaching its conclusion, and the holiday shopping season not far away, we still haven’t heard much about what to expect software-wise from the Wii U when it launches, nor even when exactly that launch will occur. Though anyone looking forward to purchasing this next console is probably holding their breath right about now, EA today made an announcement that will, hopefully, help you breathe a little easier.
In a press release earlier today, EA confirmed that FIFA Soccer 2013 and Madden NFL 2013 will be available for the Wii U when it launches. Looking to take advantage of the unique hardware of the Wii U, these two games will ensure that there is at least something worth playing on the console when it launches, so with luck, we won’t be seeing as disappointing a launch as we did with the 3DS. That said, most hardcore sports fans will probably have picked these up by the time the Wii U finally does go on sale, so they definitely aren’t the system-sellers Nintendo needs. Some of the features do sound pretty cool, though.
In FIFA ’13, EA is introducing a co-op mode where one player acts as a Team Manager, and up to four others can play as their favourite club. The Team Manager role gives you access to an interactive radar so you can see where you need to send in a supporting run, whether offensive or defensive, and lets you make formation changes and substitutions on the fly. If managing isn’t your thing, there are also some new touch controls, the most interesting of which lets players lift the GamePad touch screen and look through it to aim the ball on set pieces and penalty kicks, then put just the right amount of power and curve on the shot, rather than taking the shot at a rough angle and hoping for the best.
On the American football side of things, Madden ’13 lets you use the GamePad touch screen to streamline your play calls, make pre-snap adjustments and manage your players. With this title, EA is looking to bring the Madden experience you’d have on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 to the Nintendo console – graphical fidelity and all. Whether or not they’re successful remains to be seen, but for the time being, the promise will have to be enough.
Hopefully this announcement from EA will break the dam of silence that Nintendo has constructed, and convince other developers to come forward and inform us of what we can expect from the Wii U at launch. We know that big third-party titles like Assassin’s Creed III, Darksiders II and Mass Effect 3, alongside first-party games such as New Super Mario Bros. U and Pikmin 3 will be hitting the console at some point, but the question is when. Without an extremely strong launch line-up, the silence and relative ambiguity Nintendo has been giving their new console could prove to be extremely detrimental.