Is the MotionPlus delay due to third party developers?

As you all know, Wii MotionPlus has been absent from the past two major Nintendo release schedules. Now, my first thought is this is Nintendo being Nintendo, always meticulously testing its first party products until they’re perfect (unless, of course, we’re talking Wii Music—I kid Miyamoto, I kid!).

However, hundreds, if not thousands, of people saw MotionPlus in real-time demos at E3 and elsewhere to close out 2008. The tech worked; the hardware appeared sound—especially in one of the more complicated implementations, 1:1 sword-fighting.

So, if the hardware is sound, perhaps it’s the software that’s the issue. No, not Wii Sports Resort. Third party software. There are a number of developers who’ve outright bragged that their game will support MotionPlus, and I imagine there are several more who have yet to speak up about it that nevertheless have games ready for deployment. And then there are those developers that have yet to sign on that are seeing this excitement in their peers and want in on the action, so to speak. Many publishers, like EA, are openly groevling at Nintendo’s feet these days (and have already pledged MotionPlus games), so there’s a bit more evidence there as well.

What Nintendo could be doing is something we wouldn’t have seen in an older, more arrogant 1990s Nintendo. Keep in mind they’ve said nothing official yet, so there’s no real “delay,” but the release schedule absence speaks for itself. Perhaps Nintendo is throwing developers a bone? Giving them a bit more time to get something together for the launch? With Wii Speak and the Balance Board fading from my memory faster than I’d like, this scenario would make a bit more sense than Nintendo going in alone. And yes, I realize that the Balance Board continues to be a moneymaker for Nintendo, regardless of my memory, but this MotionPlus scenario would mean even MORE money for the Big N, if that’s even possible.

And, of course, Wii Sports Resort will blow everything away anyway, so this hypothetical is really win-win for Nintendo.