The future of the WiiU may have seemed uncertain since its seemingly quiet release back in November, but last week’s Nintendo Direct presentation may have been the answer it needed to reemerge into the foreground for core gamers. Nintendo Direct is a new online news broadcast directly from Nintendo that delivers Nintendo-themed news directly from the source.
Last Wednesday Nintendo announced that there would not only be a new 3D Mario game coming to the WiiU but that there would also be a new MARIO KART, a yarn-themed Yoshi game (similar to the much-loved KIRBY’S EPIC YARN), and two new THE LEGEND OF ZELDA games coming to the home console. One of those Zelda games being a new series entry, and the other an HD remake of THE WIND WAKER originally available on the Nintendo Gamecube.
If that wasn’t enough to get people’s blood pumping, Nintendo continued the trend of huge announcements with news about the latest installment to the SUPER SMASH BROS. franchise and a crossover game between SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI and FIRE EMBLEM. A sequel to XENOBLADE CHRONICLES was also mentioned to be in development.
So after all of Nintendo’s huge announcements, one question still remains; When are we going to see all of this?
Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, has revealed that gamers won’t have to wait long to catch a glimpse of these new games. It was mentioned that the new 3D Mario game (developed by the same studio who developed SUPER MARIO GALAXY) will be shown at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June.
The man behind the SUPER SMASH BROS. franchise, Masahiro Sakurai, has hinted that something bigger than screenshots will be shown at E3. The latest entry in the series will also be available for the Nintendo 3DS and will mark the first entry into the handheld market.
As for Link, people won’t have to wait long to get their hands on an HD Zelda game. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER will have an HD remake for the WiiU that will hit selves by fall 2013. A new entry in the Zelda franchise may not have a release date just yet, but series producer Eiji Aonuma has given insight to the philosophy of the next game. He has stated that the next entry will depart from the traditional linear completion of dungeons and single player experience “to create a newborn Zelda so players today can enjoy the real essence of the franchise.”
Updates for the WiiU system were another focal point of the Nintendo Direct presentation. Miiverse will be improved and expanded in a multitude of areas: it will be able to integrate with games such as PIKMIN 3 and Wii FIT U through the creation of game-centered communities, be available on Smartphones (something stated to be available later this year), and major interface updates. It appears that the theme of ‘building communities’ is an idea Nintendo looks to expand on in the future by allowing players to generate user-created communities.
Another big announcement was that the WiiU’s Virtual Console will launch this spring and will allow titles to be played on the gamepad as well as the television screen. To compliment the Virtual Console launch, there will be select NES and SNES titles available for download that were designed for the WiiU and its new control system. People who have already purchased titles on the Wii Virtual console will be able to access their games on the WiiU, but will have to repurchase those items at a discounted price (NES titles $1 and SNES $1.50) if they wish to add all the new features the WiiU provides instead of playing them in the separate ‘Wii Mode’ that the console offers.
It appears the future is bright for Nintendo’s core audience. All we can do now is wait and see what Nintendo does next at this year’s E3.
You can check out the entire presentation on Nintendo’s official Website.