Nintendo president Satoru Iwata today took to Nintendo Direct to announce a huge number of new games and services coming to Wii U over not only the coming months, but also coming years.
An apologetic Iwata was at pains to point out that while new Wii U titles will be few and far between in the short term, the wait will be worth it, explaining that Nintendo ‘firmly believe we have to offer quality experiences when we release new titles’.
That said, the Nintendo Direct communication wasn’t without purpose, as the existence of a brand new 3D Super Mario game was unveiled, under development by the same team that worked on the Super Mario Galaxy range; even if Iwata stopped short at confirming the game would be a third entry for the franchise.
Mario Kart for Wii U was also confirmed, as was a version of Smash Bros. with playable demos of each confirmed as being available at this year’s E3 show. A Yoshi-based platfomer was also confirmed as in development by the director of Yoshi’s Island, while a collaboration between Nintendo and Atlas will also see a Fire Emblem meets Shin Megami Tensei cross-over release on Wii U. The existence of an as yet unnamed RPG by Xenoblade Chronicles developer Monolith Soft was also confirmed amid impressive videos of gigantic beasts doing battle with warriors in mechanised suits.
Perhaps the biggest news was reserved until last, with two Legend of Zelda games confirmed as in development. The first, to release this autumn, is a HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which first released on Nintendo GameCube.
The second Zelda title will be an entirely new enty in the series. Zelda director Eiji Aonuma even making an appearance to confirm what he called a ‘re-think’ of the series’ conventions as things like linear dungeon hopping and the largely solo experience of Zelda would be examined.
Gamers who enjoy looking back as well as forward should also find themselves catered for with the announcement of the Virtual Console for Wii U. At first titles on offer will consist of bespoke conversions of NES and SNES games, so as to make them compatible for play on the Wii U GamePad, with the service set to see launch in the spring.
In a move likely to be criticised however, Iwata did confirm that owners of such games on Wii will have to re-buy their games (albeit at a reduced rate) citing prices of £3.49 for NES games (£0.99 for owners) and £5.49 for SNES games (£1.49 at the reduced rate). Iwata also confirmed that Gameboy Advance games will also come to the service for the first time, though didn’t confirm when.
The spring and summer will also see two system updates for Wii U which the Nintendo president promised would address the long loading times between services on Wii U, as well as updates to the Miiverse to allow better sorting of comments and the ability to create communities.