Just days ago, Ubisoft confirmed that it is targeting an early 2013 release for the Wii U-exclusive Rayman Origins sequel, Rayman Legends. Today, the publisher has taken the inevitable next step by revealing the game’s scheduled launch dates.

Rayman Legends launches February 26, 2013, in North America, February 28 in the EMEA territories, and March first in the UK. Even better, Ubisoft has announced that a playable demo of the game will be made available worldwide on Nintendo’s eShop next week.

When Rayman Legends’ “internal demonstrative video” leaked earlier this year, it offered a first glimpse at the asymmetrical gameplay possibilities afforded by the Wii U’s GamePad. At the time, New Super Mario Bros. U was still very much under wraps. As it turns out, Legends’ GamePad implementation closely resembles Nintendo’s efforts in Mario’s “Boost Mode” (check out our New Super Mario Bros. U review for details).

We’ll be able find out just how close the resemblance is on December 13th, when the Rayman Legends demo hits the eShop. The eShop has not exactly been a fountain of playable demos in the weeks since Wii U launched in North America. Currently, the only demo available for download is EA Sports’ FIFA 13, and that only arrived a couple of days ago.

Hopefully, demos will eventually be as common on the eShop as they are on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Then again, considering the slow pace of Wii U downloads (as exemplified by the system’s huge day-one patch), players might be hesitant about queuing up any large files (and owners of the Wii U Basic Set might not have enough storage space for them, anyway).

In any case, Rayman’s not-too-distant release date and soon-to-arrive demo should help take some of the sting out of the news that another of Wii U’s highly anticipated games, Pikmin 3, has been delayed to the second quarter of next year. Until then, we’ll just have to make due with the Pikmin Adventure mini-game in Nintendo Land.

Ranters, are you looking forward to Rayman Legends? Will you download the demo? What other 2013 Wii U titles are you interested in? Let us know in the comments below.

Rayman Legends releases February 26, 2013, in North America, February 28 in the EMEA territories, and March first in the UK, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.

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