Nintendo Direct 24/1/13 Recap

I love Nintendo Direct – I really do. There’s no set schedule, no real confirmation if Iwata is going to drop a bomb or two, it’s such a beautifully chaotic crapshoot on what we’re gonna get. And sure enough, we got one earlier this morning. Really early this morning. But it was quite worth it, since there was a bunch of really useful announcements of upcoming software and features, plus an incredibly weird crossover that is both amazing and terrifying at the same time.

Firstly, let’s get the Zelda announcements out of the way. It was re-confirmed that the WiiU Zelda is still very much going to happen, but we weren’t told much else. Not to mention that we’ll not know anything at E3, that’s saved for a bunch of upcoming games (such as the latest by the Mario Galaxy and Wii Party teams, plus info on the next Mario Kart and Smash Bros games). However though, it was confirmed that we’d be getting a Zelda game this year, in the form of a HD remastering of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It’s confirmed that it’ll also take advantage of the WiiU gamepad in some capcity – perhaps as an early testbed for how Zelda can work with the gamepad? Either way, if there was any Zelda game worthy of such a thing, Wind Waker is easily the prime candidate.

Though speaking of classic games, Nintendo also announced details on the WiiU Virtual Console. It’ll be hitting as part of a big spring update (which will also address quite a lot of the WiiU loading times), and it was confirmed that you’ll be able to purchase NES, SNES and excitingly, Game Boy Advance titles. They’ll have support for off-TV play (which makes sense, given the GBA games), ¬†and even support for the Miiverse, but the catch? You’ll have to repurchase titles again. However, if you had owned NES or SNES games via the Wii (or perhaps 3DS, though this wasn’t confirmed), you’ll be entitled to a discount. How much of a discount? Well, no-one knows!

Kinda speaking of Miiverse though, Nintendo also detailed some upcoming functionality for the system. Namely, how the mobile and web versions are still on track, with apps coming later this year! They’re also looking to include the ability to create communities (think Mario Kart 7) around specific games, which should make talking to friends or finding people to play with easier. Nintendo also annnounced the first game to come with this functionality will be the upcoming Wii Fit U.

Speaking of new software though, we got announcements of three new games! The first was a title known as Yarn Yoshi, a new Yoshi game in the vein of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, helmed by the director of Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story and the developers of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The second wasn’t an announcement, but more so a tease for an upcoming project by Xenoblade developers Monolith Soft. The third? A crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. Yes. You read that right. And it’s not just the SMT characters that have debuted on Nintendo platforms either – thanks to a brief shot of some characters from the Playstation-exclusive Digital Devil Saga games.

Otherwise, that was pretty much it. Definitely some welcoming announcements, but nothing too shocking or game changing. Personally? I think I’m just a little more sold on a WiiU. You can thank Zelda WWHD for that, but most of my questions have to do with the Megaten/Fire Emblem game. Mostly in that I pray that Atlus isn’t heading up distribution (because guaranteed we won’t be getting it then), or if it’s going to be the single hardest game of all time. Though overall, am very happy for the current future of Nintendo.