We’re only a few days away from 2012, and with this new year comes a new generation! However, there are still plenty of releases left for seventh generation consoles, and there’s sure to be many surprises in the coming year.
While the Wii’s weak 2011 would seem to indicate another early death for a Nintendo console, the system has a surprisingly healthy number of releases scheduled for 2012. Among these are Rhythm Heaven Fever
(Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise
in Europe) scheduled for February 13 in North America and Q2 in Europe and Mario Party 9
, scheduled for March in both North America and Europe. The three Wii RPGs that were the source of a minor PR disaster for Nintendo of America last year will also see release in different regions this year, as Xenoblade Chronicles
arrives in North American GameStop stores on April 2 and The Last Story
(February 24) and Pandora’s Tower
(Q2) arrive in Europe. Dragon Quest X
will also be released later in the year, alongside a Wii U version.
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have very strong release schedules for the year, although few exclusives have been announced for either console. The first quarter of the year features Final Fantasy XIII-2
, Soul Calibur V
, and Mass Effect 3
, but the majority of fan hype and media attention has been centered around cyberpunk shooter BioShock Infinite
, planned for release by the end of the year. Not all of these shared releases will be exclusive to the HD twins, as Wii U versions of Darksiders II
and Ninja Gaiden 3
have been announced. Other shared releases include Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
, Borderlands 2
, and the wonderfully titled Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
The few Xbox 360 exclusives announced for 2012 include Fable: The Journey
and Halo 4
. Likewise, not many PlayStation 3 exclusives have been announced, but this year will likely see the release of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
and Naughty Dog’s new IP The Last of Us
. Despite his departure from Sony this month, Fumito Ueda is still under contract to complete The Last Guardian
, but there is no guarantee that it will be released by the end of the year.
Eighth-Generation SystemsNintendo 3DS
After a rough start that led to a massive price cut, the Nintendo 3DS has finally met with success after the release of two Mario games and the Japanese release of Monster Hunter 3G
. This momentum appears as though it will continue into early 2012 as Metal Gear Solid 3D
, Kid Icarus: Uprising
, and Resident Evil: Revelations
are released in Q1. Luigi’s Mansion 2
, Mario Tennis
, Paper Mario
, and the fifth Professor Layton game are also expected to be released in the West in 2012. The “Circle Pad Pro” peripheral, which adds a second analog stick and another set of shoulder buttons, will be released in Europe in January and in North America in February.
The PlayStation Vita, Sony’s second major handheld console, will be released in Europe and North America on February 22. It features two analog sticks, a touch screen, a touch pad on the back of the system, and two cameras. Significant games announced for the system include Uncharted: Golden Abyss
and a LittleBigPlanet
The Wii U, which Nintendo has labeled as its attempt to reclaim the “core gamer,” will release in the second half of 2012. It features a new controller that features a high-resolution screen. Very few games have been announced for the system, but we do know that Pikmin 3
and games from Monolith Soft and Retro Studios are in development for the console.
GDC 2012 is scheduled for March 5-9.
E3 2012 is scheduled for June 5-7.Predictions!
Feel free to share with us any predictions you may have about 2012.
- Pikmin 3 won’t be a Wii U launch title, but we’ll finally get a solid release window at E3.
- E3 will have a huge blowout for Wii U games, but Nintendo won’t mention the release date or price until September. We’ll see Retro Studios’ game (either Donkey Kong or F-Zero) and a new 3D Mario platformer that’s scheduled for 2013. Only three or four first-party games will be released by the end of the year, and one of them will be a racing game.
- Also, Metroid! We’ll either see Metroid Dread for 3DS or a brand new 3D Metroid (with no mention of Other M) for Wii U. It won’t be Metroid Prime.
- PS Vita will be a modest success, despite its numerous setbacks. I expect we won’t hear much about it after its release.
- Pokémon Gra
y will be announced for 3DS and released in Japan late in the year.
- Miyamoto’s new IP at E3. It’ll be a launch title for Wii U.