Latest Nintendo Direct announces launch date, hardware packs, launch window software line-up, and previously unannounced titles
On Thursday’s European Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo has announced that their latest home console, Wii U, will launch across Europe from 30th November. Wii U is an HD console that offers more choice and variety of gameplay than ever before, with brand new gaming experiences enabled by the innovative Wii U GamePad controller, whether playing alone or together with friends. The Wii U GamePad offers an integrated second screen and can also be used independently of the TV set with certain software.
Two launch hardware packs were announced along with the strongest line-up of launch software in Nintendo history. These include third-party heavy hitters such as FIFA 13 from Electronic Arts and Activision’s Call Of Duty®: Black Ops II, Ubisoft’s ZombiU™ and RAYMAN® LEGENDS as well as in-house titles like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. The Nintendo Direct presentation also revealed previously unannounced upcoming software titles exclusive to Wii U, such as Capcom’s Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate and BAYONETTA 2, developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo.
The Wii U Basic Pack features a Wii U console with 8GB internal storage and a Wii U GamePad, both in white. The Wii U Premium Pack contains a black Wii U console and Wii U GamePad, and with 32GB of internal storage provides more space for downloadable digital content. The Premium Pack also contains a stand for the GamePad and console, a charging cradle for the GamePad, a sensor bar and the Nintendo Land software. Both packs also feature an HDMI cable and AC adapters for console and GamePad.
The Wii U Premium Pack also features a reward programme called Nintendo Network Premium that grants points for digital purchases in Nintendo eShop.
Valued at around 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price, this credit can be used against future purchases once you reach a minimum of 500 points*.
The Nintendo Direct Wii U Preview also unveiled new details on software titles that will be available on launch day:
• New Super Mario Bros. U: The new 2D platform game introduces a giant world map full of distinctive courses to discover. The GamePad can be used to play solo when the TV is in use and can also be used to assist other players when playing co-operatively. An all-new test of players’ Super Mario skills appears in Boost Rush mode, where auto-scrolling courses scroll faster the more coins you pick up, while in Challenge Mode any course can offer completely different gameplay depending on the specific nature of the challenge at hand. From Time Attack to 1-Up challenges, even Mario veterans will need to bring their best game to beat the record!
• Nintendo Land: Each of the 12 attractions in this theme park packed with famous Nintendo franchises is a standalone game with multiple levels and gameplay modes. New Metroid Blast footage showed both co-operative and versus multiplayer shooting action, with different roles assigned to players using the GamePad or Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers. In The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest players can clear nine quests leading to new unlockable levels on their own or working together, using bow and arrows on the GamePad or sword and shield using a Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, while solo players can also enjoy the game’s Time Attack mode.
• FIFA 13: Built on the authenticity, innovation and connection to the real-world of football that the FIFA franchise is known for, the game delivers revolutionary new ways to play FIFA that bring players of all abilities together, making it the most accessible FIFA console game ever made.
• ZombiU™: New footage from this exclusive survival horror first-person shooter revealed the Tower of London location, as well as the Survival Mode in which the player only has one life to survive. The new video also showed the Weapon Crafting feature that allows players to customise their equipment directly on the GamePad, the use of a spraycan to leave messages made up from symbols for other players, plus new online features in which online friends who are turned into zombies will then turn up in the player’s game. At launch, a limited edition Wii U Premium Pack will be made available: the ZombiU™ Premium Pack also includes the game and a black Wii U Pro Controller.
• RAYMAN® LEGENDS: A video featuring series creator Michel Ancel highlighted how this new 2D platform game creates a unique gameplay dynamic due to the different roles enjoyed by players depending on which controller they are using. The capabilities of the GamePad allow for a very tactile interaction with the game world – pulling objects, turning parts of the level around, protecting the other players and many other unique examples that require ongoing communication between all players to succeed.
• Call of Duty®: Black Ops II: The most groundbreaking and visceral Call of Duty® experience ever. Set in the year 2025, Call of Duty: Black Ops II propels players into global conflict featuring advanced weaponry, robotics, and drone warfare in a new Cold War scenario whose seeds are being sown in today’s headlines. New graphics technology drives the stunning cinematic action of the single-player campaign’s branching storylines and non-linear missions.
• Mass Effect 3™ – Special Edition: The Mass Effect 3 Special Edition plunges players into a gripping, emotional and action-packed story. Players will choose how to wage an all-out galactic war for survival against an unstoppable enemy. As part of this cinematic journey, Mass Effect 3 features intense third-person shooter combat – with the Wii U GamePad providing a whole new level of tactical control over the battlefield. The Special Edition will also include an interactive backstory feature covering previous events in the Mass Effect universe, all leading up to the beginning of Mass Effect 3. Wii U players will also experience the From Ashes DLC Pack, and Extended Cut ending as a part of their story.
Nintendo also lifted the lid on two games being created by Platinum Games. The previously unannounced title BAYONETTA 2 and The Wonderful 101 are both exclusive to Wii U and will be produced by Atsushi Inaba. Known as Project P-100 at E3 and directed by Hideki Kamiya, The Wonderful 101 sees players combine the might of various heroes to fight off an alien invasion, while BAYONETTA 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed BAYONETTA™ and will be directed by Yusuke Hashimoto.
Capcom’s Ryozo Tsujimoto revealed that Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate will be released for Wii U as well as Nintendo 3DS by March 2013. Fans can play the Wii U game with other players online, or connect to players of the Nintendo 3DS version of the game via a local wireless connection. It’s even possible to play at home on Wii U and continue the save file on the go with the Nintendo 3DS version of the game.
Among the wealth of new game footage on display, a humorous new video of the upcoming LEGO® City: Undercover from TT Games was shown: another exclusive Wii U title that lets players assume the role of undercover cop Chase McCain in an open world packed with missions to complete. Players can don a wide variety of disguises to infiltrate different parts of the sprawling cityscape or hop on one of over 100 vehicles to take in its many sights. The GamePad acts as a multi-purpose gadget that can be used to scan the environment for hidden items, receive video messages from HQ and much more.
On Wii U, the Nintendo eShop will see titles which highlight the unique possibilities of the Wii U GamePad, as shown in videos for Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Toki Tori 2, and the stylish Nano Assault Neo, which can be played on the GamePad alone. Existing Wii owners will be pleased to hear that nearly all Wii peripherals will be compatible with the Wii U console – with neither hardware pack including a Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii owners won’t need to repurchase peripherals they already own. For players who don’t already own a Wii console, Nintendo has created a Wii Remote Plus Additional Set containing a Wii Remote Plus controller, Nunchuk and sensor bar. Most Wii download software is also compatible with Wii U, meaning previously purchased WiiWare and Virtual Console titles will be transferable to the Wii U console.
Below is a list of upcoming Wii U games that will be available on launch day or during the launch window**.
2K Sports NBA 2K13
Activision Publishing, Inc. 007 Legends
Call of Duty®: Black Ops II
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
Capcom Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate
Disney Interactive Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Electronic Arts Mass Effect™ 3: Special Edition
Madden NFL 13
Frozenbyte Trine 2™: Director’s Cut
Gaijin Games Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT™2 Wii U Edition
TANK! TANK! TANK!™
Rise of the Guardians
Ben 10 Omniverse™
Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
Nintendo Nintendo Land
New Super Mario Bros. U
NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge
LEGO® City: Undercover
Game & Wario
SEGA Aliens™: Colonial Marines
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed™
Shin’en Nano Assault Neo
Tecmo Koei Warriors Orochi®3 Hyper
Two Tribes Toki Tori 2
Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed® III
Marvel Avengers™ Battle for Earth
Your Shape®: Fitness Evolved 2013
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Scribblenauts™ Unlimited
Game Party Champions
Batman: Arkham City™ Armoured Edition
Whether playing together or alone, Nintendo will deliver brand new entertainment experiences to the living room when Wii U launches across Europe on 30th November.
For further details:
Nintendo Direct website (UK) http://nintendo.co.uk/nintendodirect
Wii U website http://wiiu.co.uk
Nintendo of Europe on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendoeurope
Nintendo UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendouk
*Points value is around 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price before VAT. Please note that this scheme will only be available in countries where users can purchase content from Nintendo eShop. It is currently planned to run this scheme until the end of 2014. **Launch window is defined as the period beginning 1st December and ending 31st March, 2013.