A few weeks back I attended Nintendo's media summit wherein they showed off all their upcoming releases for the first half of 2010. Considering it was such a huge push with "Wii Sports Resort," I was surprised by the absolute dearth of Wii MotionPlus games in the line-up. In the first half of the year there will only be one: "FlingSmash." Last week I caught up with Reggie Fils-Aimé, President of Nintendo of America, and asked where all the first party Wii MotionPlus games are.
"There's tremendous support for Wii MotionPlus. First, what it would highlight is that 'Wii Sports Resort' continues to sell exceptionally well. In addition to that you're seeing some fantastic third party support. 'Red Steel 2'...about to come out. And from a first party perspective we showed 'Fling Smash.' There are more titles that are coming, it continues to be a core part of what we do."
While I hear him say "tremendous support," I'm not convinced. It seems like there was a big priority in 2009 with "Resort" and "Wii Fit 2," but since then it's been extremely quiet.
There are three major franchise games that spring to mind ("New Super Mario Bros. Wii," "Super Mario Galaxy 2" and "Metroid: Other M") that don't use MotionPlus at all, and while it's been hinted that the next "Zelda" will feature it, that's likely a 2011 release.
Regarding those non-MotionPlus franchise games, though, Reggie made a point of saying that Nintendo doesn't like to force control schemes upon their developers:
"But I guess what's unique with Nintendo is we don't force our developers to stick to a particular type of control scheme, and you've seen that. Everything from the new 'Metroid' title to be single remote driven to 'Fling Smash' utilizing the Wii MotionPlus. So it's all about what's right for the game."
It'll be interesting to see whether Nintendo ramps up MotionPlus software development in time for the release of Natal and PlayStation Move later this year.