I see where ur coming from but at what point should they have decided to bump it up? Its not like Nintendo knew Wii U sales would be bad and during the first half of 2013 it was reasonable to assume it was due to lack of sotware releases.
The second half of 2013 had Pikmin 3, New Super Luigi U, Wonderful 101, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Wii Sports Club, Mario & Sonic Sochi Olympics, Super Mario 3D World and mulitplats like Splinter Cell, Disney Infinity, Skylanders, Rayman, Just Dance, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Batman Arkham Origins plus new bundles with more value and increased advertising.
With all of that released in the second half of the year it didnt seem like they absolutely needed Mario Kart. Another thing to consider is what would they have for Spring 2014 if Mario Kart was a holiday title? Donkey Kong in Febraury followed by what?
I get all that, definitely. Granted, their release schedule for the 2nd half of 2013 wasn't half bad, however there had been signs since january of last year that Wii U was losing all momentum it had, and even when their anticipated 1st party games did start coming out, they didn't have anywhere near the desired effect on hardware sales (Pikmin, W101, WWHD...); the 3rd party ones even less.
They pushed back DKC a few months (which was smart imo, since it and SM3DW was releasing anyway - 2 platformers would be overkill), however when that was decided they could (should) have ramped up development of MK8, like I pointed out earlier.
As for you last question, well yes... that brings me to the point that Nintendo's Wii U release schedule is very lacking all-round, unfortunately. It's definitely true that MK8 will now nicely fill a gap after DKC, especially since we have no idea what will release after that and when. However, once again, imo they ought to have readied more games. Especially considering both Reggie and Iwata have stated last year that they acknowledged Wii U's 2013 drought, and claimed it definitely wouldn't happen again in 2014. However, it's happening already. January had nothing, DKC comes out at the end of february, and after that nothing for march and april, until MK8 in may (unless they announce a significant release for that period, but I think that's unlikely).
On a related note, I'd also like to point out that I honestly, for the life of me don't get why Nintendo isn't aggressively pushing Wii U's Virtual Console. They have just a handful of games on there, and only NES & SNES ones (most aren't even great). In light of their severely lacking software lineup, it would make sense to release VC games all the time to fill up gaps. They have literally 30 years of great, acclaimed games that people would lovingly part with cash for (as has been proven before), which they could really use now. They could update them with additional content, online compatibility and HD graphics, however they wouldn't really have to at all.
It just makes no sense to me, especially since Wii had a great VC already. Where are the N64 games? Where are the Gamecube games? Where are the rest of the great NES and SNES games? What in heaven's name could be taking so incredibly long that we only see a measly trickle of 8/16 bit games, and some not even significant at that...
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