Mario, Zelda lead Wii U push

Nintendo has two new games in each iconic franchise; Yarn Yoshi, JRPG crossover title also on the way

Today's Nintendo Direct presentation featured an apology from president Satoru Iwata for the lack of new Wii U games in the months since the system launched. It was a gesture that may have mollified early adopters, but it likely did less to excite fans than the wave of announcements that followed.

The event was headlined by news of two new Zelda offerings on the way for Wii U. The first of the two will be a revamped release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the cartoon-styled GameCube installment in the series. The second of the two games to see release will be an original effort headed up by series producer Eiji Aonuma, who said the theme of the game would be "rethinking the conventions of Zelda." Along those lines, he suggested the game would feature a multiplayer component and a more open format with dungeons that could be tackled in any order.

Mario fans also received a bit of news in the Nintendo Direct presentation, as Iwata confirmed that the Wii U's first 3D Mario and Mario Kart games will be playable at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. Mario's dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi, is also getting a new game of his own. Yarn Yoshi is the latest effort from the development team behind Kirby's Epic Yarn, and adopts that title's distinct yarn-and-textiles visual style.

Role-playing gamers will also have a few Wii U titles to look forward to, including a new sci-fi title from Monolith Soft (developer of Xenoblade) that appears to be a sci-fi multiplayer title along the lines of Monster Hunter. Beyond that, Nintendo is working with Atlus on a crossover of the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei RPG series.

The session wasn't entirely about new games. Nintendo also detailed plans to re-release Virtual Console games on Wii U, as well as a Miiverse app for smartphones that will allow gamers to interact with the social platform on the go. Finally, firmware updates in the spring and summer were announced, promising to shorten the lengthy wait times users encounter when starting software or quitting back to the Wii U home screen.

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Latest comments (9)

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange8 years ago
Whenever people see a group of players killing huge creatures, all they could ever think about is Monster Hunter. What about Phantasy Star Online? Given that the Wii U has an interface that greatly enhances gameplay for these type of games, I was thinking this new MMO RPG could be something more spectacular and immersive. I hope they're making a simultaneous release for these collaborative games. JRPGs are more alive than everrr!
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Joe Nuyen Mail Carrier & Industry Shareholder 8 years ago
There were a number of things I loved hearing in this Nintendo Direct. As much as I like the surprise factor of E3, these quick FYi presentations leave me hungry and excited for more info. I'm glad Nintendo puts forth the effort to let us know they are working on such games as Mario Kart and a 3D version of Mario, to silence people asking where they are at...I mean duh, we all know they are working on them.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Heh - I never liked Monster Hunter much (but I have too many of them here and still try to play them), but yeah, something along the lines of a PSO (with offline play, puh-leeeze) would be pretty cool. As for the "drought" it's only noticeable if you've played all the other Wii U games out there. In the "old" days, when I didn't see a new game pop up "regularly"... I'd try something new in a genre I'd normally have avoided (which helped broaden my horizons quite a bit)...
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
I was excited about the WiiU before it was released, then I kinda lost interest in it, but now Im super hyed about it. Particularly for the news of a new Fire Emblem crossed with shin megami tensei... both franchises happen to be my favorites... a new RPG from the creators of Xenoblade and a new Zelda... then there is BAyonetta 2. Now I have a reason to buy a WiiU. And you know this kind of news excites me much more than system specs.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
I like the Wired headline on this: Facing Wii U Software Slump, Nintendo Fires All Its Vaporware Cannons
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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 8 years ago
But if the zelda dungeons can be done in any order, that means they won't require items from other dungeons and they all have to be easy enough to work as the "starter dungeon". I'm curious to see what they'll do though.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 8 years ago
@Bruce: Think Wired need to check the definition of Vaporware

@Andrew: They might have to be done in a certain kind of order, restricted only by completing a group of dungeons first. Imagine them being in tiers. Potentially very exciting for the series as they are directly addressing some of my complaints about it over the past 8 years or so.

The big question I was left with was "What are Retro Studios doing?!"
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
@ Patrick

They need to have something surprising at E3. I'd wager whatever Retro are working on will finally debut there.
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It was an interesting presentation. In my mind there wasn't "much" that was really news, or surprising - but the X-over game was good, and I'm *very* happy to hear about the updated WindWaker release. The two I'd *really* like to see if a release of the original Bayonetta on the WiiU, and a HD version of Xenoblade.

I think Nintendo are becoming more attuned to the gaming atmosphere, and this was obviously done to try and appease some of the anger/frustration out there. The virtual console pricing was very nice though - I'll be "upgrading" many titles when the VC hits the WiiU.

With no internal releases in Feb (as well as Jan), I think its going to be hard for them to make their FY targets for the WiiU (I'll be impressed if they still can!). I guess we'll get an update soon. Maybe drop from 5.5m to 5, or even 4.5m... but then pick up later?
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