Nintendo changed up its E3 game at the 2013 conference by releasing a digital presentation instead of hosting a traditional press conference. They continued this unorthodox approach at E3 2014, releasing a Direct broadcast and livestream at 9 AM on Tuesday, June 10, the second day of E3.
In the 45-minute presentation, which included Robot Chicken-style claymation segments, Nintendo unveiled a number of new titles, including an open-world Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U and Mario Maker, a level builder for Wii U. We have more details about those games and others in the roundup below.
Updated on 6-10-2014 by Jacob O’Gara: New information about Amiibo, ‘Super Smash Bros.’ for Wii U and 3Ds, ‘Hyrule Warriors,’ ‘Splatoon,’ ‘Mario Maker,’ and many others.
Amiibo (holiday season, 2014)
If you ever played with action figures as a kid, you’re going to dig Amiibo. It looks like it’s just a figurine, but once you connect it to the Wii U GamePad, it comes to life in whatever Amiibo-compatible game you’re playing, thanks to a chip embedded in the figurine. In the Nintendo Direct event, Satoru Iwata, the CEO of Nintendo, demonstrated Amiibo’s capabilities in a Super Smash Bros. battle. He connects his Mario Amiibo to his Wii U pad, then Mario appears in the Super Smash Bros. fight alongside his character and, of course, obliterates his opposition. A range of Amiibo figurines will be available for purchase this holiday season alongside Wii U’s Super Smash Bros. (More on that later.)
Bayonetta 2 (October, 2014)
Bayonetta is back in this sequel to the 2009 release. Nintendo announced Bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive back in September of 2012 and we tested it out at last year’s E3 conference. At this year’s E3, along with a new trailer, we found out that both Bayonetta titles will be packaged together for the Wii U, so you’ll get two games for the price of one, and will include Nintendo-themed costumes, such as Link and Samus. Bayonetta 2 will be released in October of 2014.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (holiday season, 2014)
Nintendo revealed that the lovable Captain Toad from those Super Mario 3D World side-adventures is getting his own game for Wii U. Nintendo’s E3 2014 presentation debuted a teaser for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, an isometric platformer that’ll be released this holiday season.
Hyrule Warriors (Sept. 26, 2014)
What do you get when you mash together The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors? The recently-announced Hyrule Warriors, obviously. In this hack-and-slash title, developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja for Wii U, you control Link as he takes on swarms of bad guys in melee combat. Besides Link, you can also play as Midna, Impa, and Princess Zelda herself. You’ll be able to hop into the fray of Hyrule Warriors on September 26, 2014.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015)
Get ready for a clay Kirby coming in 2015. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is the sequel to Kirby: Canvas Curse, a 2005 DS title. Rainbow Curse, which will be released for Wii U, will feature similar gameplay as Canvas Curse, using the GamePad to draw paths for Kirby to follow. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse will be released sometime next year.
Mario Maker (2015)
The rumors were true! Mario Maker will be released for Wii U sometime in 2015. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own Super Mario Bros. levels, here’s your chance. As Nintendo confirmed during its digital event, you’ll be able to create entire levels from scratch and play them, and you can switch between the classic 8-bit look of Super Mario Bros. and the revamped, modern style of New Super Mario Bros.
Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (Nov. 21, 2014)
The latest installments of the Pokemon series — Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire — will be released on Nov. 21, 2014, for the 3DS. The two games are remastered, 3D incarnations of their classic Game Boy Advance counterparts, featuring updated visuals and expanded content — notably the Mega Evolutions from Pokemon X and Y. Nintendo didn’t say much else, but it did showcase a live-action trailer spliced with in-game footage of the remakes.
Nintendo revealed the trailer for a new, first-party shooter called Splatoon at their E3 event today. The online multiplayer game pits two teams of four human-squid hybrids against one another as they attempt to splatter the arena with colored ink. The team covering the most surface area with ink wins. You’ll be able to swim in your team’s paint to move around the map faster and sneak up on opponents. Splatoon still has a ways to go, but the company has until mid-2015 to get the job done.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U (holiday season, 2015) and 3DS (Oct. 3, 2014)
At their E3 2014 event, Nintendo revealed new release dates for the latest iteration of Super Smash Bros., one version for 3DS and the other for Wii U. The 3DS version, originally scheduled for a summer release, has been pushed back to Oct. 3, 2014. Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be released this holiday season following a short demo stint at Best Buy. Along with release info, Nintendo also unveiled a couple new characters for the fight roster: Palutena from the Kid Icarus series, Pac-Man, and … you! Well, Miis. Whatever you want your Mii to be. The examples they gave in the trailer were Abraham Lincoln, Elijah Wood, and Ice-T, so you’ll be able to create whatever Mii you want. The Mii fighters have three types: brawlers, swordfighters, and gunners. Also detailed were the Amiibo “toys to life” figurines, which will fight alongside your character.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015)
Originally announced as X at last year’s E3, Xenoblade Chronicles X is a sequel to 2010’s Xenoblade Chronicles. Visually confirmed via short announcement trailer at E3 2014, Xenoblade Chronicles X will embellish more of a sci-fi leaning than its fantasy-rooted predecessor. It will be released in 2015. Tetsuya Takahashi and long-time collaborator Kunihiko Tanaka will spearhead the open-world Monolith Soft project, focusing the game on a band of survivors in the aftermath of intergalactic war. Nintendo has yet to announce an official release date.
Yoshi’s Wooly World (2015)
Previously known as Yarn Yoshi, this spiritual follow-up to Kirby’s Epic Yarn for Wii U emphasizes exploration within an untimed environment. Showcased during the brief announcement, one or two players can explore Yoshi’s Wooly World on their own time, marveling at the rich yarn-like textures and details in the process. It will still maintain the platform elements firmly established in Yoshi’s Island, only with new ways to interact with the environment. While playing co-op for instance, one player can digest the other, turning them into a yarn ball he or she can then throw at enemies or inaccessible areas of the level. The game is set to be released sometime next year.
The Legend of Zelda (2015)
Perhaps the biggest announcement during Nintendo’s E3 event was The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U. The presentation showcased the vastness of the new, open-world Hyrule — complete with rolling hills, streams, and wildlife — along with a short teaser trailer featuring a revamped Link and enormous, laser-adorned Deku Scrub. Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma elaborated on the vastness of the new landscape in the presentation, noting you can climb the distant peaks and destructible environments if you manage to venture far enough. The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is scheduled for a 2015 release, but Nintendo failed to provide a specific date.
Mario Party 10 (2015)
Mario Party has been a Nintendo staple since first arriving on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. As shown in a brief gameplay at E3 2014, the recently-announced Mario Party 10 will seemingly build upon the franchise’s origins, introducing a melange of new minigames and boards on which you can clash with your friends. Apparently, you’ll even be able to play as Bowser in one game mode using the Wii U’s bundled GamePad, unleashing havoc upon other players with a slew of environmental hazards and minigame-based actions. Nintendo also announced the game will incorporate the aforementioned Amiibos, though it didn’t specify exact details.