Friday, May 10, 2013

15 Frostbite 3 EA Games Are Giving Wii U The Cold Shoulder

I recently posed the question "Has EA completely shunned the Wii U?" and they seemed to have recently answered with a resounding YES! It has been revealed that 15 upcoming games utilize the Frostbite 3 engine which does not support Nintendo's latest home console (For those who don't know, EA uses their in-house DICE developed game engine known as Frostbite for most of their games). DICE has stated that both the Frostbite 3 engine as well as its 2 year old Frostbite 2 engine do not run on the Wii U. This means that almost every major EA game will be skipping the Wii U. Some examples include:
  • Battlefield 4
  • Dragon Age III: Inquisition
  • New Mass Effect
  • New Need for Speed
  • BioWare developed Star Wars title
  • DICE developed Star Wars title
  • Visceral Games developed Star Wars title
The real kick in the balls for Nintendo fans looking to play these games is that the Frostbite 3 engine runs on the 8 year old Xbox360 and 7 year old PS3, both of which are getting Battlefield 4 this fall. Sadly, since both machines are technically inferior consoles to the Wii U, this means the move was a conscience decision by EA versus a technical issue. It has also been revealed that EA is developing a next generation sports engine to run FIFA, Madden and NBA Live which will no doubt lack support the Wii U.

This is a bit shocking when you consider the long history between Nintendo and EA but the truth is that Nintendo doesn't need EA to succeed (and never has if you really consider their history). Never once has an EA title been a system seller for Nintendo and the audiences for both companies are actually quite different. While some will proclaim doom and gloom for the Big N, the truth is that Nintendo's new direction seems to be moving away from the traditional console mentality. They are shifting their focus away from competing with Sony and Microsoft while bringing themselves more in line with devices such as the OUYA, PC and Pads for the Indie games while keeping their distinctive "Nintendo Console" branding for their own games. It sounds like a crazy strategy but with the mainstream game industry on the verge of a major crash and the economy still in the toilet, it may just work. Indie developers are literally being pampered by Nintendo and rumors are pointing to Nintendo welcoming touch based games/apps from tablet developers as well meaning that the Wii U may just be setting itself up to focus on the one part of the industry that shows actual growth.

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