Pity the poor Wii U. Such a nice, innovative machine with such little software support. Its doom is being spelled out across the dank corridors of the interwebs. Most recently, Electronic Arts pulled support for the struggling console. Since it’s fairly disastrous E3 unveiling in 2011, the system’s tale has been a sad one. But it’s a solid piece of (admittedly current gen) console hardware with some pretty cool gimmicks features that offer totally unique gaming experiences. The main reason the Big N’s attempt at making the Wii miracle happen twice is failing, in my opinion, is the lack of GAMES.
And that’s why it was a bitter sweet experience watching this month’s Nintendo Direct. Along with some great content for the 3Ds, Nintendo showed us some exciting stuff for the Wii U. But it might just be too late.
The whole thing starts familiarly enough, with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, and ends with good ol’ Reggie (Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America President). But in between they drop some pretty exciting stuff. In my book, the 2 most important things announced were the new Wii U and 3DS exclusive Sonic title, and the Pikmin release date. Here’s a not at all exhaustive list of the announcements:
Partnership with Sega:
Iwata announced a new partnership with Sega in his segment that will bring some exclusive games to the Wii U and 3DS. As expected, a new Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics is coming to both systems, and the Wii U footage is quite lovely. But the most exciting news was the announcement of a new, exclusive Sonic game coming to Nintendo machines. Sadly all Sonic in the Lost World got was a concept screen and a promise of more to come. But, as I confessed yesterday, any Sonic news is good news to me!
Gameplay footage and a release date for Pikman 3
Finally, Nintendo! Pikmin fans have been clamoring for a new outing in their favorite plant minion strategy series and Nintendo’s been mostly quiet about it until now. The new Pikmin 3 footage looked great, and showed off what the Wii U can do with beautiful water effects and bright, colorful environments. It looks like the biggest and best Pikmin to date. Most importantly, July 26th European and August 4th North American release dates were announced.
Rounding out its Wii U announcements was a HD Wii U overhaul of 3DS game, Resident Evil: Revelations, that looked great and adds tons of bonus content, a major Luigi DLC pack for New Super Mario Bros. U, a new Warioware sequel called Game and Wario, and the announcement of a new game, Wonderful 101 coming in September.
Compared to recent Nintendo Directs presentation, they spent a lot of time on the Wii U. It seems Iwata et. al are finally bringing some Nintendo magic to the Wii U. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.
The 3DS got some love too
Two new Zelda games in the eShop, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. When played together, the games unlock extra content between each other.
Donkey Kong Country Returns out May 24th,
Animal Crossing: New Leaf out June 9th, will have added social features for the western release.
The aforementioned Sega games, Sonic in the Lost World, and Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics will have 3DS versions too.
There’s definitely some exciting stuff on that list, but compared to last month’s 3DS-centric Nintendo Direct, the 3DS seemed like an afterthought here. Nintendo definitely had the struggling Wii U front and center. Let’s hope it works!
Finally Reggie closed the presentation with news of a Nintendo partnership with Best Buy. He neglected to give specifics, but he said all the new games that are playable at Nintendo’s pre E3 event will be playable on the same day at Best Buy. Not a bad move for either company, considering the dire straits both the Wii U and the big box retailer are in. I might just set foot in a Best Buy for the first time in years!
Phew! Those are my thoughts. Let us know in the comments what you thought of the presentation and have a great weekend!
Check out the whole video and gallery of screenshots below!