Nintendo Direct: All the Wii U news in one place:
23rd Jan 2013 | 15:49
Nintendo has taken centre stage today with a Nintendo Direct press conference busting with new Wii U games and console updates.
The broadcast was presented by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who unveiled, among other announcements, the Wii U Virtual Console and the latest instalments of Zelda, Mario and Yoshi.
Here's a summary of everything...
Wii U OS Expands
First Iwata addressed the Wii U social network Miiverse, explaining that it was initially difficult to describe how the platform worked before the Wii U launch, but now that it's out owners are enjoying the feature.
He listed examples of the way Miiverse is being used by Wii U owners. The first showed players asking for help in Trine 2 and the development team responding to other Miiverse posts. The second showed how players reassured each other during difficult parts in
The exec demonstrated that some special characters have started appearing on Miiverse with green checkmarks. These are users are verified by Nintendo and, because of their official status, are allowed to add external links and YouTube videos to their Miiverse posts.
The Miiverse will be available on smartphones from this spring via mobile browsers, but Iwata also confirmed that work was underway on a dedicated Miiverse app for smartphones.
Moving on from Miiverse, Iwata revealed that two significant Wii U system updates are being prepared - one in spring and one in summer. It is promised that these updates will allow software to launch faster and smoother.
Not wanting to lose any momentum, Iwata then confirmed that the Wii U Virtual Console service will launch after the spring system update.
The entire Wii line-up won't be available as soon as the service starts. Only a selection of NES and SNES titles will be ready to purchase. All games will be reprogrammed for the Wii U - allowing users to play the game on the GamePad, as well as post their data to the Miiverse.
However, redownloading Wii Virtual Console games to the Wii U will not be free. NES games will cost 99p to redownload and SNES games will cost £1.49
Game Boy Advance, meanwhile, has been confirmed as an upcoming Virtual Console system, marking the first time GBA games will be available for purchase on Virtual Console.
Nintendo is also treading new water with the announcement of a flexible pricing model for NES games.
To celebrate the NES's 30 year anniversary, during each month from now until July Nintendo will reduce the cost of one SNES or NES game to £0.30 each - a discount which will only be available for 30 days until the next offer.
This month, the NES game available for £0.30 is Balloon Fight.
- Feb: F-Zero
- Mar: Punch Out! Featuring Mr. Dream
- Apr: Kirby's Adventure
- May: Super Metroid
- Jun: Yoshi
- Jul: Donkey Kong
Next, Iwata confirmed upcoming Miiverse functionality for Nintendo games.
New Wii U Games
Firstly, an apology fro Iwata regarding the lack of games release in January and February.
"We firmly believe we have to offer quality experiences when we release new titles", he said. "We should spend a little more time to satisfy our level of quality. I apologise."
Iwata then showed off a new trailer for
Smash Bros. came next, and Iwata explained that again a little more time was needed. Game development is on track but the first screens will be shown at E3, he said.
Next came a shock string of big hitters and entirely new Nintendo titles.
These titles will be shown in playable form at E3, Iwata said.
A new party game from the creators of Wii Party was also shown. It'll offer a series of mini-games which use the GamePad independently in various ways
"You may look at these titles and say it's natural that Nintendo would be preparing new versions for these series," Iwata said.
"So we have two more titles in development that we would like to show you." A new Yoshi game - Yoshi Yarn was then revealed. It's being developed by the same team behind Kirby's Epic Yarn and has a similarly wooly graphical style.
Iwata remarked that this is the first time Yoshi has starred in his own console game since 1998's Yoshi's Story.
The second game shown was not named, but referred to as a "Shin Megami Tensei meets Fire Emblem" project. This will be a collaboration between Atlas (the team behind the Shin Megami Tensei games), Intelligent Systems (the Fire Emblem developers) and Nintendo.
Zelda maestro Eiji Aonuma then appeared to discuss one of the biggest reveals at the press conference; two new Zelda games coming to Wii U.
While the designer wasn't ready to show anything of the new game, he explained that Nintendo's mission is "to rethink the conventions of Zelda" - namely, the need to complete dungeons in a linear order and the need to play alone.
Aonuma-san then revealed the Wind Waker HD reboot - a remake of the GameCube classic that's due for release this autumn.
As well as upgrading the graphics, Nintendo will also add in off-TV play and Miiverse compatibility.
To bring an end to the proceedings, Iwata revealed a new trailer for the Wii U game from Monolith Soft - a game which resembles a cross between Xenoblade and Monster Hunter resplendent with giant mechs. It's simply being called "X" at the moment.
Here's the full Nintendo Direct video if you want to see it all for yourself: