Nintendo’s far from being a stranger when it comes to keeping things on the down low, but it’s a big deal when they keep mum until the day of the release date of a game. That appears to be the case for the long overdue Minecraft: Wii U Edition.
The information for the Wii U version of Minecraft popped up on the official Pan European Game Information (PEGI) website earlier today and rates the game suitable for ages 7 and up. More interesting, it also lists the game’s release date on November 12th, 2015. The marriage of Minecraft and the Wii U has been something fans have been clamoring for with the layout of the touchscreen controller lending itself well to inventory management in Minecraft.
The PEGI video game content rating system is only for European markets and the sole system for the United Kingdom however. There are no similar ratings available as of yet from the ESRB aside from the upcoming Minecraft: Story Mode by Telltale Games, so it remains to be seen if a North American release is to coincide with the European release.
The potential release of Minecraft: Wii U Edition coincides with the first Nintendo Direct that the company has broadcasted since former CEO Satoru Iwata passed away earlier this year. Nintendo loyalists remain hopeful of any details on the Nintendo NX - the company's yet to be officially revealed new home console - but the official description of this Nintendo Direct presentation references "updates on upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS releases" and specifically points out that "the presentation will not feature any updates on NX and mobile." An announcement back in March stated that more details regarding the system were to be released in 2016.
Minecraft was initially created by Markus “Notch” Persson and then further developed and published by developer Mojang, which he owned and ran until last year. The game has been released across nearly every platform, with Nintendo systems being the exception. It has been critically acclaimed, extremely well-merchandised and the subject of infinite clones from other developers among multiple awards - all of which helped Perrson land $2.5 billion dollars for selling Mojang and its properties to Microsoft. While late to the party, Minecraft is a welcome addition to the three year-old Wii U’s library and comes just in time for the holiday season.
With the release of the Wii U version, the question is now what else is going to come with it in terms of unique features? Will this open up a new generation of cooperation between Nintendo and Microsoft and bring to light conversations about other properties such as Banjo and Kazooie in a Smash Bros. game or amiibo figures of Steve and Creepers? Could Herobrine join the shadowy figures found in the Shiverburn Galaxy in future installments of Mario Galaxy?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's Nintendo Direct which will air live right here on November 12 at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET.
Minecraft Wii U is potentially planned for a surprise release on November 12th, 2015.