This morning Nintendo gave its monthly Nintendo Direct presentation. For half an hour, Iwata and co. showed off the latest for the company’s Wii U, 3DS, and the 3DS’ special needs little bother, the 2DS.
Speaking of which, let’s get probably the biggest announcement out of the way. The 2DS will be out at retail on October the 12th and will be offered in a bundle with Pokemon X and Y. A pretty smart move for the younger audience the simplified handheld is aimed at
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata launched right into the presentation showing off some lovely Super Mario 3D World footage. The Wii U game is looking great and has an official release date of November 22nd. For a limited time, gamers can get a special bundle with either a Mario or Luigi themed Wii U Remote!
Next Up we got a look at some of the fun mini games planned for the upcoming title Wii U Party. It looks like a Wii U take on the classic Mario Party formula, making use of the console’s unique peripherals. Wii U Party comes out in just a couple of days, October 3rd! If you act quickly, you can get a free horizontal stand for the Wii U tablet controller that will make some of the mini games a little easier to set up.
In a disappointing turn, Iwata’s next announcement was that much-anticipated Donkey Kong Country title for the Wii U would be delayed. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze won’t make its November release date. Instead it will be coming out in February of 2014.
The Presentation touched on the next Mario & Sonic at the Olympics titles for Wii U and 3DS (both out November 15th), which looks like a fun new entry in a popular series. It brings new social features into the game, letting you compete for your chosen country online. It also has a tie in bundle with a specially colored Wiimote.
Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog had a heck of a showing in today’s Nintendo presentation. In fact the blue needle mouse probably got more screen time than any of Nintendo’s own stable of characters. Iwata’s next announcement was all about a certain hedgehog. Sonic is confirmed to be in the new Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS!
Sadly, no specific release date was given for the brawler. Super Smash Bros (featuring Sonic and Mega Man!) is releasing some time in 2014.
Sonic’s having a big year with Nintendo, not just showing up in a supporting role but getting two big adventures of his very own. Sonic: Lost World has an official release date of October 29th ( pushed back from the 18th) and for folks who pre-order now, it will come with a bonus DLC pack that pits Sonic against the “Deadly Six” cabal of baddies from Sega Saturn classic, NiGHTS Into Dreams. Awesome.
While not a lot of details were given Nintendo also showed off the absolutely beautiful, and blissfully old school JRPG Bravely Default. The game comes to American 3DSs in the 1st quarter of 2014.
Another 3DS RPG had some news too, The Legend of Zelda: A link Between Worlds fundamentally changes the classic Zelda game structure by allowing you to get equipment (such as the boomerang) early and therefore enter dungeons whenever you want. Weird. The game looks great, and it’ll be out November 22nd.
Otherwise a fairly lackluster line up of third-party titles were announced or given release dates, including Assassin’s Creed 4 which was pushed back to November 22nd. Pikmin 3 has some new DLC, there are possibly a couple other fancy Wiimote bundles, and you can wear Link’s Wind Waker shirt in your Animal Crossing game.
Of course Nintendo knows how to save the best for last. The presentation ended with some footage of a brand new Kirby game for the 3DS!
Release Date Recap:
A whole bunch of release dates were announced in the , some of which were touched on already. Here’s a list of upcoming Wii U and 3DS games from Nintendo’s presentation:
- Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) – November 22nd
- Wii U Party (Wii U) – October 25th
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) February 2014
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympics (3DS and Wii U) – November 15
- Super Smash Bros (3DS and Wii U) – 2014
- Just Dance 2014 (Wii and Wii U) – Oct. 8
- Skylanders Swap Force (3DS and Wii U) - October 13
- Phoenix Wright (3DS eShop) – October 24 (Demo out now!)
- Nintendo 2DS handheld – October 12
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes (Wii U) – October 24
- Etrian Odyssey: Untold Millenium Girl (3DS) – Oct 1
- Sonic: Lost World (3DS and Wii U) – October 29
- Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (Wii U) – November 22nd
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) – November 22nd
- Untitled Kirby Game (3DS) – 2014
As great as some of these first party games are looking, we’ve been hearing about most of them for months now with little new stuff on the horizon. There was a meager offering of third-party games touched on (see the release date recap), but it was fairly slim pickings. Probably the biggest third-party title, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag has been pushed back to a November 22nd release, alongside the much more graphically impressive Xbox One and PS4 versions. The delay of Donkey Kong Country is a pretty serious bummer too, and yet another blow to the struggling Wii U.
As always, this Nintendo direct managed to pump me up and disappoint me at the same time. What Nintendo gets right, it still gets SO right and all the first party content looks incredible. Still, without the third parties to tent pole the Wii U, its upcoming selection are hardly much to get excited about.
A new Kirby title is exciting, but it’s for the 3DS, as are Bravely Default and the new Zelda. The handheld’s got a great line up and tons of third part support, it’s the Wii U that needs life support right now. If I were Nintendo, I’d get everyone on fast tracking some first party exclusives for the Wii U right now. Of course, it might already be too late.
You can watch the entire presentation and check out our gallery of screens below!