Nintendo steps up 3DS software push

New Mario & Luigi, Mario Golf, and Donkey Kong Country hitting handheld as Wii U gets new Zombi U hardware bundle

Last month, Nintendo blitzed Wii U owners with new game announcements to spark interest in the middle of a post-launch release drought. Today the company turned its attention to the handheld space with a Nintendo Direct presentation focused primarily on the 3DS and new games featuring two of its biggest icons, Mario and Donkey Kong.

Leading up the push was a pair of games set for launch this summer: the light-hearted roleplaying game Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and the latest in the Camelot-developed sports series Mario Golf: World Tour. The 3DS will also be seeing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, a version of Retro Studios' 2010 Wii game revamped to take advantage of the handheld's glasses-free 3D feature. Nintendo also announced the downloadable action-puzzle game Mario and Donkey Kong Minis on the Move for the 3DS' eShop.

In other 3DS news, Nintendo confirmed Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Animal Crossing: New Leaf launches on March 24 and June 9, respectively. Additionally, Pokemon developer GameFreak's downloadable rhythm-based action game HarmoKnight was set for a March 28 debut.

While the 3DS was the primary focus of the event, Nintendo dropped some news for the Wii U as well. The company revealed a new North American Wii U bundle set for release this Sunday. The new set will feature everything from the current $350 Wii U Deluxe bundle, as well as Zombi U, a black Wii U Pro Controller, and an art book for $390. As for games, Nintendo announced New Super Luigi U, a large-scale downloadable content package for New Super Mario Bros. U that will feature the green-clad Mario brother jumping and stomping his way through 80 remixed levels from the original game.

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Latest comments (8)

Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd3 years ago
Fairly promising considering a bit of a drought as of late. At least there looks to be some pretty decent stuff coming over the quieter summer months.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
Are we hitting the point that Nintendo and the Japanese publishers are all that's behind Nintendo platforms? I think we may be... perhaps this generation is finally the one in which we see the Japanese/Western development divide into specific platfroms, and Nintendo no longer even tries to court Western support.
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Considering the complete failure of the 360 in Japan it's more than just publishing. Nintendo owns Japan Microsoft owns the us.. .can sony own Europe?
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 3 years ago

It's been that way for a while now. The Wii was simply not a viable platform for third parties due to it's low specs and this is about to become true of the Wii U after 20th Feb (unless Sony have in fact gone nuts and are announcing the Vita 2 or something else just as hideous).

Nintendo's need to half ass it's hardware has really hurt them this generation. They failed to grow with the kids that loved them and are now adults. Their children are growing up with 360 and PS3 and so there is no draw to the Nintendo brand. At this stage the hardware is holding back the games. A high rez Zelda with the detail of the E3 proof of concept (spider fight) simply isn't possible on the console Nintendo ended up giving us in the Wii U. So now it's a multi-year struggle for them to pull, push and tweak that kind of a game out of what they have or die trying! Even then no-one else will be trying to do the same because it's going to be seen as a wasted investment in time and resources.
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Neil Millstone Director, White Bat Games3 years ago

"A high rez Zelda with the detail of the E3 proof of concept (spider fight) simply isn't possible on the console Nintendo ended up giving us in the Wii U."

That demo was actually running on the Wii U, I don't think the hardware changed much from that point, so it doesn't make much sense to say that it's impossible. Of course, the difficulty of making a larger game to the same standard can't be underestimated but I'd be willing to bet they're working on just that as we speak.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
@ Peter There's no specific reason that pushing graphics should be defined as "growing up" or mature. Nor was there a reason that NOT pushing graphics made you financially unviable. To the contrary, most 3rd parties lost money this generation building their games for the PS360 primarily (many going out of business), and costs are only getting higher. Perhaps it's time to rethink what makes sense for console development, or at least tone back some.

Also the hardware did not change from the E3 tech demos of 2011. Anything done there is doable on the current release hardware. Whether any company other than Nintendo will put the time or effort into making games that pretty is another matter.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 3 years ago
Shouldn't the letter on his cap be a letter I instead of an L? :P
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games3 years ago
:P no because he is talking about Luigi, and the year of Luigi which is the main theme of this Nintendo direct.
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