‘Minecraft’ Finally Coming To Wii U

Minecraft has sold like gangbusters on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC platforms, but the lack of a Wii U release was always noticeable. Nintendo and Mojang happily announced Monday that the best-selling open-world sandbox game is coming to the console, which should bode well for the Nintendo NX as well.

Minecraft: Wii U Edition will be handled slightly differently when it launches on December 17 compared to the PlayStation and Xbox versions. The game will be sold with six popular DLC packs, bumping its price to $29.99 on the Nintendo eStore over the normal $19.99 console edition price.

Those packs include the following.

  • Battle & Beasts Skin Pack
  • Battle & Beasts 2 Skin Pack
  • Natural Texture Pack
  • City Texture Pack
  • Fantasy Texture Pack
  • Festive Mash-up Pack

“With so many included add-on content packs, Minecraft: Wii U Edition brings an exciting collection of Minecraft content and experiences to Nintendo fans,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO. “Wii U players will have plenty of reasons to keep coming back to this iconic gaming experience.”

It’s not clear if the Wii U Game Controller can be used to manage inventory while gameplay is happening on the TV screen, but off-screen play is confirmed. This allows the Gamepad user to keep playing Minecraft (and other games) while the television is being used for something else.

How Minecraft: Wii U Edition will handle split-screen play was not covered in the Mojang or Nintendo announcements either. It does support four-player split-screen just as the PlayStation and Xbox versions do. However, it’s not known if the GamePad controller will come into play in any special way.

Another unannounced and unexplained feature is how multiplayer will work with Minecraft: Wii U Edition. Again, presumably it will work much like the existing console versions, but it’s a question that has to be asked with Nintendo’s current implementation of Friend Codes.

The Nintendo announcement made sure to mention the DLC packs that will be available with Minecraft: Wii U Edition, however. There will be 16 additional add-on packs available at launch, with more planned down the line and some that will have content exclusive to Nintendo.

The confirmed list of DLC brings some of the popular packs such as Star Wars, the Festive Skin Pack, and Halloween Skin Pack. It is also getting the Skyrim Mash-Up Pack, which is interesting since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim never appeared on any Nintendo platform.

Here is the list of add-on packs that will be available at launch via the Nintendo eShop.

  1. Festive Skin Pack
  2. The Simpsons Skin Pack
  3. Doctor Who Skins Volume 1
  4. Doctor Who Skins Volume 2
  5. Star Wars Classic Skin Pack
  6. Star Wars Rebels Skin Pack
  7. Star Wars Prequel Skin Pack
  8. Mass Effect Mash-up Pack
  9. Skyrim Mash-up Pack
  10. Plastic Texture Pack
  11. Candy Texture Pack
  12. Cartoon Texture Pack
  13. Steampunk Texture Pack
  14. Pattern Texture Pack
  15. Greek Mythology Mash-up Pack
  16. Halloween 2015 Mash-up Pack
Minecraft: Wii U Edition (Mojang)
[Image via Mojang]

There has been no mention of a Minecraft release for the Nintendo 3DS, but a Wii U release is more than many were expecting following Mojang’s purchase by Microsoft. Many expected Microsoft to stay pat by grudgingly continuing support for PlayStation platforms under current contracts. However, expanding the game’s number of platforms to another competitor in the console is unexpected.

This should bode well for Nintendo’s next game platform, the currently codenamed Nintendo NX. Getting the game out on Wii U now should allow for an easier transfer to the rumored handheld/home console hybrid whenever it becomes available. It is currently expected for a holiday 2016 release following rumors of Nintendo preparing a production run for early 2016 with an announcement at E3 in June 2016.

What do you think of Minecraft coming to the Wii U? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Mojang]