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Nintendo announces new games in most of its franchises for Wii U, including Zelda, Yoshi, Xenoblade, Fire Emblem, and more

Nintendo is nothing if not unpredictable. Everyone from its most diehard fans to financial analysts know that when a new Nintendo console comes out, Nintendo is going to release new entries in its core series even if it hasn’t announced them. There will be a new Legend of Zelda, a new 3D Mario, a Super Smash Bros., a Mario Kart. When the company will announce those games and when they’ll actually come out in the life cycle of a console is always up in the air. Will Nintendo put out all the new major franchise entries within a year of each other as it did on GameCube? Will it space them out over five years as on Wii?

With Nintendo Wii U, the company seems to want it all up front. Nintendo announced a veritable torrent of first-party games for the Wii U on Wednesday morning during a new Nintendo Direct event, with brand new games, remakes, and teases for more on the horizon.

First, the wholly new: Developer Good-Feel is making a brand new Yoshi platformer for Nintendo Wii U, scheduled for release this year. Unlike the painterly Yoshi’s Island, this new untitled game borrows the crafts-store presentation of Good-Feel’s Wii hit Kirby’s Epic Yarn. The soothing pastel look of Kirby’s Epic Yarn is maintained here, but the HD model of Nintendo’s little green dinosaur looks surprisingly physical, like it was just sewn up.

Yoshi wasn’t the only untitled game on display. Nintendo also teased a new sequel to 2012’s surprise RPG hit Xenoblade Chronicles. A brief trailer for the game of a character running though a field, flying with a jetpack, and fighting scads of giant monsters was shown followed by a large painted “X” on the screen that looks similar to the one used in Xenoblade. Tetsuya Takahashi, creator of Xenoblade, Xenosaga and Xenogears, will be the executive director while Kunihiko Tanaka, his long time collaborator, will direct alongside him.

Nintendo also announced a new entry in its long-running strategy RPG series Fire Emblem, which isn’t too shocking as studio Intelligent Systems typically makes home console entries in the series. This one will be very different, though. Intelligent Systems is collaborating with Atlus on a Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem crossover game. A brief teaser trailer showing characters from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei IV alongside characters from February’s Fire Emblem: Awakening was shown. Hardcore Atlus fans will be disappointed to hear that characters from SMT spinoff Persona weren’t featured.

That’s just for starters. Nintendo also showed a new trailer for Platinum Games’ The Wonderful 101 and a brief video where the studio discussed making Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2.

Nintendo teased even more for E3 2013, promising previews of a brand new Mario Kart and a new 3D Mario title to follow up 2010’s Super Mario Galaxy 2 as well as the reveal of Super Smash Bros. 4. Series director Eiji Aonuma also briefly discussed plans for a new The Legend of Zelda that will feature some kind of co-operative play.

The whole Nintendo Direct presentation can be viewed here.