Nintendo lays out Q1 Wii slate

A dozen more games expected to arrive on store shelves through March; Mario Kart 64 powerslides onto VC next week.

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With WarioWare: Smooth Moves standing as the sole retail Wii release since the middle of December, owners of the new system may foster worries of a postlaunch drought of new games. However, those same owners may find comfort today, as Nintendo has released a slate of a dozen Wii games scheduled for release by the end of March.

While the Nintendo faithful will have to endure a few dry weeks (Wii Play with Wii Remote is the only release before March), a number of high-profile franchises are set to hit the system by the end of the quarter. Ubisoft is down for bringing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Prince of Persia series to the Wii, while Sega is ready to offer gamers Sonic and the Secret Rings. Electronic Arts is also bringing some famous faces to the system in the form of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, SSX Blur, The Godather: Blackhand Edition, and Medal of Honor: Vanguard.

However, this list may not be comprehensive. Earlier today, Ubisoft released a list of its own expected first-quarter releases as part of its financial earnings statement, and that list indicated Driver: Parallel Lines for the Wii would also make it to store shelves in the first quarter. A Nintendo representative had not returned our request for comment as of press time, but an Ubisoft spokesperson reiterated that the game will be released before the end of March.

There's also the matter of Virtual Console games. Sega has already committed to bringing five more titles to the downloadable service in the first quarter, and Nintendo said it will bring Mario Kart 64 to the Virtual Console "next week." Nintendo has said that Monday would be the launch day for downloadable games on its digital distribution service, but in the past exceptions have been made.

Nintendo's full list of expected first-quarter retail releases follows below:

February 14--Wii Play with Wii Remote--Nintendo
March 27--Disney's Meet the Robinsons--Buena Vista
March--Bust-A-Move Bash--Majesco
March--Prince of Persia Rival Swords--Ubisoft
March--TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)--Ubisoft
March--Bionicle Heroes--Eidos
March--Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII--Ubisoft
Q1--Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07--EA
Q1--SSX Blur--EA
Q1--The Godfather: Blackhand Edition--EA
Q1--Medal of Honor: Vanguard--EA
Q1--Sonic and the Secret Rings--Sega

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