Iwata-san began by informing everyone that Nintendo plans to hold a Nintendo Direct right around the time of E3 to announce it’s biggest titles for release later on this year. As we already knew, today’s Direct broadcast is mainly to showcase and highlight games being released in the very near future.
The first announcement was Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. It is coming out for the Wii U and makes use of the Wii Remote Plus for more accurate and “intuitive” gameplay. New events have been added like figure skating pairs and snowboarding slope style. It will be a multilayer-heavy title that will offer players a wide variety of gameplay options that make creative use of the GamePad on top of Wii remotes. No release date was given for the newly announced game.
Iwata-san’s next big announcement was that Nintendo and SEGA have partnered up for a worldwide publishing deal for the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He also announced the next game in the series, will be released exclusively on the Wii U and 3DS, called Sonic: Lost World. More information will be released at a later date.
The final SEGA announcement made was about the Virtual Console on the 3DS. A slew of Game Gear releases will soon be available on the 3DS including the following games.
Defenders of Oasis
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
G-Loc Air Battle
Shining Force II: The Sword of Hajya
Sonic Drift 2
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Vampire: Master of Darkness
Iwata was quick to mention that if anyone is interested in learning more about the Game Gear, they could download Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Shinobi, and Dragon Crystal on the 3DS Virtual Console already.
After Iwata was done with his portion JC Rodrigo from the Nintendo of America Treehouse came forward to talk about The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Seasons. He reiterated that both titles will be available on the Virtual Console for the 3DS on May 30th, and that they would be sold for $5.99 each, however if you act before June 20th you can get each for $4.99.
JC then talked about how to make puzzles in Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, which was released earlier this month. He also reiterated that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D will contain eight new levels, accessed by playing through the New Mode in the game. It will be available from the eShop and at retail on May 24th. He then talked about Animal Cross: New Leaf, which will be available in retail and on the eShop on June 9th. He discussed the new video series Nintendo started releasing on the eShop and on YouTube, which highlight key features of the new game. JC then wrapped up his segment by showcasing several mini-games for Game & Wario. He revealed it will be available on June 23rd for $39.99, via the Wii U eShop and retail.
Iwata then came back on to discuss Resident Evil: Revelations for the Wii U. He went through the various control options, like I mentioned in my impressions of the demo article. The game will be available on May 21st for those interested.
New Super Luigi U news was up next. Since Mario doesn’t appear in the game at all, the fourth playable character was announced as Nabbit. He’s only available in the multiplayer mode, but he is invincible, making him an ideal choice for novice players. New Super Luigi U will be available on June 20th from the eShop, and available on disc. The digital download version requires New Super Mario Bros. U. The disc version will be available on August 25th, for $29.99, and the eShop version will be available for $19.99.
Iwata then revealed The Wonderful 101, being developed by Platinum Games, will be available on September 15th.
Up next was a Pikmin 3 segment. There are three new main characters replacing the old captain. This time around there are Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie. Their goal is to find food for their malnourished home planet. New features were also discussed such as being able to rewind time and replay existing days. The idea is that you will get better at managing your time as you progress with the game, and might feel the need to replay earlier stages in the game in order to get better rewards.
Iwata-san also talked about all the various control options players will have, before again confirming the release date of August 4th.
Reggie came on at the very end, as per usual to discuss a unique offering the company is planning to hold during the week of E3. They’ve partnered with Best Buy to allow customers to try select E3 titles at Best Buy locations all across North America. The idea is to bring E3 to the people, but truth be told this is being done for Wii U exposure. It makes sense to have potential Wii U buyers see new software that’s on the horizon. While I’d also love to have these demos available on the eShop, this is a very sound business move.
That was the end of the broadcast, but Nintendo promises the next Nintendo Direct will be a very important one players will not want to miss.