Nintendo might be gearing up for the hi-def, crazy new controller-having Wii U next year, but that doesn’t mean the old Wii is dead just yet. Sleep looms for the aged white box, but there’s still a few more tricks left.
Announced after their E3 press event today, Nintendo confirmed that Mario Party 9 is on the way (release date TBA), the first new proper entry since 2007′s Mario Party 8. It’s okay to pretend that Mii Party didn’t happen; I am.
Sought by fans for what seems like an entire generation, a brand new traditional Kirby adventure is also finally in the pipeline, hitting this fall. Kirby Wii will not feature the quirky visuals or design approach of Kirby Epic Yarn, instead harkening back to the experiences last seen on Gamecube.
Already announced years ago, and finally arriving this holiday, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword got some new screenshots. And yes, it’s still a Wi-only product. Despite the gorgeous art, it’s a little hard to look at these now that we’ve seen the eventual, may or may not (but totally will) happen Zelda HD, teased in the Wii U sizzle video.
In the afternoon, a Q&A session was held with Nintendo executives, where a myriad of topics were covered and games demoed. Some of the notable tidbits included:
- Mario Kart 3DS is a joint development effort between Nintendo, and Metroid Prime/Donkey Kong Country Returns studio Retro.
- Just announced Luigi’s Mansion 2 (yes!), coming sometime later this year, is also not solely an internal effort. While Miyamoto is ‘overseeing’ and approving it, development is being handled by Canada-based Next Level Games. You might know them from Punch Out!, Mario Strikers, Ghost Recon Wii, and Captain America: Super Soldier.
- Continually absent Pikmin 3 is a thing! As is the Wii Vitality Sensor. Miyamoto says the next Pikmin, which has been floating around for years, is currently underway for Wii U. Development on the Wii version was slated to result in Pikmin 3 this year, celebrating the series’ 10th anniversary, but the decision was made to move over to the 2012 HD console.
As for Vitality Sensor, whether that winds up hitting for Wii, or jumping to Wii U remains unclear, but it’s not been abandoned.
- Other notes from Miyamoto ranged from the designer saying he’s indicated to internal Nintendo teams that if Zelda: Skyward Sword and Starfox 64 3D aren’t “the best” games in the respective franchises, both series may be shelved for a while.
As well, Miyamoto confirmed that Skyward Sword, for all intents and purposes, will likely be his final Wii title. Efforts are now being diverted to and focused on Wii U. Producer Eiji Aonuma hinted that it’s being targeted as the Wii’s ‘send off’.