Splinter Cell: Blacklist

The universal truths are as follows: Nobody lives forever. The Detroit Lions will never make it to a Super Bowl. Nintendo home consoles lack third-party support.

That last one is especially true, but that’s not stopping Nintendo from trying to prove otherwise. The Japanese gaming giant came out today with a few announcements about major third-party games on its Wii U system.

“Disney, Ubisoft, and our other third-party partners have a great lineup of exclusive games and unique experiences for fans of all ages,” Nintendo of America vice president of licensing Steve Singer said in a statement. “Their creativity spans every audience and genre, creating new ways to play that can only be experienced on Nintendo platforms.”

Disney revealed that it is bringing the game adaptation of the Planes film, a quasi-sequel to Cars, to the Wii U, Wii, 3DS, and DS systems on Aug. 6. Ubisoft confirmed that Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due for the Wii U on Aug. 20 with features exclusive to the console.

“Wii U offers our developers unique tools to showcase our fun franchises,” Disney Interactive senior vice president of publishing Javier Ferriera said in a statement. “No matter which Nintendo system you own, every member of the family will have fun playing.”

The newly announced games join previously revealed games from each publisher, including toy-based action game Disney Infinity (Aug. 18) and colorful platformer Rayman Legends (Sept. 27).

Along with those new announcements, Nintendo went over a list of other third-party games set for release on Wii U this spring and summer:

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • Resident Evil: Revelations
  • Fast & Furious: Showdown
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
  • DuckTales Remastered
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara
  • Mutant Mudds Deluxe

Even with those titles, the Wii U is still suffering a dearth of content. At retail, the only game of note headed to the console in the next four to five weeks is the fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us due out April 14. The next first-party game is Pikmin 3, which is due out sometime in spring.

The Wii U’s release schedule for the next several months is grim.

Between the games Nintendo mentioned above, weeks go by where nothing new releases at all for the hardware. Worse than that, the games that do release are often ports of year-old products.

Sure, Injustice, Rayman Legends, and Disney’s Planes are all hitting the Wii U as they simultaneously release on other platforms, but many of the aforementioned titles are older games. Lego Batman 2 came out in June. Deus Ex: Human Revolution debuted in August 2011.

It seems that Nintendo is trumpeting this third-party support because it’s the entirety of what it has to offer. That’s not good for a system that is struggling to find an audience. That’s not good for a system that Sony and Microsoft could make obsolete as early as this fall.