Nintendo Direct

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.

Jonathan Higgins
[Former Staff] Jonathan parted ways with Operation Rainfall on June 15th, 2014. You can follow him on Twitter @radicaldefect.