So, the latest edition of what is fast becoming Nintendo’s best news service aired once more at 5am for those of us in Europe, bringing us the latest and greatest Nintendo related news, and arguable did a much better job of giving us new game details and announcements than the 3DS software showcase at E3 earlier this month. Nintendo Direct watched, and six hours sleep later and I’m here to bring you a round-up of all the news from the show.
Nintendo started off by making the announcement we all knew was coming at some point. Nintendo finally announced a new 3DS model, the “3DS XL.” The console will have the largest screen size yet on a Nintendo handheld console and is 90% bigger than that of the current 3DS model. The console itself is only about 46% larger, the screens just take up a lot more room than they did on the old model. The actual screen sizes are: 4.88 inch for the top screen and a 4.18 inch bottom screen. The console will also support a slightly better battery life than the old model, for example:
Nintendo 3DS XL
When running 3DS software — Between 3.5hrs and 6.5hrs
When running DS software — Between 6hrs and 10hrs
When running 3DS software — Between 3hrs and 5hrs
When running DS software — Between 5hrs and 8hrs
The console will be released in Europe and Japan on the 28th of July, it will be available in three colours to start with (This is Nintendo though, so they’ll likely release more over time), red, blue and silver will be the colours the console will launch with. Important to note that when the console is released in Europe it won’t come with a charger included. The console will use the same charger as the current 3DS though, so not really an issue if you own the older model. If not, Nintendo will be releasing chargers for you to buy from your local videogame stores, so it will be easy enough to pick one up.
Of course you can’t announce a new console without games to support it. After the announcement of the new 3DS model Nintendo Direct went on to announce that in Europe the console will be released on the same day as “Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance” and “Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.” Both have a demo on the E3 shop for you to download now.
Nintendo then went on to announce two brand new games which will also be released alongside the new console, “New Art Academy” and “FreakyForms Deluxe.” “New Art Academy” will feature a number of new feature and new drawing materials and interestingly will allow you to share your art with friends through Spotpass. The game will also feature some nice DLC in the respect of having lessons up for download which teach you how to draw a number of things, one of which will teach you how to draw a Goomba.
As for “FreakyForms Deluxe” the title will include a new RPG mode and will include a number of new types of Formee. The RPG mode of the game will see you set out in a dungeon where you’ll be fighting different enemies, your task is to make a Formee who is best suited to the different dungeons. The game will also include wireless play for when you have friends around.
Both “FreakyForms Deluxe” and “New Art Academy” will be released on the 28th of July alongside the new 3DS model.
Nintendo then went on to talk about “New Super Mario Bros. 2” and confirmed its release date in Europe for the 17th of August, both in stores and through the eShop. The Coin Rush mode for the game was then detailed, which is where players must dash through levels and collect as many coins as they can. Speaking about the DLC Shibata said that once “New Super Mario Bros. 2” is released Nintendo will be collecting views from the players, they will then create new Coin Rush stages to offer through DLC which suit the thoughts of the players.
David Corless from Sega then made an interesting announcement of a new free app for the 3DS. Going by the name of “Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympic Games Card Collection” it will see gamers collecting 70 special cards through a number of different ways, such as buying them with Play Coins and collecting them through StreetPass.
The next announcement was to do with the eShop and was the announcement of a two week sale where a few titles will be have 20% knocked off their price. Starting today until the 28th of June there will be 20% off “Pullblox,” “Zen Pinball 3D,” “Let’s Golf! 3D,” “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX,” and “Super Mario Land.” During the second week of the sale from the 28th of June until the 5th of July there will be 20% off the following titles: “Dillon’s Rolling Western,” “Freakyforms,” “Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH!,” “Mighty Switch Force!,” and “Super Mario Land 2.”
Feeling like the Wii is being left out here? Well, Shibata went on to announce that “Inazuma Eleven Strikers” will be released in Europe on the 28th of September for the Wii.
Shibata went on to talk about a few of the upcoming Pokémon games, after reconfirming that “Pokémon Black 2” and “Pokémon White 2” will be released in Europe during Autumn, Shibata made the surprise announcement that “Pokémon Typing Adventure” will be released for the Nintendo DS during September. The title was released in Japan during April last year, so its quite surprising that is now getting a release in Europe almost a year after the Japanese release. Sadly, there was no mention of a European release date for Pokémon Conquest.
Nintendo Direct came to close with a trailer for “Professor Layton And The Miracle Mask” for the 3DS. We may not have been given a release date, but the trailer did look fairly impressive. Shibata then went on to mention Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem for the 3DS and that the two titles will be released during the first half of 2013. Shibata also confirmed that Namco Bandai will be working on Super Smash Bros. 4 to keep the title on course to be released in a “timely manner.”