Published on January 23rd, 2013 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Wii U Direct Wrap-Up
Nintendo hosted its first Nintendo Direct for 2013 and it was all about the future of Wii U. Many had been wondering what some of Nintendo’s plans would be for the brand new console, and even though it seems that this year’s E3 is going to be a big one for Nintendo, the company shared a few small details about some surprises for the big show.
For starters, the Wii U will have two big system updates that will improve system start up. The update will also allow the Wii U menu access to be much faster. No more long waits and horrible load times.
Nintendo also plans to add more functionality to its Mii-verse this spring. From more user created channels, to imbedded Youtube videos, Nintendo is expanding the Mii-Verse to be more of a social networking hub. This means that this summer there will be smartphone functionality. Users will be able to download an app, then input their user code and password to have full connectivity to the Mii-verse without needing to be at home.
Nintendo is also looking to allow users to create more than one user community per game, and add a filtering function to the Mii-verse.
The Virtual Console is finally getting added to the Wii U with the first big system update this spring. Along with the addition, Nintendo has announced that GameBoy Advance games will be added to the Virtual Console. Not all titles will be available at launch, but like the other systems currently available, titles will be updated as time goes on. All Virtual Console games will be upgraded for Wii U functionality so you can play the game on or off the TV with the Wii U gamepad.
If you previously bought a game on the VC for the Wii, you can upgrade the game for $1 for NES games and $1.50 for SNES games.
Starting today, the Wii U will feature the Virtual Console Trial Campaign. This lets you play one title a month through July before you decide you want to buy it. Balloon Pop is the first game available.
The Virtual Console is nice and the system updates are much needed but, what about the games? Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said that no new Nintendo titles will be release in January or February. However there will be plenty from March onward: Pikmin 3, Games & Wario, Lego City: Undercover and Wonderful 101.
E3 will be huge for Nintendo this year as there will be playable versions of the new 3D Mario game, Mario Kart, and the first ever look at Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. There will also be a brand new Yoshi game from the creators of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. This title looks very similar to Kirby and even has the same kind of art style and premise.
Atlus also has a new Wii u game coming in the form of Shin Megami Tensei. No details have been shown on the project but wait for E3 for further details.
Zelda for Wii U was also talked about. Although not much was shown in the presentation, Nintendo has assured us that it is coming and will feature two definitive gameplay elements. It is a solo adventure game and will task you to complete dungeons in a certain order, much like Zelda games of the NES and SNES eras. To get fans ready for the upcoming Zelda Wii U game, Nintendo revealed that this fall it will re-release the GameCube classic, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, for the Wii U. The game will be designed with the Wii U in mind: play on and off the TV, and it will be Mii-Verse compatible.
Platinum Games is hard at work on completing The Wonderful 101 for a early summer release, but on top of that the company is working to get the Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 ready for a fall release. There was a short studio video on creating the massive world of Bayonetta 2 and the look and feel of the main character. Wait for E3 for a full trailer on the upcoming action game.
Finally Monolith Soft, creators of Xenoblade Saga, is working on new Wii U title. There is no title for the game just yet, but it looks like a cross of Xenoblade and Gundam. From heavy sword fighting on giant creatures to mech battles, the game looks beautiful.
The Final Truth:
It looks like Nintendo has many plans for the Wii U going forward. From Mario Kart being shown at E3, Zelda in the future, Yoshi’s return, and Bayonetta 2 the software is coming. There was already a pretty good lineup at launch, just not much since then. It looks like they are lining up 2013 to be a big success and if you didn’t have any reason to get a Wii U, you may now.