With the Wii U having been out for the better part of the year and not selling well, Nintendo is sort of the underdog in this thing, depending on how badly you think Microsoft screwed up. Regardless, Nintendo has some work to do.
Pokemon X and Y are coming to 3DS on October 12 and will feature a new Fairy type. Some existing Pokemon will also be re-branded as Fairy-type, including Jigglypuff. A new feature called Pokemon-Amie will allow you to use your 3DS stylus to pet them and feed them, strengthening your relationship with me.
Super Mario 3D World, the follow up to the 2011 3DS title Super Mario 3D Land, will be coming to the Wii U. The game will feature local multiplayer, using the Super Mario Bros. 2 cast: Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad. Each character retains their Super Mario Bros. 2 power. A new power-up will turn you into a cat, which is not nearly as charming as a tanooki or a frog.
Mario Kart 8 will be released for the Wii U in 2014. The big new feature in this installment is anti-gravity, which will be incorporated by tracks rotating as the players drive. The wheels of the karts will become magnetic to adhere to the track. There's also a new hang glider feature as well as motorcycles to choose from.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is coming to the Wii U in October 2013, with new features like changing the sails on your boat to make it go faster and the Tingle bottle, which will allow you to hide messages in other people's games. Wind Waker has a solid fanbase, and this is good news, but it's still a re-release of a decade-old game.
A new Art Academy title is headed for the Wii U and is scheduled to hit the eShop this summer. While this isn't a game, and I can't get excited as such, the Wii U tablet does lend itself well to this sort of experience.
Bayonetta 2, a Wii U exclusive, will be released in 2014. The heroine will have shorter hair, which takes half the fun out of the character right off the bat. The hair-based attacks are still intact, however, so that's definitely something. The game will feature a two-player mode, which Nintendo was tight-lipped about, but I can only hope that the second player plays as the hair.
The untitled successor to Xenoblade Chronicles will feature a "large-scale open world" that's ripe for exploration and flying mechs around, as well as smashing mechs together in intense combat.
Drumroll please! The best announcement to come out of Nintendo Direct, and also no surprise, is a new Super Smash Bros., that will launch in 2014 and feature an Animal Crossing Villager and the long-awaited Mega Man! It's about time, Nintendo. It is about time.
The newest Zelda title coming to the 3DS has found a name, and that name is A Link Between Worlds. It will launch in November and feature a new 3D art style.
Nintendo announced a slew of titles for the eShop, including Oddworld: New N' Tasty, Mutant Mudds, Cloudberry Kingdom, and Ducktales Remastered. It's great to see indie titles represented.
The Wonderful 101 got itself a new trailer, showing off plenty of combat as the heroes of the game fight off the invading alien threat. The game will release on September 15, August 23, and August 24, in North America, Europe, and Japan, respectively.
A new Donkey Kong Country installment, Tropical Freeze, will be hitting Nintendo's new console sometime later this year. Two players can team up to save Donkey Kong Island from invading vikings, which sounds absolutely awesome. The game will be jam-packed with hidden items, which brings back memories of Donkey Kong 64 and makes me shudder.
Wii Party U and Wii Fit U have been delayed until winter, and while I can't imagine those are highly-anticipated titles, it's still a bummer of an announcement to make when you're trying to get people excited. How are gamers going to get fit without Wii Fit U?
More to Come?
True to what they said, Nintendo Direct was indeed a smaller event, and with that smaller event came only a handful of announcements. It's great to hear about a new Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and Super Mario 3D World, but it's not nearly enough to generate interest in a struggling console. The Wii U is the first Nintendo home console since the NES that I haven't owned and Nintendo's showing so far certainly doesn't make me want to run out and buy one. Hopefully Nintendo will have more announcements as E3 rolls on.