Since its release in November, the Wii U has seen its fair share of criticism. Slightly buggy hardware and a severe shortage of impressive games has left many people disappointed, despite the opportunities for new kinds of games offered by the Game Pad. Nobody really thought that Nintendo would leave their newest system without some key franchises for long however, and a recent Nintendo Direct conference has done much to restore the excitement of the Nintendo faithful. Join us as we detail the news you need to know.
First off, Nintendo detailed some much requested firmware upgrades for the Wii U. There will be a staggered rollout of new firmware, starting in the Spring and again in Summer. These will address concerns like the lag when navigating the system, and also some Miiverse improvements. We will also see Virtual Console integration with the Wii U, and a special promotion which offers a NES or SNES game for 30 cents for 30 days each, starting with Balloon Kid next month, and ending in July.
Then we have the big games news. Although nothing was shown – Nintendo confirmed that EAD Tokyo is working on a fully 3D Mario game for the system…cue much relieved sighing. In addition, a Mario Kart game is also in the works and both will be playable at E3. The summer conference will also give us our first glimpse at the new Smash Bros game on both Wii U and 3DS, although likely just in video form.
If this wasn’t enough, then Zelda fans will also be in for a treat. A completely ground-up Zelda HD game is currently in the works (and doesn’t look like the E3 demo apparently…) but still a long way away. To help everyone through the long wait, the Zelda team has announced that an HD upgrade of The Wind Waker will be launched this August for Wii U, and as you can see below it looks lovely.
Nintendo wasn’t done there however, and also confirmed that both a Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensai (Persona) crossover title was in the works, and also that a new hardcore RPG was being developed by Monolith Soft, the team behind Zenoblade Chronicles. Finally (phew!) a new 2D Yoshi game is also in the works for Wii U and shown briefly. It is developed by the team behind Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Story and Kirby’s Epic Yarn and looks a lot like the latter game.
Wow – in 30 minutes Nintendo may just have revived flagging interest in their machine. E3 could be very impressive indeed for the Japanese giant, particularly if Sony and Microsoft focus more on hardware than games. Just imagine if Retro Games are also working on a new Metroid game to be shown in the summer; with 3D Mario, Mario Kart, Yoshi, Smash Bros, Zelda and Metroid all being shown the newer consoles may just have a fight on their hands.