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2012 in news: Wii U’s launch detailed in September

Tuesday, 1st January 2013 16:53 GMT By Patrick Garratt

September saw Nintendo enter the final stages of Wii U’s launch, TGS appear and vanish with barely a whimper and doctors Ray and Greg quit BioWare. Head below for the ninth part of our 2012 news retrospective.

The most significant news story in September was Nintendo’s announcement of Wii U’s global launch details. The console would release on December 8 in Japan, November 18 in the US and November 30 in the EU and Australia, with the base unit costing $300 in America.

For every month in our 2012 retrospective, hit this.

MGS: Ground Zeroes was still dominating the news as the year moved into September. We had new videos and screens, and Kojima confusing the sainted Bejesus out of everyone as to what the game actually was or wasn’t. MGS5? Prologue? Whatever it ends up being, it’ll have a day-night cycle. So that’s nice.

September was an odd month. Tokyo Game Show barely registered on the news radar, with by far the largest announcement coming out of Japan relating to Sony’s announcement and imminent launch of PS3 Super-Slim. Vita featured strongly in the Sony presentation, but TGS 2012 was seriously quiet in terms of core games: more than 70% of the software on show was for mobile or tablet. Rob Fahey wrapped up the Sony announcements for us here.

Eurogamer Expo, on the other hand, was bouncing. Wii U was playable at the London show, and there were live demos of Halo 4, Far Cry 3 and many others. Kojima deigned to attend, topping off a great event. I had a good time, anyway.

While gaming’s shows experienced ups and downs, September marked the true start of 2012′s release season. Super Hexagon did well as an early taster, and the increasingly popular Walking Dead got its third instalment. The year’s biggest sports launches, FIFA 13 and PES 2013, both hit in September, as did Gearbox’s Borderlands 2. Just in case that wasn’t serious business enough, Blizzard dropped Mists of Pandaria, its latest World of Warcraft expansion.

Fan favourite Torchlight 2 finally got its launch in September, and Sony released PS3 Super-Slim in the US. It’d come out in Europe in early October.

Wii U’s final approach

By far the most significant news story in September was Nintendo’s announcement of Wii U’s global launch details. The console would launch on December 8 in Japan, November 18 in the US and November 30 in the EU and Australia, with the base unit costing $300 in America. Reggie put his weight behind the machine’s pricing as a flood of video marked out launch titles, of which Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U and ZombiU stood out. The shock software reveal was Bayonetta 2 as an exclusive: Platinum said the game wouldn’t exist without Nintendo.

Despite Nintendo’s optimism, however, The Sun said Wii U would be outdated within a year, and Tecmo claimed the console was underpowered compared to PS3 and 360.

Rumours surrounding the rest of console gaming’s next generation refused to be drowned out by Nintendo. Michael Pachter warned that Microsoft may push 720 off into 2014, and reports suggested the console may have been experiencing manufacturing problems. More positively, Microsoft patented some kind of projector device and wearable controller tech apparently powered by muscles. All very Star Trek.

Next-gen news wasn’t just limited to traditional consoles, either. Apple announced and released iPhone 5 in September. iPad Mini shots were leaked ahead of the iPhone reveal, but the tablet stayed unannounced until the following month.

Other major stories stalked the year’s bigger announcements. Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk confirmed they were to quit BioWare, and Ubisoft dropped its unpopular always-on PC DRM. Andriasang stopped updating. Dragon Age 3: Inquisition was confirmed. Sony was still pretending The Last Guardian was a real thing, as well as laying off the majority of its US PR team.

And Gearbox dropped the Brothers in Arms bit from Brothers in Arms: Furious 4. Who knew? We still don’t.

Next: October. For every month in our 2012 retrospective, hit this.

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2 Comments

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  1. mistermogul

    I like the quote from The Sun stating the WiiU will be outdated within a year.

    The original Wii was outdated upon launch so at least the U has a year to gather ground!

    Why is it these journo’s always forget that games sell systems, not the hardware?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dragon246

    @1,
    I am now absolutely sure that games don’t sell hardware (for most people), their price point does. Otherwise vita would have been a clear winner the previous year.

    #2 1 year ago