Wii U tastic: Virtual Console, Mario at E3, Wind Waker HD

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Nintendo Direct presentations for Europe, Japan, and North America brought some interesting news on Wii U, Miiverse, Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and more. Find out what happened below.

Nintendo Direct Highlights

A new 3D Mario action game and Mario Kart Wii U will be shown at E3.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U is still too early in development to discuss.

Virtual Console games are coming to Wii U with the spring update.

Bayonetta 2 development is going well – still too early to discuss it.

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD is heading to Wii U in the fall.

Miiverse is getting a smartphone app.

Classic Games for 30 Cents promotion announced.

A Fire Emblem x Shin-Megami Tensei crossover game was announced. No title.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U is too early in development to discuss.

A Monolith Soft RPG is in the works for Wii U. A title was not provided.

The developers behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn are working on a title starring Yoshi.

Spring and summer updates are planned for Miiverse.

A steady stream of Nintendo games will start hitting in March continuing into summer.

Miiverse updates, smartphone app

Nintendo announced that in the spring, users will be able to browse Miiverse from their smartphones. Initially the experience will be browser-based, but Nintendo plans to create a dedicated Miiverse app in the future. The firm promised that more information will be made available as development continues.

This spring will also see an update to the system which will address functionality, and shortening the time it takes to launch software or return to the menus screen. Another major update is planned for the summer.

“The fun of video games is not only just playing games, but also sharing experiences together with people – even though they live far away, their skill levels are different or their experience does not happen at the same time,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during the presentation regarding Miiverse.

“We want Wii U to be the system that brings everyone together.”

A new Miiverse app for Wii Fit was highlighted during the presentation, called Wii Fit U Communities. New features in the works will allow players to create user communities on Miiverse from within the game where they can discuss exercises, BMI, weight changes and other health topics with other players. Similar functionality for other games is also planned.

It was also revealed Pikmin 3 players will be able to use the GamePad to capture photos of the game and share them through Miiverse. The shots can share the same perspective as Pikmin and close-ups of landscapes and creatures can be taken.

Verified accounts will also be added to Miiverse, and users will be able to discern the accounts from regular users by the green check mark in the avatar. Verified accounts will consist of game developers, celebrities, Nintendo representatives or brands.

The verified users can also incorporate external links to blogs, posts, services, sites, or YouTube videos.

Virtual Console hits Wii U in the spring

The spring update will not only include an update to Miiverse, but Virtual Console for Wii U as well with fully customizable controls. Games that are already present on Wii will be made available, and those who already own the game on the older system, can upgrade their game for Wii U. NES and Super NES games will be included with the update, and Game Boy Advance games are to be added in the future.

Prices for NES and Super NES Virtual Console games for Wii U will be the same as they were for the Virtual Console on Wii. People who have already purchased the Wii version of a certain NES or Super NES Virtual Console game and transferred it to their Wii U console can buy the enhanced Wii U version of the same game for the reduced price of $1 for NES games and $1.50 for Super NES games.

Also announced was the Classic Games for 30 Cents promotion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Famicom (NES) in Japan.

Nintendo is making one NES or Super NES game available each month starting today with Balloon Fight, through July at the anniversary price of 30 cents. Each game will be available at that price for 30 days.

Games, games, games

Iwata said in the Nintendo Direct presentation that development on Platinum Games’ Bayonetta 2 is going well, but now was not the time to discuss it. However, to keep it in your mind, a sizzle video showing work-in-progress clips of the game and the team at Platinum discussing it was shown

The next Iwata Asks will feature the team discussing the development of Bayonetta 2.

Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma also popped into the session to state that development on The Legend of Zelda Wii U is in progress, but it will be a while before the team can show it let alone discuss it. However, to make the wait a little less arduous, an HD version of Wind Waker will be released in the fall.

A new Super Mario title is also in the works from the team that created the Super Mario Galaxy games for Wii and Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS. The new 3D Mario action game for Wii U will be playable at E3.

Mario Kart Wii U will also be playable at E3, and Iwata said a new Super Smash Bros. installment is in the works, but it needs more development time before details can be revealed or it can be shown.

Nintendo is also collaborating with Atlus on a Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei franchise crossover for Wii U , and a video for the game was shown in the Nintendo Direct.

Monolith Soft is also working on a new RPG, and other than a very short sizzle reel, not much was shown or revealed regarding it – not even a title.

Yarn Yoshi is in the works from the team that created Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It will be the first title since 1998’s Yoshi’s Story for Nintendo 64 to star the little guy, and Takashi Tezuka, director of Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, is supervising the development.

A new installment in the Wii Party franchise is planned to launch this summer, and it features various play styles, including one that lets both players compete head-to-head using just the GamePad.

Iwata also shared a new video for The Wonderful 101, which along with Game & Wario are scheduled to launch in the first half of 2013.

Nintendo doesn’t have any titles to release this month or in February, but said a “steady stream” of games will be released from the firm starting in March and continuing through the summer.

You can watch the Nintendo Direct session below, along with videos for Bayonetta 2, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, the new Monolith Soft title, the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei crossover title, and one for The Wonderful 101.

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