Nintendo hit us with a fresh Nintendo Direct on 17th May, with the usual 24-hour notice period to leave Nintendo gamers scrambling to check their diaries. With a focus on Wii U releases in Spring and Summer, we should have known that, ultimately, this would be a little lower key than recent bombastic efforts, though the odd release date was thankfully revealed. That said, some surprises were thrown in, which should please SEGA fans, in particular.
We already know that Nintendo will deliver more Nintendo Direct goodness around the time of E3, with games like Smash Bros., 3D Mario and Mario Kart set to take centre stage. Still, if you did miss yesterday's appetizer, then this is your handy one stop shop to check out the big stories and full videos of both presentations.
New Sonic title, Lost World, to be exclusive to Wii U and 3DS as part of SEGA deal — Satoru Iwata confirmed a worldwide agreement with SEGA that will include exclusivity of Sonic the Hedgehog's latest adventure, Lost World. The title had been rumoured, but Wii U and 3DS exclusivity was a surprise. We'll hopefully get more details soon, but the concept image (above) shows Sonic standing on Tail's plane, which is sure to tickle some nostalgia bones.
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games confirmed for Wii U — We've become used to seeing Mario and Sonic teaming up for some licensed Olympics shenanigans, so this came as no surprise. No release date was given, but we saw a fair bit of footage with some new events, while a mix of Wii MotionPlus and GamePad controls will be used.
Yakuza 1 & 2 HD coming to Wii U in Japan — The emphasis on SEGA went one step further in Japan's broadcast, with a "SEGA Direct" segment that announced Yakuza 1 & 2 HD for Wii U. This HD bundled re-release of the PlayStation 2 originals originally hit PS3 in Japan last November, and will come to Wii U in the region this summer, with some GamePad control additions. Unfortunately, the odds of a Western release seem slim.
Game Details and Release Dates
New Super Luigi U detailed and dated — It seems that New Super Luigi U will arrive sooner than we may have guessed, and Nintendo also announced the surprise decision to release both as DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U and as a limited release standalone boxed game. The boxed game will still be a lower-than-standard $29.99 in the U.S., while the DLC will be cheaper at $19.99 — European prices weren't given. The download option arrives in both regions on 20th June, while the boxed version hits Europe on 26th July and North America on 25th August. In terms of gameplay, multiplayer will see Luigi team up with two toads and Nabbit, who can't be hurt by enemies.
The Wonderful 101 is finally given release dates — This title has been on some Nintendo Life staff wishlists since it was shown off last year, but its release has somewhat dragged on. With no real fanfare, or even footage of any kind, Satoru Iwata confirmed that this'll hit North America on 15th September and Europe a little earlier, on 23rd August.
Plenty of Game Gear titles 'gearing up' for the 3DS Virtual Console — The early 3DS VC lineup intrigued with a few Game Gear titles, but the platform then dropped off the radar. Nintendo's growing partnership with SEGA has stretched to some retro goodies, with a lengthy list of games confirmed to be coming to the West in the "near future".
Zelda Oracle 3DS Virtual Console releases set for launch discount in North America — Arriving on 30th May, these Game Boy Color Zelda titles will be welcome additions to the 3DS Virtual Console. Owning both will allow for linked content, such as an alternative end boss, and Nintendo of America will run a promotion from launch until 20th June where each title is $4.99, rather than $5.99 — get both for under $10, in other words.
Pikmin 3 single player details revealed — With Pikmin 3 now finally getting closer, Satoru Iwata dedicated a good amount of time to outlining details on the single player part of the game. Three new characters were introduced, while it was explained that each could pursue tasks on different areas of the map at the same time, while any mistakes could be fixed by replaying a day whenever the need arises. The GamePad's uses were outlined in more detail, such as a new-look map and interface, while various control schemes will be supported, with Iwata suggesting that the optimal arrangement is the Wii Remote and Nunchuk on the TV with the GamePad handy for extra information. The E3 broadcast will outline the Challenge Mode and multiplayer features of the title.
And one more thing...
Best Buy to offer E3 demos during the week of the conference — Over 100 Best Buy locations throughout the U.S. and Canada will have demo units of major Nintendo E3 games during the conference, essentially bringing the booth to the masses. Considering that titles such as the new Mario Kart and 3D Mario are expected to be playable, that could be an exciting opportunity for Wii U gamers and, possibly, others on the fence about picking up the new console.
So there you have it, the biggest stories from yesterday's Nintendo Direct broadcasts; you can watch all three of the presentations again, in full, below. We don't have long to wait until the E3 extravaganza, which promises more in the way of new titles and 'wow' moments.