Nintendo promised some new game announcements at today’s Nintendo Direct conference, and gamers were not disappointed. The company has played their cards close to the chest for a while now, but they’ve finally tipped their hand just a little bit.
Nintendo started today’s Nintendo Direct with a long, and frankly boring, discussion about Miiverse. The conversation was a bit dry, but Nintendo did announce some much appreciated new features. Official Nintendo sponsored accounts will allow developers and publishers to embed videos in Miiverse posts. In the future, Miiverse will enable multiple communities for each game, and locked communities for games like Wii Fit U. Miiverse will be coming to cell phones in the summer.
The summer will also see the launch of the Wii U’s Virtual Console Service. At launch, the Virtual Console will only support certain Nintendo and SNES games. Those games will enable save states, and will also allow for Gamepad only play. VC games will have eShop communities. Game prices will be the same as on the Wii with NES games at 5-6 dollars, and SNES games at 7-8 dollars. If you already own games from the Wii, you’ll be able to upgrade your collection for a dollar per NES game and a dollar fifty per SNES game.
To kick off the Wii U Virtual Console and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NES, Nintendo will be offering one NES game per month (starting now!) for the low low price of 30 cents. Gamers can download Balloon Trip right now for just slightly more than a bag of chips. Kirby’s Adventure and Punch Out! are among titles to be issued later.
After a new trailer for Wonderful 101, which looked awesome, and a look at Bayonetta, Nintendo gave us what we came for. First, Nintendo announced that we’d get our first look at Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS at E3. Call it an announcement of an announcement, but it was nice to get confirmation. While they didn’t show any footage, Nintendo revealed that a new 3D Mario title and Mario Kart game would be playable at E3. Is Nintendo hoping that a one two punch of Mario Kart and 3D Mario can do for the Wii U what it did for the 3DS?
Nintendo did show us new footage of a few games. The first game shown off was a new Yoshi title made by Good Feel, the team behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The game sticks close to the style of Epic Yarn, which looked fantastic in standard definition and gorgeous in HD. Nintendo then made a fairly surprising announcement about a collaboration with Atlus. Apparently, we’ll be getting a crossover between the Shin Megami series and the Fire Emblem series. Nintendo hinted that they may be working on further collaborations with other developers.
Coming this Summer, we’ll have a new game along the same lines as Wii Party. As you’d expect this will be a virtual board game that makes use of the Gamepad, Wii Motes, and TV to craft a unique experience. Some games will be played on the TV, but there are some Wii U Gamepad specific games that have both players using the Wii U Gamepad in a similar manner to Wario Ware: Touched did way back when.
Eiji Aonuma stopped by to talk about a new Zelda game. Not surprisingly, he kept things vague, but he did hint at some kind of multiplayer functionality and a less linear world to explore. It seems this title is rather far off, but Eiji also announced another Zelda title for the nearer future. A Wind Waker remake is set to be released this fall. This will be more than a simple HD upscale as the game seems to use all new assets. Gameplay additions were promised but not detailed.
Last but certainly not least, Nintendo showed off a new game from Monolith. The game seems to be a spiritual successor or direct sequel to Xenoblade. The game retains the same style of Xenoblade and seemingly uses a similar battle system. Naturally, the game will be in HD, and it looks pretty awesome.
This is exactly what fans were looking for from Nintendo. Games, games, and more games. Nintendo also provided a nice balance with games for hardcore gamers, casual gamers, and everyone in between. These announcements should draw attention from the Wii U’s inevitably slow launch period to a bright future. If half or more of these games can make it to the Wii U before the year is over, the Wii U will have a banner year.