Recently, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono announced that Capcom has no plans to bring Street Fighter to the Wii U. An obvious choice, right? The Wii U is selling rather poorly recently, already being one of the worst-selling consoles on the market. Not only that, but Street Fighter has pretty solidly set itself as the fighting game of choice on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 without a Wii counterpart to speak of. In fact, there are very few fighting games on the Wii at all, so it’s only natural that fighting-game developers should completely ignore the Wii U as a serious fighting-game platform, right?
Capcom is making a huge mistake by ignoring the Wii U for a number of reasons. I’m not going to make outrageous accusations such as saying the Wii U is where all fighting gamers will go in a few months, but I will say that there isn’t nearly enough info to warrant giving the Wii U a pass yet.
First of all, we won’t know how much pull a Wii U fighting game has until a fighting game actually comes out for the console. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, a fighting game in the style of the Versus series (Marvel vs. Capcom, Street Fight vs. SNK) that put together Capcom fighters with anime characters that most Capcom fans never heard of was so popular that Capcom went out of its way to figure out all the wonky licensing issues needed to bring the game to America. And guess what? The game came out on the Wii, and only the Wii, and it was a huge staple at big fighting-game tournaments like EVO. In fact, it could be said that it was TVC’s fault that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ever got greenlit. It’s possible that a fighting game released on the Wii U would have the same effect. Simply put, it may be that fighting gamers aren’t purchasing the Wii U because there are no fighting games on it.
Second of all, we don’t know how well the PS4 and the Xbox One will do until they come out. When the Wii U came out, everyone expected it to sell out of stores like gangbusters, giving us a repeat of what we saw with the Wii a generation ago. While it had a decent amount of first-day sales, sales dropped off really quickly. So this console that everyone thought was going to be the next big console was really nothing more than a short-lived fad. It’s entirely possible that the PS4 and the Xbox One will follow in the Wii U’s foosteps.
Finally, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says that he doesn’t think it’s the console’s price or its specs that are lending to its poor sales, but rather its poor software lineup. If that is true, then the Wii U could just be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Just wait until the next original Zelda comes out or a new next-generation Metroid game or something. Gamers will flock to the Wii U when that happens, and since these are all hardcore titles, all these users might be willing to drop 60 bucks on Ultra Street Fighter IV.
There’s nothing that says a Nintendo console can’t be a console for fighting games. Street Fighter has been on Nintendo consoles for ages. In fact, Super Turbo, perhaps the most loved version of Street Fighter II, was on the SNES. Not to mention Nintendo’s handhelds, such as the 3DS, actually DO have Street Fighter on them, and it was a pretty popular release at launch. Frankly, overlooking the Wii U right now is a decision that Capcom may one day regret, because if the Wii U does explode, it will likely do so after Street Fighter’s replacement has been found.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer