It was only 24 hours ago when Nintendo confirmed there would be a worldwide Nintendo Direct for the Wii U summer lineup -- though the always-lovable Nintendo of America announced they would feature some 3DS games too. The initial announcement of one happening a few weeks before E3 got some excited, but that quickly diminished when we heard it was only for the summer lineup, and little more. It was later confirmed that a future Nintendo Direct around E3 would feature titles beyond that release period, so everyone was expecting warmed-over news for this one. It was the rare occasion of most adjusting their expectations accordingly.
(And many of them were probably still disappointed with this.)
The Direct started off nice with the announcement of Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (whew!), coming in time for next year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This is the first game in the series to have the benefit of being in HD on Wii U, and features activities like skiing, figure skating, and curling. Depending on the activity, you’ll use the Wii U Gamepad or the Wii Remote for controls. They didn’t give a release date, but expect it to arrive around the time the Olympics take place, which is during February 2014. Let’s just hope they have the framerate issues visible during the presentation fixed by then.
Additionally, you might have recently seen news that a game called Sonic: Lost World was trademarked. It was announced that it’s coming exclusively to Wii U and 3DS. They didn’t have the game here to show, but it’s the kind of title they might need for the holiday season. This and the aforementioned Olympics game are part of an exclusive partnership with Nintendo for three exclusive Sonic games, coming only to Nintendo platforms. The third game will be revealed eventually.
While us westerners were watching this, Yakuza 1 & 2 HD were announced for Wii U during the Japanese direct. Yes, this is the same collection that released for PS3 last November, though this one will have off-TV play. It’s far from a big announcement, but it’s worth noting that this is the first time the Yakuza franchise has left Sony systems.
Remember when Game Gear games were releasing at a steady pace on the 3DS eShop Virtual Console? Well, Nintendo wants to go back to that by offering a bunch more in the near future. There were no dates to share, though.
Fair warning: those were the only new announcements, so you’ll want to lower your expectations for the rest.
Everything else was about upcoming games releasing this summer for 3DS and Wii U. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages & Seasons hit the eShop on May 30th for $5.99 each. But there’s a twist: if you buy them before June 20th, you can get them for $4.99 each. That’s $2 of savings! (Possibly negated by sales tax, depending on where you live.) Also, did you know Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move was now available on the eShop, and that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is coming in a week? These were your reminders, but they had nothing new to share on either title. The same goes for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, though Nintendo’s Treehouse is providing videos on the company’s Youtube Channel about the localization process.
As for Wii U
games: Game & Wario is coming on
June 23rd, and is packed with mini-games for the low, low price of $39.99. The
HD version of Resident Evil: Revelations
also arrives next week for Wii U (and everything else), in case you forgot.
New Super Luigi U is coming soon, containing redesigned levels from their New Super Mario Bros. U counterparts. Since Mario won’t be in attendance here, Nabbit, a character introduced in NSMBU, will make his playable debut. If you were someone who thought they’d introduce a female character, then you’re going to be disappointed; please enjoy the fifth male playable character for the franchise. The game will release as DLC for NSMBU on June 20th for $19.99 in America, but it will also be available in a standalone package on August 20th for $29.99.
It’s been a long wait, but Nintendo finally announced a release date for Platinum Games’ The Wonderful 101. It’s hitting Japan, Europe, and America on August 24th, August 25th, and…September 15th, respectively. You might ask why America has to wait three weeks for no ostensible reason, but the answer to that is “Nintendo of America.” Not to mention the American date is only two days before Grand Theft Auto V. Someone is not good at scheduling.
The last game Nintendo had to present was Pikmin 3, which is releasing soon. What followed was a lengthy presentation on what the game presents, including the announcement of three new characters named Alph, Brittany and Charlie. All of them are capable of recruiting Pikmin, and tasks in each level will be divided between them. The game will also have multiple control options for your comfort -- unless you’d like to use the Wii U Pro Controller, that is.
The Direct closed with NoA Chief Operating Office Reggie Fils-Aime reminding people that E3 is coming up. He announced that the company has partnered with Best Buy to bring exclusive demos to Wii U kiosks in multiple stores around the nation. This would have been a huge announcement around a decade ago, but these days it’s the kind of thing that makes many shrug their shoulders. It’s not a bad decision, because they want to sell the system to people who don’t own the console yet. But they should have gone the extra mile and offered those demos for people who own the system to download from the comfort of their own home, too. This doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario.
There wasn’t much of a point to this Nintendo Direct; it was the “Hi, we’re still here!” installment. They knew this, and they told us that by announcing another Nintendo Direct in the future in tandem with this one. So look forward to that in the coming weeks.