Nintendo’s live stream event ended only moments ago, and with it the announcements of some major franchises and upgrades coming to the Wii U console. Unfortunately, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata mentioned they wouldn’t have time to make any 3DS announcements this morning, so everything mentioned pertains to the Wii U. Without further ado, here’s a list of all the things you need to know to keep up to date with Nintendo.
- Miiverse accounts will go through a verification process a la Twitter for any “companies and people who are involved with software development.” This is to enable gamers to follow verified developer/publisher accounts in the event they wish to get information about potential updates and DLC etc.
- Continuing with Miiverse upgrades, Iwata stated that Pikmin 3 will contain a feature allowing players to take pictures directly within the game and share them with the Miiverse community. Currently the system only allows for the sharing of drawings and messages.
- The Wii U will be receiving two major firmware updates, with one update each coming in both the Spring and the Summer. Updates include improving the system’s speed, as well as improving response time when launching a game or when returning to the home menu. Iwata suggested the Spring update will feature faster game launches, while the Summer update will enable quicker returns to the home menu.
- The Miiverse is going mobile! Iwata announced that access to Nintendo’s social network will be first available only within web-browsers, but will be launching with a dedicated app shortly afterwards. Users will need their Network user ID and password to gain access.
- Virtual Console games are being entirely remade for the Wii U, allowing them to include things such as save states and the option to play them directly on a GamePad.
- Additionally, shortly after the Spring update, Nintendo will finally be introducing the Wii U’s version of the Virtual Console. Unfortunately, the entire Virtual Console library will not be available at launch, rather being gradually updated afterwards. More disappointing, however, is that those who previously purchased VC games on the Wii will not be allowed to redownload their games for free. Iwata did however, for what it’s worth, mention that users could redownload their games at a discounted price. Ouch.
And here are the game announcements you’ve all been waiting to hear:
- Yoshi will have a new game exclusively for the Wii U. From the trailer shown, it takes place in a world of yarn, similar to Kirby’s Epic Yarn. That’s right, not Kirby, Yoshi, will be having an epic, yarn-filled adventure. Little was shown but the game will definitely be a side-scrolling platformer.
- Shin Megami Tensei meets Fire Emblem. In a very short teaser, that’s basically all the details that were given. Iwata only said that this collaboration is a sign of things to come and is an example of Nintendo’s new approach to game making.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker HD is an HD remake of the beloved GameCube title. The game is set for release sometime this Fall and is said to include gameplay adjustments/upgrades and will include the ability to be played exclusively on the GamePad. To ease any fears you may have, the graphics update is no simple upscale job, from what was shown the game seems to fully utilize the Wii U’s new graphics engine. Iwata did mention a new HD Zelda game was in the works, but due to the extensive nature of the project, it would take quite some time to reach fans. Perhaps an E3 announcement is in the works…
- A Xeno-project is in the works. From the snippets of gameplay shown, developer Monolithsoft is building something big, with expansive landscapes. In a very Monster Hunter-esque teaser, the video showed a team of three going up against a number of large monsters. All that was mentioned for sure is that character designer Kunihiko Tanako, of Xenogears fame, is a part of the project.
- Nintendo “announced” that there will be both a new 3d Mario game as well as a new Mario Kart title coming to Wii U; however the official announcement, along with playable demos, will be happening at E3 in June.
- Finally, Iwata told everyone to hold out just a little bit longer for news of the currently-in-development Smash Bros. project, specifically mentioning that it’s “a huge development undertaking.” He did, however, promise that our first look at the game will happen at E3 this year.