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Nintendo delays the majority of its launch window titles

When last we checked in on Nintendo’s 2013 Wii U line up, there was plenty on the horizon but little in terms of concrete release dates. At the beginning of December, just days after the Wii U’s North American release, Nintendo confirmed that Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3, Lego City: Undercover, and Game & Wario would hit in early 2013. Those games are still on the horizon, but according to a release from the company on Thursday, Nintendo has only confirmed it will publish a single game within its “launch window” that ends in March.

Lego City: Undercover will be out on Mar. 18, arriving just before the launch window technically closes. The open world comedy adventure that’s a Lego spin on Grand Theft Auto, places the young players its targeting in the role of a detective, pursuing hardened, blocky criminal rather than playing as them.

Meanwhile, the rest of Nintendo’s first party line up is now expected during “the first half of the year” according to the release. This includes the previously announced Game & Wario, Wii Fit U, and Pikmin 3.

A welcome piece of news, though, is that Platinum Games peculiar The Wonderful 101 will also come out sometime before June. A cross between Pikmin and the studio’s brawlers like Bayonetta and Anarchy Reigns, The Wonderful 101 lets you control a legion of superheroes that work in tandem to fight giant robots.

Other Nintendo-published Wii U games like Platinum’s Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros. 4 are still unknown quantities, but should make an appearance at E3 2013 this June.

Just because Nintendo isn’t releasing much for Wii U this spring doesn’t mean that the new console will be barren. Publishers like Electronic Arts and Sega will bring more Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ports to the console with Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Aliens: Colonial Marines in March. Capcom will also release Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for both Wii U and 3DS on Mar. 19.

Ubisoft, meanwhile, will provide a lonely Wii U exclusive in February with the attractive Rayman Legends.

Wii U owners should take heart: This is only the release schedule for retail games. The Nintendo eShop should receive a number of Wii U games between now and the end of March. Sega will publish Ron Gilbert’s The Cave on Jan. 22. Not a bad start.