Why the Wait for the Wii Game?

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Nintendo Unleashes Full Force of Pokemon

Pokemon is one of Nintendo's top-selling franchises, and Wii has been the No. 1-selling console since it launched in November. A Pokemon game for Wii would seem a surefire hit. And it probably will be, but Wii fans are still going to have to wait until June to play it.

While conspiracy theorists might call it a case of bad timing or even poor planning, it could actually be a clever marketing strategy.

"Pokemon Battle Revolution" includes a bunch of Wii "firsts" -- it's the first Wii game with WiFi, the first with online play and the first that works with the handheld Nintendo DS. When the Wii launched in November, it garnered tons of publicity and buzz all on its own. Six months later, the launch of the first Pokemon game for Wii -- with a bunch of new and cool features -- could bring a whole new round of buzz, along with a second-quarter sales lift.
'Battle Revolution': The game is first Wii offering with online-play option.
'Battle Revolution': The game is first Wii offering with online-play option.

Another reason for the delay could be that the Pokemon game does not take advantage of the Wii's motion-sensitive controller the same way "Wii Sports" does. And remember, before the November launch, no one knew Wii would be a sellout hit. "Wii Sports" was a much better showcase for the console's unique capabilities.

The time gap also may have been due to resource allocation and logistics. Nintendo isn't saying, but it's likely resources were stretched to get the Wii out the door along with launch titles such as "Zelda" (also a top franchise for Nintendo). And logistically, the DS games "Pokemon Diamond" and "Pokemon Pearl," which bow this week, had to come out first: A key element in the Wii game allows gamers to use captured Pokemon characters from the DS games to do battle in the Wii "Colosseum" mode.

Sorry, conspiracy theorists. Maybe you'll find better material for "Halo 3."
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