Nintendo has confirmed that Xenoblade will be released in the US in April 2012, with GameStop listing the release date as April 2, 2012. According to Destructoid, earlier rumors that the title would be sold exclusively at GameStop have also been confirmed.
Earlier this year, a campaign called Operation Rainfall clamored for localization of Xenoblade, Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower after Nintendo stated it had no plans to bring those three games to the U.S.
There has been no word on whether the other two games will also get a U.S. release.
The official page for Xenoblade has links to preorder it at GameStop and Nintendo’s online store, though preorders at the latter start on December 19.
Analysis: This is good news and bodes slightly better for the other two games making their way here as well. There are two ways to look at this and neither are necessarily mutually exclusive: The more optimistic approach is to think Nintendo’s initial announcement that it would not bring the games Stateside was meant to rouse hype but that it intended to release them here all along. By handling the confirmation of its release as it did, Nintendo ensured that there would be as much attention brought to the game as possible given that controversy proves to be quite the attention magnet. However, the GameStop exclusivity sucks as it limits availability and thus could potentially hamper sales. The less optimistic way to view this is that Nintendo is intentionally sabatoging Xenoblade‘s success from the get-go so that it has a convenient excuse (sales numbers) to not to release the other two games here.
Of course, there’s also the more positive interpretation that Nintendo is simply aiming for the best profit margin it can with a small print run, satisfying the niche audience the game appeals to while avoiding the losses that might have come with a large print run. Either way you look at it, it can only help to preorder Xenoblade if you’re excited about it and would like to see the others come here as well.