Xenoblade Chronicles coming to North America

Well, all you ‘Operation Rainfall’ folks who pre-ordered a placeholder, started a letter writing campaign and whinged online for weeks, don’t say Nintendo never did anything for you.  They have officially announced that Xenoblade Chronicles, the excellently-reviewed RPG previously release in Japan and Europe, will in fact be coming to North America in April 2012.

Interestingly you’ll only have 2 places to pick it up, either from Nintendo.com or at a GameStop for $49.99. (Probably at EB Games in Canada as well.)  This is due to an exclusivity deal that GameStop struck with Nintendo, which in all likelyhood was the tipping point that Nintendo needed to authorize it  for North America, as it mitigated the risk of financial investment.  Many people were confused when it was localized for Europe and translated to English but not brought to North America, but there are still costs in the printing, distribution, localization, promotion, etc.

Unlike Sony, who has released some of their Japanese games in untranslated fashion directly to other consumers online, Nintendo has a history of simply not releasing many of the games that they publish outside of Japan.  There is a reason that your average video game fan thinks that all Nintendo releases is Mario games, and in large part that is because the other first-party games that Nintendo makes are either much smaller in public perception or simply not released in North America at all.  Now the reason they finally decided to actually bring it here is, I’m sure, partially to do with the GameStop deal, but also partially to do with a weak 2012 lineup for the Wii.

With focus having really shifted to the Wii U at Nintendo, other than a new Rhythm Heaven game, 2012 is looking pretty light for the Wii, with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword really being the consoles swan-song, like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was for the GameCube way back when.

Either way, good to see it coming, and head on over to Nintendo’s site to check out a bit more about the game.


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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