Nintendo Direct 1/23 Recap; HD Zelda and Wii U Updates


Nintendo Direct 1-23

Mr. Iwata spoke to Nintendo Enthusiasts about a range of things from MiiVerse and Wii U System Updates to new Zelda titles in a Nintendo Direct video shared this morning.

He spent the first part of the video introducing people to more aspects of MiiVerse, focusing first on how players can get immediate feedback to help them through difficult spots in games like Zombi U. He then went into how users can share comments and feelings about screenshots that can be posted with the utility, showcasing one user’s Christmas greeting that they created in a screenshot on Scribblenauts.

Next up was the announcement of two planned software updates coming to Wii U in Spring and Summer. Mr. Iwata mentioned that these were largely in response to consumer feedback. The first highlighted features of those updates were software launch speed and home menu loading times. Previously it has taken a while for games to load, and to transition back to the home menu.  They are also planning to launch Wii U virtual console service right after the spring update, because users have been demanding that they be able to play virtual console games on the GamePad.

At launch of the Wii U Virtual Console Service, the titles will mainly be from NES AND SNES consoles. Like with the 3DS Virtual Console service, users will be able to save back-ups of their game progress. In addition, the titles will be playable on the GamePad and users will have access to the MiiVerse community for virtual console titles. In the future they plan to add GameBoy advance titles. Virtual Console pricing is set at $4.99- $5.99 for NES titles and $7.99-$8.99 for SNES titles. Prices for users that already own a Virtual Console edition of those titles on their Wii are $1.00 and $1.50, respectively, but users will have had to transfer their Wii data to their Wii U in order to be eligible for the special pricing.

As 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Family Computer in Japan, plans to offer a Wii U Virtual Console Trial Campaign were developed. This means that there will be one NES OR SNES title available for purchase each month, starting this month and going through July. These titles will be available for .30 cents for 30 days. The titles offered are as follows:

January: Balloon Fight (already available for download)

February: F-Zero

March: Punch Out!

April: Kirby’s Adventure

May: Super Metroid

June: Yoshi

July: Donkey Kong

Mr. Iwata made mention of a new function of the GamePad planned for Pikmin 3 in which users can use the GamePad as a camera and post “photos” to MiiVerse. A Wii Fit U user community was discussed in which you can share your fitness goals with a closely identified user group that requires a user ID passcode. This is intended to help users come together to push each other towards personal fitness goals.
New features coming to MiiVerse are the user’s ability to create user communities and hosting more than one official community per title. There will be usability improvements such as a filtering function, in which posts of specific interest to users will no longer be buried under a myriad of more recent posts. MiiVerse will also soon be available to browse from smartphones; at first it will be browser-based and then a smartphone app will be released. Users will use their Wii U username and passwords to login.
New Nintendo titles discussed were a new 3D Mario action game and Mario Kart for Wii U, available in playable form at E3. Also in development is a new Party game from the creators of Wii Party to be released this summer. Two more titles were discussed, first from the team behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn comes a beautiful-looking game in which the main character is Yoshi, gameplay footage looks a lot like Epic Yarn, as Yoshi looks like a crocheted doll. A new title from collaboration with ATLUS games comes the title Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem.
Finally, plans for Legend of Zelda: The developer for the legend of Zelda games talked about how he would like to share details but he needs to wait until actual gameplay footage is available, so instead he discussed the driving force behind the development of the game. The mission statement is to “rethink the conventions of Zelda,” referring to things like the player having to complete dungeons in a certain order, and the idea of single player gameplay. They wanted to set aside these conventions and get at a newborn Zelda title that would allow today’s players to enjoy the real essence of the franchise. The next project discussed was a newly re-envisioned Wind Waker for Wii U. The all-new Zelda adventure is going to take quite some time to complete, so in the meantime, Nintendo plans to offer Wind Waker redone in HD for the Wii U to satiate players’ appetite for Zelda titles. Wind Waker HD is planned for Q3 of this year.
Windwaker HD Windmill SML

Windwaker HD windmill GCN SML

They closed with footage from a title from Nintendo and Monolithsoft (Xenoblade), a game simply entitled “X”. With so much information packed into one short video, our heads were kind of spinning. This writer is most excited about the new developments coming for Zelda, but we’d like to hear from our gamer community. It seems there is a little something for everyone currently planned for Wii U; what are you most excited to see?



Learn more the author of this post:

Serra Wallerius
Serra Wallerius is an avid gamer, technology enthusiast and professional photographer. She attended Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine to receive her Bachelor's in Fine Arts with a focus in photography and has a studio located in Battle Creek, MI.