Nintendo’s thus far underwhelming Wii U console may have recently hit another stumbling block: next generation EA games powered by the Frostbite 3 engine won’t be coming to the Japanese company’s console due to performance issues.
EA DICE technical director Johan Anderson revealed to fans on Twitter Monday that the company ceased development of Frostbite 3 for the Wii U after Frostbite 2 tests yielded “not too promising results.”
@mutedpenguin FB3 has never been running on WiiU. We did some tests with not too promising results with FB2 & chose not to go down that path
— Johan Andersson (@repi) May 6, 2013
The result is that Wii U owners will miss out on many highly anticipated next generation titles, including Battlefield 4, Madden 25, and the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect games.
The loss of Frostbite 3 is the second disappointment for the Wii U in recent months. At the Game Developers Conference in March, Epic Game’s VP Mark Rein told the audience that the company’s Unreal Engine 4 would not be designed for the Wii U. Unreal Engine 4 games could still be ported to the Wii U using a different engine, but that would be an expensive and time consuming process that many developers want to avoid.
Nintendo has struggled since launching the Wii U in November 2012. The console was met with mildly positive reviews but failed to generate the excitement and sales of its predecessor. With an expected 2012 loss of $366 million, Nintendo is now trying to shore up its financial position by modifying the console to support smartphone and tablet games with the hope of attracting a new demographic of gamers.
The loss of major next generation titles due to engine incompatibles, and the impending launch of the PS4 and next Xbox will place Nintendo in a precarious position during this holiday shopping season.
The Wii U has sold approximately 3.5 million units as of March 31, compared to a cumulative total of 99.8 million for the original Wii.