Before the latest Nintendo Direct broadcast, we're sure that many were unsure of what to expect. We've watched enough of them to know that sometimes they can be rather light on revelations, simply stringing us along with a few release dates, and on other occasions they can be blockbuster events that get the Nintendo Life community buzzing. What did we think? A selection of the Nintendo Life team felt that it delivered the goods, packed as it was with lots of enticing prospects and games to come.
Such was the volume of news, release dates and new reveals that it's quite easy to have missed some of the excitement with the rush of information. Naturally, we've done our best to cover all of the important facts, and this is your one-stop-shop to see all of the stories in one place. There sure are a lot of them.
3DS - New Games
New Legend of Zelda Title Confirmed For Nintendo 3DS, Due Late 2013 — We think most will agree that this was the biggest news of the day, so much so that your humble Nintendo Life staff covering the event could barely control their excitement enough to keep typing. Saved to last in both Europe and North America, this title is set in the world of Link to The Past, the iconic Super NES title, and looks unabashedly 2D in game style; naturally 3D flourishes will feature along with a nifty paper effect. Even better is the fact that it's due this Holiday season, so many of us may find this under the Christmas tree. Oh, and we've played a bit of it, so keep your eyes peeled for our first impressions very soon.
A New Yoshi's Island Title Is Coming — Continuing the trend of sequels to beloved Super NES titles, Yoshi's Island 3DS was revealed, showing off a slight twist on the graphics style of its predecessors and once again bringing baby Mario along for the ride. Relatively little was revealed, not even a release window, but a first glimpse was a delight nevertheless.
Mario Gets The Party Started This Winter — Potentially joining the new Zelda titles as a Holiday smash hit on 3DS is a new Mario Party release. There'll be seven boards, 81 new minigames to try, the option to play these games at any time and implementation of AR (augmented reality) and StreetPass. One to watch for some multiplayer fun.
3DS Release Dates, Localisations and Extras
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. Dated For North America and Europe — With Bros. added to the name in the West, this latest entry in AlphaDream's RPG series arrives in Europe on 12th July and North America on 11th August. We saw more footage (below) with some neat dual-screen puzzle mechanics and mini-Luigi action to enjoy; this one is looking pretty good.
Mario Golf: World Tour to Feature Online Multiplayer and Communities — With its arrival bringing more sports to Nintendo's mascots, Mario Golf: World Tour enjoyed some of the spotlight as Satoru Iwata detailed extensive online play — including tournaments — and Communities similar to those found in Mario Kart 7. Local multiplayer will also be customisable with various rules and styles, so it looks like this will be plenty of fun with other golfers.
Professor Layton and The Azran Legacies Set for Europe This Year — With this being the famous Professor's last adventure at the helm, the odd tear may be shed when this arrives in Europe later this year; unfortunately, it's not expected in North America until 2014.
New Mode and Items Confirmed for Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D — This 3DS re-release of the Wii platformer was unveiled earlier in the year and hits stores in May, so the opportunity was taken to share more details. It'll include eight new levels once the game is beaten, while a New Mode option will make the game a little easier — this'll include portable DK barrels, green balloons to rescue you from falls, an additional heart and the ability to be hit more than once when in a mine cart or riding a rocket barrel. Don't worry, platforming ninjas, the Original Mode will replicate the challenge of the Wii game.
All Three Guild02 Titles Are Coming to the 3DS eShop in the West — While two Guild02 titles have been expected in the West, due to U.S. trademarks, a pleasant surprise is that all three of the Level-5 published games are coming to Europe and North America. No dates were given, but The Starship Damrey, Bugs vs. Tanks! and Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale will all be gracing the 3DS eShop with their presence.
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy Confirmed for the West — Already a success for Square Enix in Japan, the famous developer is teaming up with Nintendo to bring this much-desired RPG to the West. It's been critically acclaimed in its homeland, and Europeans will be able to play it later this year; the North American release is currently slated for 2014.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Arrives in North America in July, Confirmed for Europe — Unveiled in the North American broadcast, this Atlus-published RPG is sure to get fans of the series excited, and all first print copies on 16th July will come as a gorgeous Limited Edition set; this'll include a Strategy and Design book, a Shin Megami Tensei Music Collection CD and Collectable Slipcase packaging. The title was confirmed for Europe, but without a launch date.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DS XL Bundle Confirmed for the West — Already rumoured earlier in the week courtesy of a retailer listing, it was confirmed that this special 3DS XL mode — with the game pre-installed — would arrive in stores on the game's launch day; that's 9th June in North America and 14th June in Europe. The European price will be up to retailers, but the recommended rate in the U.S. will be $219.99.
A Special Luigi 3DS XL/LL is Coming to Japan — On the subject of limited edition 3DS models, Japan once again gets a rather cool design all to itself. This one is a white model with lots of Luigi silhouettes; it hits the region on 8th June and includes a pre-installed copy of Mario and Luigi: Dream Team.
Wii U Release Dates and Details
Believe - Earthbound is Coming to the Wii U Virtual Console — If there's one previously un-released retro title that's been requested more than any other, we'd bet that it's SNES RPG EarthBound; it failed to arrive on Wii, reportedly, due to licensing issues. Whatever problems there may have been, Satoru Iwata confirmed that this classic — known as Mother 2 in Japan — is coming to the Wii U Virtual Console this year. The wait will finally be over.
Wii U System Update to Arrive Next Week — Not long after Wii U launched Nintendo confirmed that further system updates would arrive in 2013 to improve the user experience, and the first of these lands next week. The headline improvement will be improved loading times between menus, but it'll also be possible to hold B during start-up to jump to Wii Mode, transfer or copy data between USB hard drives, and automatically install games downloaded in the background while playing other games. Oh, and one other thing...
Wii U Virtual Console to Arrive Shortly After the Spring Update — Just after the system update lands and settles in, Nintendo will launch the official Wii U Virtual Console. We've had previews and discount titles courtesy of the Famicom Anniversary celebrations, but the full package and early offerings will start to arrive, with standard prices and discounts for those that own Wii copies of the same games. You can check out Nintendo of America's sizzle reel for upcoming games below.
Pikmin 3 Arrives in North America on 4th August — After a number of delays — or rather the absence of a release date — it was confirmed that Pikmin 3 will land in North America on 4th August; Europe has a less specific timeframe of "just a few months". In addition footage showed a new winged Pikmin, which is nice.
New Super Luigi U Details Revealed Ahead of a Summer Release — New Super Luigi U is an expansive DLC accompaniment to New Super Mario Bros. U starring the green brother, and a few more details were revealed. It's due to arrive this summer in North America and Europe, will feature the same world map but freshly designed levels (all 82 of them), and challenges will suit Luigi's abilities such as a higher jump and lesser traction. Stages will be designed for multiple playthroughs, so it looks like it'll have plenty to offer.
Game & Wario Brings Mayhem to North America on 23rd June — When it comes to wacky mini-games that'll show exactly what the GamePad can do, this one is a good bet. There's no date for Europe yet, but you can see more of the game in action below.
As you can see, a lot happened in Nintendo's latest 3DS Direct. Let us know what you thought, and which stories stand out for you, in the comments below. If you want to watch it all again, meanwhile, the full broadcasts are below.