All the info from today's massive Nintendo Direct in one place.
Well! That was a surprise. It started slow, but today's Nintendo Direct broadcast brought absolutely massive news from the Japanese giant, with no fewer than seven new games announced (and one remake). We now know what Nintendo is going to be showing at E3, and what to expect from Wii U this year. Here's everything that happened in one handy place.
A New, HD Zelda
It's clearly at a very early stage, but Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma gave us the first information about the next game in this beloved series. Promising that the team is "rethinking the conventions of Zelda," like completing dungeons in order and the series almost exclusively single-player heritage, he promised a newborn Zelda that will delve into the series' early history for its inspiration.
An Old Zelda, Remade
The GameCube's The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is being remade for Wii U, including new Wii U Gamepad features and Gamepad-only play. It'll be out in August of this year. Iwata presented it as something to keep us going until the big new Zelda, which is likely to be some years away. It's got upgraded graphics, it works with Miiverse, and it's got gorgeous new lighting. The sample artwork that we saw was stunning: a mixture of Skyward Sword's vibrancy and Twilight Princess' detail. We saw recognisable snapshots of Wind Waker's Windfall Island.
Smash Bros, New 3D Mario and Mario Kart Confirmed for E3
Iwata laid the foundations for a strong Nintendo showing at E3, stating that a new Mario Kart and the much-anticipated new Wii U and 3DS Smash Bros game will be making appearances. The big one, though, was the announcement of a new 3D Mario, which will debut at the show - it's being made by the same team behind the Galaxy games and Super Mario 3D Land. Both will be playable at E3 in June.
Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei
Following Nintendo's announcement that Project X Zone for Western territories earlier this year, Iwata brought us news that another crossover game is on the way: Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei is the lovechild of Intelligent Systems and Atlus, and all we got was a thematic trailer - but I think we can safely bet on a strategy RPG.
A New RPG From The Xenoblade Chronicles Studio
Monolith Soft, the developer responsible for the Wii's sublime Xenoblade Chronicles (and the rest of the Xeno series), is creating a new RPG for Wii U. It might even be a sequel to Chronicles - it looks extremely similar in terms of art style and combat system, going by the footage shown. But it's in HD, of course, so it looks even better. The trailer's final 'X' definitely suggests we're looking at another Xeno game, even if it's not a direct sequel.
The Virtual Console is Coming to Wii U
Surprise! Well, not really - we knew this was going to happen, but now we know when it's going to happen. Nintendo's Virtual Console will roll out on Wii U this April, beginning with NES and SNES games. Pricing is the same as it was on Wii (around $5/£5), and if you bought the game already you can unlock it on Wii U for $1/99p or so (no prices for other territories yet), which will let you play it on the Gamepad and add Miiverse support. That's a lot of money if you have several Virtual Console games; presumably, if you don't want to pay the extra, you can still play them in Wii mode without Wii U features. There's a nice introductory trial campaign, too, offering various NES games for $0.30 for 30 days.
Wii U Party is Happening
Given that Wii Party is one of the best-selling games of all time, it's hardly surprising to learn that there's a Wii U mini-game compilation in the same vein on its way. It's coming this Summer; we saw dice-rolling and two-player baseball. It looks a bit like some of the concept demos in the original Wii U announce video.
Yoshi's Land For Wii U
This has been rumoured for a while, but it's turned out to be real! A new Yoshi game in the style of Kirby's Epic Yarn (and made by the same team) is in development for Wii U under the supervision of Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Island director Takashi Tezuka. We saw a lovely-looking woollen Yoshi gobbling and stomping on enemies. It'll be a 2D platformer, then, but that's all we know for now.
Some Nice Miiverse Upgrades
Alongside the Virtual Console announcement came news of a few updates to the Wii U operating system, one in Spring and one in Summer. Miiverse will expand, allowing people to create their own communities and making space for more than one community per game. Miiverse is also coming to smartphones and PC at some point this year. In Pikmin 3, you'll be able to take pictures of tiny Pikmin wildlife and post it to Miiverse, and Wii Fit U will let you compare fitness notes.
What a day. 2013 suddenly looks like a much better year for the Wii U than it did when we only had Pikmin, Wario and Wonderful 101 on the horizon. We'll bring you more info on all of these announcements as we get it.
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