Wii launch lineup narrowed

Nintendo announces 32 Wii games to be available by end of calendar year; Metal Slug, Super Swing Golf on, Blazing Angels off.

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Gamers who anxiously awaited the launch lineup of the Xbox 360 know that they shouldn't get their hopes up and anything can happen in the days leading up to launch. Several purported games fell in and out of the Xbox 360's extended launch window, including highly anticipated games like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Nintendo is getting set to launch its next-gen console, the Wii, next month, and its projected launch lineup is doing a little shuffling of its own--although the changes aren't as drastic as the 360's.

Nintendo expects 32 Wii games to be available in North America by the end of December (as well as 30 Virtual Console games). At September's big Wii release date and price unveiling in New York, Nintendo boasted that there would be 30 games before the calendar turned to 2007.

Shortly after the event, a few publishers declared their intentions to join the Wii's launch window, including four games apiece from THQ and Midway Games.

Added to the list recently and confirmed today for release in 2006 are SNK's Metal Slug Anthology, Atari's Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, and Tecmo's Super Swing Golf.

According to a press release from Nintendo, one of Ubisoft's promised eight Wii launch titles has been shot down. Missing from the list of games to be released in 2006 was Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII. In fact, there is no listing for the Wii version of the game on Ubisoft's Web site. Ubisoft was unavailable for comment as of press time.

Nintendo would not say how many Wii games would be available on November 19 besides its three games--The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Excite Truck, and Wii Sports. Citing last-minute polishing, the company stated that release dates for third-party games would "soon be locked down, though most will launch by the end of November." One third-party game that will definitely be there day one is Sega's Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, which the publisher today announced would be on store shelves on November 14.

The following is the list of Wii games expected by the end of 2006, divided by publisher:

Nintendo
Excite Truck
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii Sports (bundled with the Wii console)

Activision
Call of Duty 3
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Rapala Tournament Fishing
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam
World Series of Poker

Atari
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2

Atlus
Trauma Center: Second Opinion

EA
Madden NFL 07
Need for Speed Carbon

Konami
Elebits

Midway
The Ant Bully
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
Happy Feet
Rampage: Total Destruction

Sega
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz

SNK
Metal Slug Anthology

Tecmo
Super Swing Golf

THQ
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Barnyard
Cars
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab

Ubisoft
Far Cry: Vengeance
GT Pro Series
Monster 4x4: World Circuit
Open Season
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Red Steel
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent

Vivendi Games
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

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