Wii U and 3DS news from today’s Nintendo Direct conference

nintendo_direct_logoNintendo unveiled a new Nintendo Direct today, with summer plans for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U.

First up, a new Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics title is shown off, based on the upcoming location of Sochi, Russia for the real-life event. Everything shown off here was for Wii U, displaying some GamePad functionality for shooting events and other games. Also showcased was skiing, snowboarding, bobsled, and ice skating events.

Also, Iwata quickly announced a new partnership with SEGA, bringing a brand new Sonic title to the Wii U exclusively for a future date, dubbed Sonic: Lost World. Along with this, Game Gear Virtual Console titles will be hitting the 3DS Virtual Console soon.

Next up, Virtual Console news for the Zelda Game Boy Color titles. At launch, and for three weeks following, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons will have an introductory price of $4.99, later bumping up to a normal price of $5.99. Both games are due to drop on the  3DS Virtual Console service on May 30th.

Showcased next were recent releases and upcoming titles for the 3DS, like Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Special attention was given to Nintendo’s own video series promoting Animal Crossing: New Leaf that will be available on Nintendo’s YouTube channel and video service on the 3DS. We’re reminded again that Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is dropping on May 24th, with Animal Crossing: New Leaf hitting store shelves on June 9th.

Switching back to the Wii U, we’re re-introduced to the upcoming Game and Wario. (Meanwhile the Japan stream is getting Yakuza 1&2 HD news). A few new mini-games were showcased, along with returning side-characters for the Wario Ware series. Lots of gameplay functionality specific to the GamePad was shown off, and the game really does look like a lot of fun. Finally, Game and Wario was announced for $39.99, and will be available on

Next, Iwata returned to talk a bit about the upcoming release of Resident Evil Revelations on Wii U, which we’ll be talking about shortly on Gaming-Age.com.  After showcasing the off-screen play for Resident Evil Revelations, Iwata unveiled new info for New Super Luigi U, including the ability to play as Nabbit in this DLC add-on for New Super Mario Bros. U. The DLC will be available for existing New Super Mario Bros. U owners via the eShop on June 20th, but  a standalone boxed copy will be available on August 25th. The digital DLC version will be priced at $19.99, and the boxed version at $29.99, with identical content.

Iwata also unveiled a release date for The Wonderful 101, hitting shelves on September 15th. And then he showed off more Pikmin 3, including three new characters joining the fray, each with unique abilities related to Pikmin control. The ability to replay entire days, or bounce back to an earlier time was also showcased. Some GamePad functionality was shown off, like the map screen that you can scroll through with your finger, allowing you to view different areas of the map on your TV, or track the location of Pikmin currently at work on various tasks. Iwata also states that the game is playable with off-screen mode via the GamePad, or you can play with the Wii Remote Plus. Pikmin 3 is due out on August 4th.

Last up, Reggie Fils-Aime closes out Nintendo Direct with some E3 teasing. Announcing a partnership with Best Buy, Nintendo plans to make playable demo’s available at select store locations for games featured during E3.

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REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The next title in SEGA?s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise will be exclusive to Nintendo?s Wii U home console and Nintendo 3DS portable system. Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata announced the details of a new partnership with SEGA during a new Nintendo Direct video announcement today. Sonic Lost World is a new action platforming game, and more information about it will be announced before the E3 2013 video game trade show begins onJune 11.

The Nintendo Direct also announced Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for Wii U, and revealed that additional SEGA Game Gear games would be coming to the Virtual Console service for Nintendo 3DS. Outside of SEGA news, Nintendo announced that select Wii U games featured at E3 2013 will soon be playable at participating Best Buy stores, the launch date for New Super Luigi U, new Pikmin 3 game details and additional information about a variety of previously announced Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.

?The onetime rivalry between Mario and Sonic has grown into a friendship that has never been closer,? said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. ?These announcements in conjunction with SEGA demonstrate the commitment we have to bringing great games to the Wii U platform, and set the stage for our upcoming announcements at E3.?

To view the Nintendo Direct in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct. Today?s announcements included:

Wii U News

  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games: The game includes a variety of events from the Winter Games, including curling, skiing, figure skating pairs and snowboard slopestyle ? which will make its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia. Different events might use the Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii U GamePad controller or both. In addition to realistic events, the game also includes those set in the worlds of Sonic and Mario that let players perform moves not possible in real life. Launch details and timing will be announced at a later date.
  • Experience Games from Nintendo?s E3 Booth at Best Buy: Exclusively at participating Best Buy locations in the United States and Canada, consumers will be able to play some of the unreleased Wii U games featured at E3 while the event is occurring in Los Angeles. Details about locations and which games will be featured will be revealed in the coming weeks.
  • New Super Luigi U: The Year of Luigi-themed downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U offers players 82 updated courses. But it also includes a new playable character in multiplayer mode: Nabbit, who steals items from Toad Houses. Nabbit can?t power up, but also won?t take damage when he touches enemies. New Super Luigi U will be released as downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U in the Nintendo eShop on June 20 for $19.99. But in honor of the Year of Luigi, Nintendo is also offering a standalone packaged version of New Super Luigi U that doesn?t require New Super Mario Bros. U on Aug. 25 at a suggested retail price of $29.99.
  • The Wonderful 101: The mass-action adventure from Platinum Games launches Sept. 15. Additional details will be announced after E3.
  • Pikmin 3: New playable characters Alph, Brittany and Charlie recruit the Pikmin creatures to help them gather fruit so that they can return with the seeds to save their home, Planet Koppai. Players can divide activities among the different characters, and explore separate areas in the same map with different groups of Pikmin. Using the GamePad (known as the KopPad in the game), players can view the overall map and grasp what each character and Pikmin are up to. Players also can choose their preferred control option: GamePad in conjunction with the TV, Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk combo or GamePad only in off-TV mode. Players can also use the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk with the GamePad as a second-screen monitor. Pikmin 3 launches Aug. 4.
  • GAME & WARIO: The game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop June 23 at a suggested retail price of $39.99, and includes a number of games from WarioWare, Inc., that use the GamePad in different ways. Newly revealed games include: Island, which lets two to five people launch little creatures called Fronks onto islands in the sea to score points; Patchwork, a puzzle game that tests players? pattern-recognition skills; and Kung-Fu, which challenges players to help Young Cricket navigate a course safely using the forward-looking view on the TV and the top-down view on the GamePad. A new Iwata Asks feature offers more details about the game athttp://iwataasks.nintendo.com.
  • Resident Evil Revelations: Capcom?s horror-survival game is launching in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on May 21. The game originally released for Nintendo 3DS, and the Wii U version offers players updated HD graphics, GamePad controls and new game content. Players can use the GamePad to view the map and change items using the touch screen without pausing their progress. Or they can play the full game on the GamePad in off-TV mode, or play with the Wii U Pro Controller. The game is Miiverse-compatible, and a demo version is currently available in the Nintendo eShop.

Nintendo 3DS News

  • SEGA Game Gear: Games from the classic hand-held system are headed to the Virtual Console service. These include:
    • Columns
    • Crystal Warriors
    • Defenders of Oasis
    • Dr. Robotnik?s Mean Bean Machine
    • G-LOC: Air Battles
    • Shining Force II: The Sword of Hajya
    • Sonic Blast
    • Sonic Drift 2
    • Sonic Labyrinth
    • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    • Tails Adventure
    • Vampire: Master of Darkness
  • Inside the Treehouse with Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Because of the vast amount of content in the upcomingAnimal Crossing: New Leaf game, Nintendo?s Treehouse localization team is hosting an ongoing video series to talk about the franchise and many of the fun features of the new game. The videos will be available on Nintendo?s YouTube channel and in the Nintendo eShop on a regular basis leading up to the game?s June 9 launch. Additionally, a new Animal Crossing panel for Puzzle Swap is now available for StreetPass Mii Plaza, and fans also might find a special Animal Crossing-themed message on Swapnote.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DThis game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on May 24 and includes all the fun of the original Wii game, now optimized for portable play. It also includes eight new unlockable levels that are each based on one of the eight worlds from the original game. These levels will challenge players with new elements like platforms that force them to move at a faster pace, large drops of tar falling from the ceiling and giant rotating stone gears that can alter the level itself.
  • A Legendary Sale: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons arrive on the Virtual Console service for Nintendo 3DS on May 30. Because playing the games together unlocks so much additional content, Nintendo is offering them for just $4.99 each for the first three weeks after launch. After this promotion expires, the games will be available for $5.99 each.
  • Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move: The game, which launched May 9 exclusively in the Nintendo eShop, challenges players to place tiles on the bottom screen to guide the Minis to their goal on the top screen. The game includes more than 180 stages, but also dramatically extends the fun of the game by letting players create their own stages and share them with others. Players can opt to try a random user-created level or one created by their friends. They can also select from the most popular levels overall or search the top levels of the week.

Another Nintendo Direct focused on future Wii U content will air around the time of E3 2013.