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Nintendo Direct JP: next Super Smash Bros from Namco

During the Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation, president and CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed a new Super Smash Bros game is in production - at Namco Bandai.

The Namco Bandai team will work in collaboration with Project Sora, the developer of Kid Icarus: Uprising, rather than usual Smash Bros team HAL.

The project will be led by series creator Masahiro Sakurai. Namco Bandai's Kenya Kobayashi will serve as producer; his credits include Tales of Vesperia.

The new game is expected on 3DS and Wii U.

Elsewhere in the broadcast, Nintendo showed Wii titles Project Zero II, the Kirby 20th anniversary collection, and Dragon Quest X. The DS was favoured with Pokemon Black & White 2.

The 3DS showcase included a card battling RPG called Culdcept; Pocket Soccer League Web; Atlus RPG Soul Hackers; Lost Heroes; Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2; what seemed to be a game starring idol group AKB48; Ex Trooper; Project X Zone; Bravely Default: Flying Fairy; and a new Dr Kawashima game called Onitore.

When New Super Mario Bros 2 was shown, Iwata noted that players will be able to buy new Coin Rush levels as premium DLC.

Iwata then introduced the first hardware revision for the 3DS, a larger unit called LL. Internationally, it will be called the XL. The top screens is 4.88" across, and the bottom is 4.18" as opposed to the 3.02" of the base 3DS. Externally, the dimensions are 93x165x22mm, and weighs in at 336g. It will come in white, red and silver in Japan.

Nintendo claims the screen - which doesn't have a black border like the core 3DS - is 90% bigger. Otherwise, apart from the size jump, it looked identical - it didn't pack in an extra analog nub, for example. It hits Japan on July 28 for ¥18,900, and will be bundled with New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Onitore.

Nintendo then showed an art and drawing suite for 3DS before segueing into the much-requested Animal Crossing 3DS. Players will take on the role of mayor, will be able to welcome friends to their towns via StreetPass, and the game launches in Japan during northern autumn. Next up was a baffling eShop game, and an AR card battler which runs to four volumes of physical cards.

A number of new demos were added to the Japanese eShop during the presentation, and the presentation closed with a new Dragon Quest X trailer and gameplay explanation.

Details and territory-specific information are expected in the US and European presentations later today.

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