Nintendo streamed a Wii U Direct conference this morning promising to detail the things Nintendo’s been working on for the Wii U and what we can expect over the next few months. I think they gave us even more than we bargained for, so here is a summary on the information Nintendo shared today:
-showcased some posts from Miiverse to illustrate how players can communicate through the service
-green checkmark at upper left of user’s Miiverse icon mean that they have been verified by Nintendo and officially represent corporations or famous people
-Verified Miiverse users can also post Youtube videos or URLs. Utilized primarily to share information about new/upcoming games, etc.
-Two system updates this spring and summer coming to add new features to Wii U system
-incremental improvements in channel loading and Wii U menu loading times
-Spring update will bring Wii U Virtual Console (will not include entire Wii virtual console offerings yet)
-A bunch of NES and SNES titles will be available day one when it comes out. They will have a bunch of extra features too including backing up game saves, off-TV play, and Miiverse support.
-GBA titles also coming for the first time to a home system Virtual Console, but not right at its launch
-If you already own VC games from Wii (and have transferred them over to the Wii emulator on the Wii U), it will cost $1.00 for NES and $1.50 for SNES to upgrade them to Wii U VC titles.
-Standard prices for NES and SNES VC titles will be the same as on the Wii. NES games will run $4.99-$5.99 and SNES games will run from $7.99-$8.99
-To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Famicom, Nintendo will be selling a few NES and SNES games on the eShop before the “official” launch of the VC service (starting today with Balloon Fight) for the low, low price of 30 cents!
-These celebratory games will only be available for purchase at that low price for a period of 30 days, though, so make sure to get your coin purses jingling a little faster.
-Famicom anniversary game release list: Janurary – Balloon Fight, February – F-Zero, March – Punch Out!, April – Kirby’s Adventure, May – Super Metroid, June – Yoshi, July – Donkey Kong
It sounds like these games will only be available during their respective months and then your 30 cent trial will expire and you’ll have to purchase them if you want to keep them. Nintendo has clarified on their official site that you get to permanently keep the games you buy at the promotional 30 cent price.
-Pikmin 3 will have an enhanced camera feature whereby you can use it as a camera to take close-up pictures that can be posted on Miiverse.
-Wii Fit U will allow users to create their own personal Miiverse communities just for them and their friends that will be identified by a string of numbers
-Wii Fit U launch will usher in some new Miiverse features for everyone including the ability to create your own communities, multiple communities per title, usability improvements (including post filtering)
-Spring update will bring access to Miiverse through computer and mobile browsers, with native mobile apps coming soon thereafter
-No new Wii U games from Nintendo in Jan. or Feb., but they still “take seriously their responsibility to release a steady stream of new titles” apparently.
-Spring/Summer 2013 releases: Game & Wario, Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3, LEGO City Undercover, and The Wonderful 101
-New trailer for The Wonderful 101 showing more of what we saw at E3. Introduces more masked hero characters, shows some vehicle driving sections, and reiterates that when you enter certain buildings the view switches to the GamePad where you have to solve a puzzle of some kind.
-Bayonetta 2 dev video shown, but they’re not ready to showcase gameplay yet
-There will be a new Iwata Asks where Iwata will go discuss Platinum Games as a whole with its leads.
-New Smash Bros. info coming at this year’s E3
-Newly announced 1st party Wii U games that will be playable at E3: a new 3D Mario game from the Super Mario Galaxy team and Mario Kart Wii U
-Footage from a new party game from the makers of Wii Party for the Wii U whose main section looks like Mario Party with Miis, but has a lot of interesting minigames including ones where multiple people play on the same GamePad and a Twister like game using multiple people trying to hold down an increasing number of buttons on the GamePad and three Wii remotes.
-Video shown of a new IP from the makers of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Island, and Yoshi’s Story puts Yoshi back into the Epic Yarn-style mix as he was originally intended. Seems to be more substantial than its predecessor showing Yoshi becoming fully made of yarn and fighting non-yarn enemies, but time will tell. The graphics are nice and have a real LittleBigPlanet feel for better or for worse.
-Video shown of a new collaboration title: Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. RPG nerds everywhere need to go change their pants. Iwata hints that more collaboration titles are coming too.
-Eiji Aonuma talked a bit about the Wii U Zelda in development, making it sound Skyrim-style where you don’t have to complete dungeons in a given order and also mentioned a multiplayer (perhaps MMO) aspect to the game.
-Screenshots and video from an HD version of Wind Waker also shown. The graphics have been updated significantly and Wind Waker HD will be made available for the Wii U to make the wait for a new proper Zelda a little more bearable.
-Not just a graphical update, new features will be added to Wind Waker HD including off-TV play, Miiverse, and “experience changes”
-Monolithsoft (makers of Xenoblade) have a new graphically impressive futuristic Monster Hunter-style game for the Wii U just called “X”. The game will involve mechs and other fancy vehicles to assist to in fighting fancy dinosaurs.
It’s truly a ton of Wii U news to take in, but Wii U owners can at least be assured that while they’ll have to stick with their Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3 for another couple of months, that there is a lot of really good content coming from 1st party developers on its way to the Wii U. While we received glimpses of some 3rd party games, I do hope that there’s more in the works than just what Nintendo has mentioned so far, or that they’re at least trying to get some of the big multi-platform releases coming out in 2013 on their own system. We’ll keep you posted when new Wii U information arises.