Nintendo apologises for lack of Wii U releases as it reveals two March release dates

The January and February release slate for Nintendo’s Wii U is pretty bare – but that changes in March.

In today’s Nintendo Direct broadcast on Wii U, delivered online to gamers, company president Satoru Iwata outlined plans to beef up the online service and the release schedule – although the big stuff comes in months, not weeks.

Iwata even apologised that the release schedule for games for the platform have dried up.

"We are sorry that those supporting Wii U have had no games in January of February," he said.

But in March, the machinery kicks back into gear, with the release of Monster Hunter 3 on March 22nd in the UK and LEGO City Undercover on March 29th.

To calm worried fans, the firm also referenced a wave of favourite franchises that are in the works, including a new 3D Mario, Mario Kart, the already-announced Smash Brothers and a new Zelda. The first three will be playable at E3, and thus likely out by the close of 2013.

The new Zelda is taking longer to develop, and in the meantime Nintendo said it will release a Wii U version of Zelda: Wind Waker, originally released in 2003 for the GameCube.

It was also announced that Mario’s dinosaur sidekick Yoshi will be starring in his own game, that Nintendo has also charged third-party studio Atlus to make a Fire Emblem title that might cross over with its owned Shin Megami Tensei franchise, and a new Xenogears is heading to Wii U. Iwata also said more information would be given soon on Platinum Games’ Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2. The company also has a new Wii U party game in the works.

But no firm dates were given for these 11 future games – nothing was given for the imminent Wii Fit game or Pikmin 3, which was showcased at E3 – although Game & Wario has been confirmed to arrive in the first half of 2013.

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