Nintendo owns quite a lot of IP. One of the more iconic ones from the retro era is Pilotwings which got its start on the SNES. Essentially a pseudo-3D flight simulator, Pilotwings put players into the cockpit of a variety of different aircraft such as a biplane, jet, glider and even a jetpack. The game got a sequel on the N64 which took advantage of the system’s truly 3D-capable hardware. After that, the series pretty much went into hiatus until 2011 when PilotWings Resort was released on 3DS. But, it turns out there was a project in the works before that.
Factor5 is a now defunct studio that worked on a number of flying titles such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series on GameCube. It turns out that the development team had an idea for the Wii which involved rebooting the PilotWings series and making it open-world. This project made use of the Wii’s motion-tracking capabilities and there was even plans to implement basic VR technology by means of a pair of glasses that featured infrared sensors which would be used to control the camera by the player moving their head around. Unfortunately, Nintendo did not totally back the project. However, the team decided to continue their work and turned it into a new IP; essentially making it into a ‘spiritual successor’ to PilotWings 64. It did progress to quite an extent before ultimately being cancelled when Factor5 shut down.
YouTuber Liam Roberston, also known as ‘Unseen64’ obtained footage and a whole slew of details on the game from an interview with one of the executives from Factor5. He created a short documentary which was recently uploaded to the ‘Did You Know Gaming? YouTube channel. It’s a very interesting video and the project looks amazing. Check it out!
As someone who’s a huge fan of airplanes and an avid flight-simmer, I’m deeply disappointed that this project was never released. I probably would have put an unhealthy amount of hours into it!