Nintendo promises all its game hits for the Wii U—eventually
Nintendo has a simple plan to get people interested in its Wii U console, and it involves a whole lot of Mario and Link.
On Wednesday, Nintendo announced that it’s working on a new 3D Mario game for the Wii U, along with new versions of The Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart. A new game starring Yoshi is also in development, along with a new party game, cleverly named Wii U Party.
The bad news? Nintendo didn’t say when those games would be ready, nor did the company reveal much information about them, but promised to have more information at the E3 trade show in June. As for the next Zelda game, Nintendo has already ruled out a 2013 launch.
To hold fans over, Nintendo plans to release an HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (shown above) later this year. Wind Waker debuted for Nintendo’s GameCube system in 2002, and at the time it polarized Zelda diehards with its childlike cartoon-art style. Time seems to have been kind to the series, though, as the reaction to the news on game sites Joystiq and Destructoid seems almost universally positive. (For what it’s worth, I always thought it was one of the best games in the series.)
Nintendo’s announcements, delivered by live Web broadcast, weren’t only focused on its hits. The company also revealed a successor to the critically-acclaimed RPG Xenoblade and another RPG called Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, a mash-up of two existing game series.
For retro game fans, Nintendo’s Virtual Console will come directly to the Wii U this spring with new features such as programmable controls and save states, according to Joystiq. Players who owned Virtual Console games on the Wii and want the new features will have to pay $1 for each NES game and $1.50 for each SNES game. Game Boy Advance games will also be available for the first time.
In addition, Nintendo said it will update its Miiverse avatar application with new features, including user-created communities. The company also said it would eventually release a version of the app for smartphones.
Depending on how you look at it, Nintendo’s Wii U is either a meager success or a somewhat of a flop so far. Although Nintendo has noted that Wii U hardware sales generated more revenue in the United States than the original Wii did in its first six weeks, it didn’t generate as many unit sales. In the United States, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 continues to be the top-selling console, according to NPD.
In any case, the Wii U’s game lineup could use an injection of Nintendo’s most popular characters. The fact that Nintendo’s working on it should surprise no one, but at least we know for sure.