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E3 2014: Nintendo confirms new Wii U Zelda, Mario Maker

During its E3 video, Nintendo also unveiled a new IP called Splatoon and a toy line called amiibo

In a video to showcase its upcoming products, Nintendo finally gave fans a glimpse at the all-new Zelda for Wii U. It's not coming until sometime in 2015, but the trailer shown looked gorgeous. Aonuma-san noted that earlier Zelda titles gave players a sense of freedom in a vast world, and that the transition to 3D game worlds made that more challenging to develop. With the new Wii U Zelda, he said that the game will be a clean break from past Zelda games, as players won't have to follow a linear path.

At the outset of the Nintendo video, Reggie Fils-Aime showed the inclusion of Mii fighters in Super Smash Bros. (which is also coming to 3DS on October 3), and he then unveiled Nintendo's version of Skylanders-like toys called amiibo. The figurines use similar technology and will enhance the experience in many upcoming video games, he said, starting with Super Smash Bros.

Mario Kart 8 support is also in the works. When you touch an amiibo toy to the Wii U game pad, data can be transferred both ways (to the Wii U or to the toy). Nintendo will launch amiibo with around 10 figures, the company said. More will be launched during the holiday season and throughout 2015. As Skylanders and Disney Infinity have shown, it's a lucrative market, and it certainly could have great potential for Nintendo.

"Nintendo has always represented a unique source of video game entertainment for the widest range of gamers," said Fils-Aime. "We create timeless games with twists and turns that provide hours of enjoyment for fans of all ages, and this year with the introduction of amiibo, we're pushing the creative envelope forward in compelling new ways."

Elsewhere in the video, we saw first looks at Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on 3DS (coming November 21), Bayonetta 2 (with the inclusion of the first Bayonetta), Hyrule Warriors (coming September 26), Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015), Yoshi's Woolly World (2015), and Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015).

Moving on, Nintendo made two other important announcements. One was for the previously rumored Mario Maker, which is now confirmed and offers players a chance to use the Wii U GamePad to design levels from scratch (sort of like LittleBigPlanet). The game is slated for the first half of 2015. The other big reveal was for a new IP called Splatoon, which is a four-on-four multiplayer title where players of each team spray ink on the ground around them while blotting out the opposing team members. Players can turn back and forth between human and squid form. It's scheduled to launch in the first half of 2015 as well.

Finally, it's worth noting that Shigeru Miyamoto said in the video that he's been looking at more ways to improve experiences on Wii U that use the game pad screen and TV together. One of these will be a new Star Fox (working title, 2015), which turns the Wii U game pad into the view from the cockpit of Fox McCloud's Arwing fighter, while the TV shows the perspective from behind the Arwing. Another title, Project Giant Robot (first half of 2015), lets players use the touch screen to actually build a giant robot, and similar to Star Fox, the game pad shows the cockpit view to let players control the robot that's been assembled. Lastly, in Project Guard, players will aim to put an end to a robot invasion using a security system of 12 cameras - the game is scheduled for 2015 as well.

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James Brightman avatar

James Brightman

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James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.

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