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All-new games in The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart and Yoshi franchises are in development for Wii U, Nintendo announced during its latest Nintendo Direct broadcast today. And that's only half of what's in store for Wii U owners.

Two The Legend of Zelda games: Eiji Aonuma, the producer of The Legend of Zelda series, revealed two entries in the series for Wii U: an all-new adventure too far off to discuss, and a high definition version of GameCube classic The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker due this autumn. The high definition and enhanced game will support off-TV play on the Wii U GamePad and interaction with the Miiverse.

New Super Mario and Mario Kart games: The Nintendo EAD Tokyo Software Development team that created the Super Mario Galaxy games for Wii and Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS is working on a new 3D Mario action game for Wii U. The game will be playable at E3. In addition, Nintendo is also working on a new Wii U instalment in the Mario Kart franchise, also scheduled to be playable at E3.

Yoshi's back: The team that created Kirby's Epic Yarn is working on the first console game to feature Yoshi as the main character since 1998's Yoshi's Story for Nintendo 64. Takashi Tezuka, director of Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's Story, is supervising the development of the new game, which is set in a fanciful world of yarn and textiles.

A New Game from Monolith Soft: Tetsuya Takahashi and the team at Monolith Soft that worked on Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii are working on a new game. The shown trailer revealed one of the most visually impressive Wii U games so far.

RPG Mash-up: Nintendo and Atlus are working on a collaboration that features the Fire Emblem and Shin-Megami Tensei franchises.

Coming in the first half of 2013: Platinum Games' The Wonderful 101 and GAME & WARIO are scheduled to launch in the first half of 2013.

Further off: Bayonetta 2 was once again teased, and development of a new Super Smash Bros. title is also ongoing, but both titles need more development time before details can be revealed.

Wii Fit U Communities: New features coming to Wii Fit U include letting players create user communities on Miiverse from within the game. Community members can discuss exercises, BMI or weight changes and other health topics with other players as a way to encourage one another to reach their fitness goals. Similar functionality for other games is also planned.

Pikmin 3 Photos: Pikmin 3 includes a feature that lets players use the Wii U GamePad as a camera to share the same perspective as Pikmin and take close-up pictures of landscapes and creatures in the game and share them in Miiverse.

The Party Continues: A new instalment in the Wii Party franchise is planned to launch this summer. The game features various play styles, including one that lets both players compete head-to-head using just the GamePad.

Virtual Console for Wii U: A spring system update will add Virtual Console software to Nintendo eShop on Wii U. The service will launch right after the spring update and will include a selection of NES and Super NES games, with Game Boy Advance games to be added in the future. The prices for NES and Super NES Virtual Console games for Wii U will be the same as they were for the Virtual Console on Wii. People who have already purchased the Wii version of a certain NES or Super NES Virtual Console game and transferred it to their Wii U console can buy the enhanced Wii U version of the same game for the reduced price of £0.99 for NES games and £1.49 for Super NES games. Enhancements include the ability to play the games off-TV on the Wii U GamePad.

Classic Games for 30 Pence: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Famicom in Japan (NES in Europe), Nintendo is making one NES or Super NES game available each month now through to July at the anniversary price of just £0.30. Each game will be available at that price for 30 days, and the first is the NES game Balloon Fight, which is now available in the Nintendo eShop for Wii U. Super Metroid and F-Zero are also being offered in the promotion.

Miiverse Expands to Smartphones: Starting this spring, people will be able to browse Miiverse from their smartphones. Initially the experience will be browser-based, but Nintendo plans to create a dedicated Miiverse app in the future.

System Updates: Two major updates are on the way, one in the spring and one in the summer. The updates will introduce a wide range of functionality, such as Virtual Console capabilities and shortening the time it takes users to launch software or return to the menu screen.

Source: Nintendo Direct | Press release

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altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

Man, I wanna get a Wii U like 100 times more than I ever wanted to before.
Posted 23:23 on 24 January 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

This is the real reason why you buy a Nintendo console; Nintendo games. All the third party stuff is good, and I hope they continue to get lots of support, but at the end of the day it's all those Nintendo exclusives and, in particular, the favourite franchises which keep us coming back.
Posted 23:20 on 24 January 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

Just thought I would say that it tipped me over the edge, and my Wii U is supposed to arrive by Tuesday. However, it wasn't any one game that did it, it was everything. Mostly Wind Waker HD, but also largely the VC news.
Posted 22:25 on 24 January 2013
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

aaawwwwwwwwwwww yeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that Yoshi game looks rad. Really surprised that 3D Mario is already going to be playable this year at E3. It should get a lot of attention.
Posted 21:47 on 24 January 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

The yoshi game looks glorious. But I was put off kirby yarn by the lack of challenge. I hope there can be a bit more challenge in this.
Posted 12:57 on 24 January 2013
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

Nice write up of the news James. You've condensed the important news from the Nintendo Direct very well! :D
Posted 15:30 on 23 January 2013