It was a good week to be a Nintendo nerd
There was a surprising amount of new and exciting information and revelations from Nintendo this week. As the current generation of home consoles begins to wind down in preparation for the next generation, the three big video game console companies – Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo - have been tight-lipped on releasing news for quite some time, with the exception of leaks or obscure announcements intended to raise hype. Sony and Microsoft’s silence makes sense because their new consoles, the rumored Xbox 720 and PS4, are currently still in development, but in Nintendo’s case, their new system, the Wii U, has been available since late November. In fact, so little has been said about it, I didn’t even know that the Wii U had been released until I came across it this holiday season.
I bought the Wii U without a second thought because I grew up playing Nintendo games on Nintendo systems, and I trust them to keep me entertained. When I got home with my system and started to look into what exciting games were available or upcoming, I was disappointed at the almost complete lack of news. In fact, the only news I could find about the system was its steady but underwhelming sales.
There was no new Super Smash Bros., no new Zelda, no Mario Kart, none of the great first party games that make Nintendo, well, Nintendo. I wondered if my trust had been misplaced in the Wii U; not because the system wasn’t fun – the opposite is true, it’s a blast – but because outside of NintendoLand and New Super Mario Bros U, there weren’t any games I, and certainly many others, was really excited about.
This last week however, Nintendo released a new video in their update series where they speak directly to their fans, aptly named Nintendo Direct. In the 36 minute video, Nintendo announced a ton of new and very exciting plans for the system. They plan to expand their social networking feature, called Miiverse after the Mii avatars that represent you in games. They will be releasing updates for the Wii U that will lower load times and add what they call the Virtual Console, a collection of games from Nintendo’s old systems that you can easily play on your new Wii U. They spoke about games that would be released this spring and summer, such as Game and Wario and Pikmin 3.
As if this wasn’t enough, Nintendo announced a new 3D Mario game, a new Super Smash Bros and a new Mario Kart, all planned as a showcase at this year’s E3 convention. On top of that, there is a new Yoshi game coming out that will be similar to the N64 Yoshi’s Island. But all of that pales, for me, in comparison to the big announcement. Coming this fall is a new HD remake of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker to tide gamers over as they wait for the brand new Zelda for Wii U that’s currently in development, and which will be the biggest Zelda game yet.
It’s times like these when I feel like a kid again. Especially because of the added element of surprise with these announcements; no one knew they were coming. But boy am I glad they came.
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