Nintendo Direct – January 23rd, 2013: Fire Emblem X SMT, Monolith Game, Wind Waker HD, and more!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

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Determined not to let the surprise Pokemon news be the only thing Nintendo fans were talking about this January (never mind a handful of awesome localization announcements), Nintendo announced yet another Nintendo Direct taking place today! This one, rather than being called a “Pokemon Direct”, returns to form with talk of Wii U, no doubt filled with games we know about, and games we don’t yet know about. Is there a surprise system seller in our midst? Only time will tell, as my coverage begins…

Iwata seems intent on “changing things up” a bit by discussing software and services this time, as opposed to just a string of game announcements. He opens with a ton of Miiverse talk.

Mii Wara Wara/Miiverse

Seems like stuff hardcore Nintendo fans are very familiar with is framing this Nintendo Direct. There was even talk of football! Seems like industry leaders will have special check-marks from this point on. What surprises are in store regarding the Miiverse? I suppose none. But…

There are two Wii U system updates coming in Spring and Summer.
– 
Software will launch faster, and you’ll return to the Wii U Menu faster.
– Wii U Virtual Console.

Virtual Console Logo

His whole explanation seemed somewhat convoluted here. The Wii U Virtual Console will feature games you can play on the Wii U Gamepad, and some additional features. But… Wii users who transferred their old games to the new system will be able to purchase them at a “reduced price”. Not sure what that means, but they’ll be offered at the same prices as last gen other than that.

Also relevant is the Virtual Console Trial Campaign, set to honor the 30th Anniversary of the Famicom:
– Several NES and SNES games, including Balloon Fight (available right now), F-Zero, and Kirby’s Adventure will be available on Wii U purchase at the cost of 30 cents for several month-long increments. More information is available here.

More Miiverse talk, including closed communities, specifically for the case of Wii Fit U. Smart Phone access is coming.

Game & Wario Logo Nintendo Direct
Pikmin 3 Logo Nintendo Direct

All of these games are coming between March and E3. No new information on any of them was offered this morning beyond a tidbit or two regarding Pikmin 3 and the Miiverse, but I’m sure a compendium of knowledge is on its way.

 

New footage for The Wonderful 101 was shown. There was more Bayonetta 2 news to offer as well. Apparently tons of Iwata Asks featuring developers from Platinum games are coming soon.

Here’s some stuff you folks may or may not be interested in: First of all, news of Smash Bros on Wii U and 3DS is still coming; we’re just going to have to wait until E3 to hear it. Furthermore, a new 3D Mario game and another iteration of Mario Kart are both coming to Wii U, with playable builds to be shown off at E3.

A gaggle of Yoshis

Yoshi's Epic Yarn Yoshi's Epic Yarn 002
Yoshi's Epic Yarn 003 Yoshi's Epic Yarn 004

A game I shall refer to as Yoshi’s Epic Yarn is coming soon. This is Yoshi’s first console outing since the Nintendo 64. The footage shown looks incredibly polished, and incredibly similar to Kirby’s Epic Yarn.  It’s from the same developers, and it looks pretty. 

SMT Meets Fire Emblem

Okay, this announcement actually made me squeal like a fangirl and jump out of my seat. A crossover game featuring characters from Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei has been announced. Where in the world did that come from?!

After that surprise, Iwata decided to make me freak out even further by talking ZeldaThe Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD has been confirmed for fall release on Wii U. Check out some of these screenshots, ladies and gentlemen.

DIRECT 003  Wind Waker HD Screen

Wind Waker HD is clearly meant to tide Zelda fans over until the next brand new Zelda game coming to Wii U. Because it seeks to re-invent the franchise, its release may be farther off than some had hoped.

Monolith Soft Logo

Soraya Saga retweeted the fact that a Nintendo Direct was happening. Of course, everyone at Operation Rainfall is extremely familiar with who she is, so our hype-meter skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Turns out, like XSEED with Pandora’s Tower, our hype was incredibly justified, as Monolith Soft’s next big game was announced. Happy times! While you’re anticipating this next game’s release, you should check out my review of Soma Bringer, a Monolith game we missed out on.

Well, there you have it. Covering these Nintendo Directs is truly fun for me. I never know what to expect, and absorbing and regurgitating this information as fast as I can is borderline masochism. What did you all think of some of these surprise announcements? Who the heck around here honestly saw a Fire Emblem and SMT crossover happening?! Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

And, as always, this post will be updated live with news and assets as my news team eagerly passes them my way. Enjoy the ride, ladies and gentlemen.

Here’s the full show, in case you missed it.




  • Phil Schipper

    Yesterday, I didn’t want a Wii U. Today, I do.

    Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem pretty much did that singlehandedly.

  • Cesar Barroso

    Did yo see what you did operation rainfall? you gave us Xenoblade, and know an HD game from the same developer that it is like a sequel. By the way the music again seems to blends with the game. Is that Shulk at the end of the trailer??

  • budah

    My wallet is moving on it’s own.

  • Didn’t think anything cool would happen for this Nintendo Direct. Wake up only to find it was one of the best so far. I proceeded to throw money at my screen.

  • forweg

    SMT x Fire Emblem???? Two of the best RPG series’ ever… together?!

    Wow. Must buy a Wii U now. Damn.

  • This was an awesome Nintendo Direct. So many surprising and awesome announcements.

  • madmofo145

    I am stoked. Truth is I’ve been a bit down on my WiiU as of late, but after this I’ve come full circle. The Shin Megami game is not only awesome in itself, but leads to so much possibility elsewhere. Maybe Mario going back to square for a true SMRPG sequel, or him, link, and others appearing in a mashup RPG. The saving for the Monolith game for the end is nice as it shows that Nintendo might actually understand that the JRPG still has worldwide draw, and maybe we’ll see a lot more of that genre on the WiiU.

    Oddly my last realization seems almost treasonous: The WiiU really is going to be the weak console out again, (something I always knew) but this may be a great thing. Games have become so freaking expensive to make, and PS4/XBox 720 games are going to be even more costly, and looking at monoliths game, I just don’t know if that extra graphic fidelity is going to matter to me. If Nintendo continues to cater to the core gamer audience, then instead of getting a lot of Wii shovel ware, the WiiU could become the defacto home of the niche game. A console where a game can be produced that appeals to the core gamer, but doesn’t need to sell 5 million copies just to turn a profit. While still a pipe dream, I think the Shin Megami crossover especially shows that Nintendo might be shooting for this, and that could make the WiiU my favorite console of this generation.

  • Tom

    F-Zero was never on the NES.

  • Kirill

    I am SO glad I have a Wii u right now! And here is to hoping they put Skies of Arcadia on the new Virtual Console store >_<

  • Eugene Ng

    Well, system update is becoming a nuisense… More memory for the hard drive eaten out… lol however, the software lineup is going to be interesting especially the Monolith Soft title. Now Nintendo should make their games region free! If you region lock your consoles, why not region free the games?