If you were wondering if Nintendo would introduce "game changers" for the Wii U, Nintendo provided an affirmative answer today (Jan. 23). The game maker is bringing a number of classics, such as "Legend of Zelda" and "Mario Kart," to the new console as well as giving it the ability to mimic consoles of old.
Nintendo of Japan president Satoru Iwata made the announcement of the new games for the next-generation game system this morning as he headlined the company's latest Nintendo Direct special. The announcement was broadcast live on the company's website and is available for viewing.
The popular "The Legend of Zelda" series is getting not one, but two new entries. The first is a remake of a fan favorite, the GameCube release "The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker," which features a groundbreaking cel-shaded art style. The high-definition version of the game will feature enhanced gameplay that uses the touch-screen GamePad controller, as well as other features that Nintendo will announce later. It'll be released in the fall. The other game, an all-new "Zelda HD" game, was also confirmed, but no details were released.
Iwata also unveiled a new party game being produced by the same developers behind the Wii game "Wii Party." It'll have a number of mini-games that will pit players against one another, using their "Miiverse" virtual characters. More information will be revealed about this game soon.
Yoshi, the dinosaur buddy of longtime game hero Mario, will also get a new side-scrolling adventure for the Wii U, going under the project name "Yoshi Land." Bits and pieces of the 2D platforming game were shown, showcasing a unique yarn style, similar to the design that went into "Kirby's Epic Yarn" for the Wii a few years back. (HAL Laboratory, the developer of "Yoshi," previously worked on "Yarn," so similarities aren't surprising.)
Nintendo is also paying tribute to the old school with the announcement of the Wii U Virtual Console service, which will let players download NES and SNES classics for a reasonable price. Players will be able to switch between TV and GamePad displays, while posting their high scores to the online "Miiverse" service. To kick off the program, Nintendo will offer select games for 30 cents a pop, including favorites like "Super Metroid" and "Kirby's Adventure."
Role-playing adventure lovers got treated to a pair of game announcements. A new project from "Xenoblade Chronicles" developer Monolithsoft is in the works, featuring gameplay similar to what that Wii game previously offered. (It's without a name at the moment, but more information is on the way.) A huge crossover project was also revealed, with Nintendo's "Fire Emblem" series merging with Atlus' long-running series "Shin Megami Tensei." More gameplay information is expected to be revealed over the next few weeks.
Today's announcements were just the tip of the iceberg. Iwata said Nintendo will have some big games to reveal in a few months at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. A new "Mario Kart" game is in the works, allowing racers to take on one another in the plumber's universe, and the company's previously announced fighting game "Super Smash Bros." will be playable. An all-new 3D "Mario" platforming game will be shown as well.
You can view the Nintendo Direct special in its entirely at their website.