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Daytime obligations very much so inhibited my ability to watch this morning’s Nintendo Direct, but that didn’t stop it from being jam-packed full of news. Almost every bit of speculation (barring Retro Studios’ MetroidxStarfox [rumor]) has been confirmed by the Big N, the biggest of which included a full-on remasterpiece of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and the promise of Super Smash Bros. (Next) screens at this year’s E3. Where you will find more information by re-watching the Nintendo Direct itself, below is a synthesized list of the biggest news from this morning’s show.

Nintendo announced Wind Waker as an HD re-release for the Wii U. In addition, a new Zelda installment is headed the U’s way as well. While the remastered Wind Waker promises to be out “by this fall,” we won’t be seeing the new, original Zelda at least until 2014. Wind Waker HD features off-TV GamePad play as well.

30 cent games galore. Starting this month, Nintendo will be selling classic NES games — one a month — at just thirty cents a pop. This month’s game is Balloon Fight, and will be available until January 31st. The thirty cent price tag is in celebration of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s thirty years of service. Clever! And cheap…

The developers of Xenoblade Chronicles, Monolith Soft, announced a new, unnamed game. The trailer shows some pretty enormous monsters, as well as monstrous, RPG-like swordplay.

A new 3D Mario game is on its way to the Wii U, announced Satoru Iwata.In addition, Mario Kart for the Wii U is in development. Both games will be playable at this year’s E3 trade show. As for the 3D Mario adventure, It’s probably Mario Universe. Just kidding. But seriously.

From the folks who brought you Kirby’s Epic Yarn comes this delightfully yarn-y adventure — a new Yoshi Game on the Wii U. We guessed as much a few weeks back, but a Nintendo Direct just about makes it official.

In addition to these massively hard-hitting announcements, Nintendo announced the return of the Virtual Console — all new, and for the Wii U. Nintendo elaborated by stating that NES games will cost between $5-$6, where SNES games will run between $8-$9, as denoted by this handy chart:

The entirety of the Wii’s Virtual Console library will not be available to users on the Wii U. The reason for this is that games are being specially designed for use between your shiny new U, and its trademark Game Pad. We suspect this has to do with off-screen play, as well as save-states and the like (similar to the 3DS). In addition, users who have already purchased a Virtual Console game on the Wii will be able to re-purchase that same game on the Wii U for $1 (NES), or $1.50 (SNES) more. These changes, as well as the Virtual Console itself, will have been made, and made available, in the Spring of this year.

Other tidbits from the Nintendo Direct include the announcement of Miiverse for mobile devices, as well as a Fire Emblem crossover titled Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem for the Wii U. In the past, Nintendo has catered these more intimate press-releases to its 3DS users, using Nintendo Direct as a chance to announce titles like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, and more recently, Pokémon X and Pokémon  Y. This particular Nintendo Direct comes in the wake of criticisms about lack of Wii U media exposure, a poor 6-month launch line-up, and a general negativity towards its tablet-based gameplay. Critics will no-doubt remain mum after this absolutely fantastic barrage of announcements, and fans will, of course, be looking forward to E3 now more than ever. Nintendo’s Direct was a solid presentation, and has shown Wii U owners they have much to look forward to.

 

–Jack

Joystiq (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)