Just when people started to doubt the Wii U as a system, Nintendo ‘blew the bloody doors off’ with today’s Nintendo Direct.
There’s news. Lots of it.
The news most significant to Expansive readers will be the two major system updates coming to the Wii U in the Spring and Summer respectively, including the addition of Virtual Console.
In the Spring update, Virtual Console for Wii U will finally become a reality. This will added as part of the Nintendo eShop and will include a selection of NES and SNES games, with Gameboy Advance games to be added in the future (no word on N64, Gamecube, or other formats enjoyed on Wii, however).
The prices will remain the same as they were on Wii, and the good news is those who’ve already purchased the games on Wii’s Virtual Console and transferred the data to their Wii U console, won’t pay for the game a second time.
However, the added bonus of having the Virtual Console on eShop is that all games include added Wii U functionality. Those who purchased the games on Wii’s Virtual Console won’t have the extra functionality by default, but they can purchase it at a reduced price. 99p for all NES games and £1.49 for Super NES Games.
Nintendo also confirmed that the time taken for users to launch software and/or return to the menu screen will be reduced in a future update.
Nintendo were also in a celebratory mood in the Direct update. The Famicom released in Japan 30 years ago, and to celebrate, Nintendo will make one NES or Super NES game available each month until July for just £0.30! The first game is NES classic, Balloon Fight, and it is available right now through the Wii U eShop.
Finally, Miiverse will expand to Smartphones, this Spring. Initially, the experience will be browser-based, but Nintendo have confirmed they will create an app in the future.
In addition to all the updates, Nintendo announced some monster titles, including a remake of Gamecube classic, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, due this Autumn, as well as a brand new Wii U Zelda title. There will also be playable builds of Wii U Mario Kart and a new 3D Mario at this years’ E3.
The phenomenally popular Wii Fit will also get a stronger community focus in Wii Fit u. It will allow players to create user communities on Miiverse from within the game. There, community members can discuss excercise routines, BMI, weight changes or any other health topics with other players. Nintendo hope this will help people encourage one another to reach their fitness goals. Other games will also receive similar functionality, though there are no details to share at this time.
Nintendo announced a ton more, but we’ll let them tell you all about it…