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Nintendo plots Wii U resurgence with 3D Mario by October

Media blitz to commence after summer; string of major releases planned for 2013

Nintendo is internally lining up a string of high profile releases for the second half of 2013 as part of a major new bid to recover from Wii U's stuttering start.

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Following a strong launch, Wii U sales have fallen sharply

Discussions with retail chains at executive level paint Nintendo's 2013 release strategy as extensive, with the headline draw being a new 3D Mario game released on Wii U by October.

Internal discussions have helped restore retailers' faith in the console, which has been hit by errors since launch. Global Wii U sales have fallen two million units short of Nintendo's original forecast.

The firm's current focus on 3DS, coupled with the relatively hushed PR and promotional campaign for the Wii U in the first half of 2013, had left some retailers questioning the platform holder's commitment to its new console.

However, one person close to the matter has said Nintendo's executive circle was not comfortable fully promoting Wii U until the release of the system's spring update. In January, Nintendo said two updates would arrive before the summer is over.

The first update, which launched in April (details), appears to have halved waiting times on various system loading screens.

The underpinning theory is that word-of-mouth discussion about Wii U has not been particularly positive so far, with many users complaining about system performance. However, it is hoped that the recent firmware patch (along with an apparent second one releasing this summer) will improve the user experience and help stimulate positive responses.

Now with many of the Wii U's launch issues behind it, CVG understands Nintendo is preparing a significant global Wii U marketing campaign.

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Nintendo will overhaul Wii U issues with second system update

Further to this, it was claimed by one source that Nintendo is intentionally holding back the release of some games - from Pikmin 3 to The Wonderful 101 and Wii Fit U - in order to bolster the second-half release list. However, a second source familiar with Nintendo's plans had denied the company is intentionally delaying game releases.

In April, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the corporation initially intended to release "a few" Wii U games in the first half of 2013, but they were delayed because the company underestimated the development resources required to complete them on time.

A number of blockbuster Wii U games will be released from summer until the end of the year, one of which is a new 3D Mario title. Although CVG is not yet able to confirm what the others will be, a new Mario Kart will debut in playable form at E3.

The marketing campaign will commence at the Los Angeles event (although some claim sooner), where the 3D Mario game will also be playable on the show floor. The title will be released before October, pending development delays.

Shelly Pearce, the PR director at Nintendo UK, told CVG: "From July onwards we will launch a succession of Wii U titles and we will promote these extensively until the end of the year. Marketing activity will include TV, print, online and PR as well as comprehensive experiential and social media campaigns".

She added: "We have a strong line up planned for Wii U in the second half of 2013 including the likes of Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U.

"We are looking forward to launching these in the UK and for the opportunity to showcase the full potential of Wii U."

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