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Wannabe Wii U gamers will be able to buy up to 24 games in shops when the console launches at midnight tonight. Three more are set to be available digitally from Nintendo's eShop store.

But how does this compare with previous Nintendo console launches? And how do Nintendo's home-made software offerings match up with those in previous generations?

Turn back the clock to 11th April 1992 and the SNES was arriving on European shop shelves. It had just three games - not much choice - but each would go on to be some of the best releases on the system: they were Super Mario World, F-Zero and Pilotwings - two of these kickstarting new Nintendo franchises.

The N64 also launched with just three games - Pilotwings 64, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and Super Mario 64 - when it launched on 1st March 1997. But again, two were Nintendo's own and both helped shape the system's legacy.

It wasn't until the GameCube era that consoles were expected to arrive with an array of software on tap. Nintendo's purple (or black) machine arrived on 3rd May 2002 alongside 20 games. But only one of them, Luigi's Mansion, came from Nintendo itself. Still, it's worth remembering that Super Smash Bros. arrived just a few weeks later and Pikmin debuted the following month.

The Wii arrived on 8th December 2006 - although many customers would have to wait weeks longer due to initial stock shortages. Three out of 23 Wii games available at the console's launch came from Nintendo - although Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess started life as a GameCube title and was later converted for a cross-generational launch.

That leaves mini-game collections Wii Play (bundled with an extra Wii Remote) and Wii Sports (bundled with the Wii itself).

Comparing these titles with the Wii U's software line-up it's obvious that Nintendo's new machine has the most games of any Nintendo home console at launch. But in terms of Nintendo's contribution the Wii U has one of the least interesting line-ups and few first-party games on the horizon.

Many will pick up Nintendo Land with the console's Premium pack and New Super Mario Bros. is certainly a worthy purchase, but beyond that it's unclear what will follow. Pikmin 3 is due at some point - although could launch up to the end of Q2 next year.

The Mario maker has also shown Game & Wario and Wii U Fit, but neither have a release date. There's also been lots of talk about the next Smash Bros., but all indications show it is still a long way off.

Nintendo is playing its cards close to its chest - we don't know any release dates for games beyond the release window.

It's also worth remembering the games announced alongside the 3DS two years ago - titles like Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem - are still not out in Europe. This suggests gamers may have to wait some time for more Nintendo-made games.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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