Nintendo at E3 2013: All the news

Super Smash Bros. director says character selection is stressful 'almost to the brink of death'

Masahiro Sakurai takes the process of adding new characters to the Super Smash Bros. seriously — possibly to the detriment of his mental and physical well-being. Choosing who stays and who goes on the game's roster is "almost deadly in the amount of time it takes me," the director of the new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS tells Polygon.

At E3 last week, Nintendo showed first footage of the next Super Smash Bros., revealing a handful of returning favorites (Mario, Link, Pikachu, Kirby) and three brand-new fighters: Mega Man, Villager from Animal Crossing and the Wii Fit...

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New Super Smash Bros. removes tripping; game speed between Brawl and Melee

The new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is shaping up to be a return to the more hardcore four-player fighting game experience of its GameCube predecessor, game director Masahiro Sakurai says.

In an interview with Polygon, Sakurai explained many of the gameplay changes coming to the Wii U and 3DS fighter. He also touched on what's staying the same and, in some cases, being removed.

The speed and style of gameplay in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is being designed to live somewhere between the previous two games in the series, Brawl for Wii...

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Nintendo's E3 press conference absence was a one-off, publisher says

This year's unique approach to the show, skipping the press conference and opting instead for a very hands-on driven approach to its E3 showing, was one driven by what Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said was a specific set of circumstances.

Speaking with Polygon about halfway through the show, Fils-Aime said that if he were to do it over again Nintendo's approach to E3 this year would have been exactly the same, to not have a press conference. But that doesn't mean that it's done with E3 press conferences.

"Next year and what we do at E3 next year is going to be an ongoing...

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New Super Luigi U remodels 82 courses to be shorter but harder

New Super Luigi U upcoming downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U — will remodel all 82 courses to be shorter but more difficult, according to Nintendo's general manager of EAD Software Development, Takashi Tezuka.

Tezuka has been credited on games like the original Super Mario Bros. where he was assistant director and designer, the original Legend of Zelda on which he was director, designer and writer and, most recently, New Super Mario Bros. U. Speaking to Polygon, he said that when his team began working on DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U, it wanted to do something...

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Wii Party U introduces tabletop gaming to GamePad

Nintendo's upcoming party game, Wii Party U, features several game modes, one of which allows players to play tabletop games on the Wii U's GamePad.

Wii Party U will allow players to access a minigame mode, which contains a collection of traditional party games similar to those found in titles like Wii Party, Mario Party and Fortune Street, a tabletop mode that uses the GamePad exclusively and a brand new house party mode where the focus is on the player using the GamePad.

In one house party game we played called 'Name That Face', we were given a description that we had to act out using...

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Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games could use a few friends

Mario, Sonic and co. are headed to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it's a trip that may be better with friends.

We visited the Nintendo booth to play the E3 demo of Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which included three of the events from the upcoming minigame collection: Snowboard Cross, a downhill snowboarding course; Four-Man Bobsleigh, a cooperative bobsledding experience; and Winter Sports Championship Race, a solo combination of a few different sports.

All the events suffered from a noticeably poor frame rate, especially when the on-screen action...

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The Wonderful 101 is truly bonkers

Chaos is the dominant theme of The Wonderful 101, an over-riding sense of senselessness splintering a kaleidoscopic array of color, action, confusion.

The nice man who is spending his entire E3 on his feet, showing initiates how to play the game, says, "Yeah, I've spent most of these demos talking, telling people what to do," before directing me across yet another obstacle.

Normally, in game design terms, this is A Bad Thing, because games are supposed to be 'intuitive'. But, in The Wonderful 101's case, developer Platinum Games has a valid excuse. We're not here playing through any...

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Yoshi's New Island has some things old, some things new, some gigantic bats

Economists explain brand names as a substitute for specific knowledge. Whether you're in Memphis, Montreal or Moscow, you know what to expect when you walk into McDonald's.

Yoshi's New Island, the upcoming Nintendo 3DS installment of the franchise that began on the Super NES with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, adapts that concept for the video game sphere. It has all the ingredients that fans of the series would expect — Yoshi, a colicky Baby Mario, bottomless death pits, giant spiky balls running in circular perpetual motion — as well as a few new tweaks to usher it into the...

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team looks to unite the real and the fantastical

Luigi's dreams are the setting for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and while the dream world is as fanciful as your typical Mario game, it's the interactions between Luigi's dreams and his real life that truly verge on the surreal.

We spent about 15 minutes with the upcoming Nintendo 3DS title on the E3 show floor, checking out part of a level starring the Mario Bros. and then a boss battle. You can always see Luigi sleeping soundly on the 3DS's touchscreen, while the action takes place on the upper screen.

Mario and Luigi move as a team, with Mario's actions being controlled by the A button...

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD adds a colorful facelift to a charming title

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD adds a brighter graphical overhaul and new controls for the Wii U GamePad, as demonstrated by a demo we played today.

The demo featured two levels that allowed us to explore Link's native island just before Tetra makes her appearance for the first time and battle the Helmaroc King.

In the "Island Stroll Outset" level, we were able to test out the game's new Miiverse-incorporated bottle system. Once a bottle is plucked off the ground, the message can be read below on the Wii U's GamePad. A representative told us that bottles would typically be strewn...

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds connects modernity with Nintendo's golden era

Such is the peculiarity of Nintendo's relationship with its past, that a sequel can also, somehow, feel much like a remake, or at the very least, an homage.

There is certainly something deeply familiar about The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, as the game begins its adventure, guiding the player through paved puzzles and an over-world that harks back to the Super Nintendo days of its predecessor A Link to the Past.

This is fairly superficial though, because the game seeks to move us into the modern era, through its five-play addition of snazzy graphics, new mechanics, new puzzles,...

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Nintendo: If devs are worried about used game sales, they should make better games

"We have been very clear, we understand that used games are a way for some consumers to monetize their games," Fils-Aime said. "They will buy a game, play it, bring it back to their retailer to get credit for their next purchase. Certainly, that impacts games that are annualized and candidly also impacts games that are maybe undifferentiated much more than [it] impacts Nintendo content. Why is that? Because the replayability of our content is super strong. The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer want to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing...

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Watch the highlights of Nintendo's Pokémon X/Y Developer Roundtable here

Nintendo has released a video condensing its Pokémon X & Y developer roundtable down into a neat five minutes.

During the roundtable, the developers — Pokémon Company CEO & president Tsunekazu Ishihara and game director Junichi Masuda — discussed the development of the 3DS titles and the new features they brought to the table. The two talked about the Player Search System, which will make it easier to find online multiplayer, and new types of combat like the aerial Sky Battles and one-versus-five Horde Battles.

Nintendo free-to-play game launching this fiscal year, not set in Mario or Pokemon series

Nintendo will release a free-to-play game sometime during its current fiscal year ending March 2014, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata announced at a financial briefing at E3 today.

Few details about the free-to-play property were revealed during the briefing, but Iwata said that the game wouldn't be based in the Mario or Pokemon franchises, because Nintendo "already [has] good relationship in those brands," according to a tweet from industry analyst David Gibson. Nintendo later confirmed Iwata's statements, adding that a transcript from the meeting will be available on Nintendo's...

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Super Smash Bros. mastermind Sakurai walks fans through the Wii U and 3DS games

A new miniature Nintendo Direct video features Super Smash Bros series director Masahiro Sakurai discussing the newest game in the popular crossover fighter series.

In the video Sakurai — who has directed all Super Smash Bros. titles thus far — goes over general information about how the Wii U and 3DS versions differ. The 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. has thick lines around the character models to help players see them better on a smaller screen when the camera is pulled further out. While the character roster is the same between games, says Sakurai, some of the stages will differ:...

Pokemon X and Y's Horde Battles and Sky Battles revealed

Pokemon X and Y will pit your one Pokemon against five in certain wild encounters, and will take some fights to the skies, Junichi Masuda, Director of Game Freak, announced during an E3 2013 developer roundtable today.

Horde Battles will occur at certain points in the wild when encountering Pokemon in the traditional manner. Instead of fighting just one, you'll have to fight off five at a time. The risks are obviously high, but if you can take them all out — a process made easier with attacks which target multiple Pokemon at a time — you'll manage to earn a lot more experience for your...

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Pokemon X and Y's Player Search System announced, allows for easier multiplayer

Pokemon X and Y will feature a "Player Search System" to aid in communication with your fellow players, Junichi Masuda, Director of Game Freak, announced during an E3 2013 developer roundtable today.

Player Search System occupies the bottom screen, where other players' characters will appear in icon forms. It will allow for both local and Wi-Fi modes, which players can switch between at the press of a button. By choosing a player from the menu, you'll be given the opportunity to battle, connect and trade with that player.

Players you can connect with move up through three tiers: First,...

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New Super Luigi U trailer shows Luigi and Nabbit tackling the harder remixed levels

Nintendo has previously said that New Super Luigi U will be more challenging than its parent game New Super Mario Bros. U, and a new E3 trailer shows a handful of the challenges that lie ahead.

Luigi, the two Toads and new playable character Nabbit must navigate lava-filled caverns and moving platforms covered with carnivorous Piranha Plants to reach the finish line. As previously mentioned on Nintendo Direct, Luigi is faster and jumps higher than his brother Mario, but doesn't stop as quickly. The course timer has also been lowered to a mere 100 seconds.

New Super Luigi U boasts 80...

Wii Fit Trainer a playable character in Super Smash Bros.

Wii Fit Trainer, the female avatar that shows players of the game how to perform the Wii Fit's exercises, will be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo announced during a showcase at E3 2013.

The character will utilize "moves that really are quite healthy for her," Project Sora's Masahiro Sakurai said during the showcase before demoing the game live before the audience. He wasn't kidding — in one maneuver, Wii Fit Trainer performed a yoga stretch lunge, striking an opponent in her path.

Wii Fit Trainer joins Mega Man, Animal Crossing's Villager and a...

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Mario & Luigi: Dream Team trailer teaches kids to hit their brothers with a hammer

A new E3 trailer for Nintendo's 3DS title Mario & Luigi: Dream Team shows the sort of wacky antics the brothers Mario can get up to while in Luigi's dreams.

In the dream world, Mario and Luigi are no longer limited by the bounds of reality. Dozens of Luigis can exist at once, whether providing a platform for Mario to jump on or forming a Katamari-esque ball that he can kick. When the brothers encounter a hole too small for them to enter on their own, Luigi hits Mario over the head with a hammer, causing him to shrink in size.

Dream Team also utilizes the 3DS' double screens, with the...

Best Buy Wii U demos: Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country

Nintendo will provide demos of the following four upcoming Wii U games at Best Buy this week: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, announced Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime today.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced the latter three games during the company's E3 2013 Nintendo Direct presentation earlier this morning. The company said last month that it would bring demos of unreleased Wii U titles to the public at Best Buy during the week of E3. Later in May, Nintendo announced a list of 110...

Watch Nintendo's full E3 2013 Nintendo Direct here

Residents of North America who tried watching Nintendo's E3 presentation this morning found that the official Nintendo stream didn't work as hoped. Viewers who wonder if they missed anything while trying to connect to the European or Japanese streams can watch the entire 41-minute presentation here.

If you're just looking for a quick rundown of everything that Nintendo discussed for its Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platforms, check out the Polygon E3 Nintendo Direct story stream.

The Wonderful 101's superheroes form giant swords in new E3 trailer

Nintendo released a new trailer for its upcoming Wii U title The Wonderful 101 showcasing the various special attacks of the superheroes to fight off enemies.

The gameplay entails controlling a group of superheroes to fight off an alien invasion threat. At the command of the player, the superheroes can turn into giant forms such as "Unite Hand," where the team combines to form a giant shield-weilding hand and "Wonderize Blue" that will make the crew form a pulsing blue sword. Developed by Platinum Games, The Wonderful 101 was created under the direction of game director Hideki Kamiya.

The...

This year's Nintendo eShop games include Shovel Knight, Mutant Mudds, Cloudberry Kingdom

This year's Nintendo eShop releases will include a score of indie games, according to a sizzle reel shown by Nintendo during its E3 Nintendo Direct presentation.

Check out the video above for a look at the following :

  • Ballpoint Adventures by Arachnid Games
  • Cloudberry Kingdom from Ubisoft
  • Coaster Crazy Deluxe from Frontier Developments
  • DuckTales Remastered from Capcom
  • Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara from Capcom
  • Mutant Mudds Deluxe by Renegade Kid
  • Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty by Oddworld Inhabitants
  • Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails by Dakko Dakko Ltd.
  • Shovel Knight...

3DS Zelda christened The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, receives new E3 trailer

The upcoming Nintendo 3DS sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past announced earlier this year is now called The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, according to a trailer posted today just ahead of E3.

Check out the trailer above to see the new 3D art style, a chalky Link and the game's focus on vertically designed levels. For more on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, check out our interview with Nintendo spokesperson Bill Trinen about the game and its new way of solving puzzles.

Update: The game will launch on 3DS in November of this year


Pikmin 3's co-op mode is a lesson in sharing, patience and perfectionism

The Pikmin franchise has always been focused on a cerebral single-player experience first and foremost, and that doesn't look to change with Pikmin 3, the series' upcoming installment for the Wii U. However, the game does have options for two players hoping to have a simultaneous, arboreal experience, including an expanded co-op offering.

Pikmin 3's co-op mode is something of an evolution of Pikmin 2's challenge mode, tasking two players to work together to secure as much loot as they can within each level's time limit. Those two players are actually in charge of managing three captains...

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Bayonetta 2 doesn't compromise on the series' hair-based violence

My time with Bayonetta 2 during a hands-on pre-E3 demo session was very brief, giving me a look at little more than a handful of combat encounters. Still, those battles were enough to illustrate one important point about Platinum's Wii U-exclusive sequel: Its destination console hasn't required it to lessen its violence by any conceivable metric.

Bayonetta's combat is as fast-paced and combo-centric as it was in the series first, cult classic outing. She's just as capable of meleeing, kicking and shooting her way through crowds of angelic enemies as she was in the original, gaining...

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Mario Kart 8 takes all the franchise's features, and turns them upside-down

Mario Kart 8 throws just about every concept from the franchise into the mix, and then some. A single race during my demo contained carts, motorcycles, heavy cars, hang gliders — you name it, it was probably there.

It also contained the tight controls and frequent, arcadey drifting that the series is known for. Vying for first is a familiar process, tasking you with drifting around opponents, boosting off successful jumps and drifts and tactically launching weapons at those in front and behind you. Coins can provide a speed boost to a certain point, but can be easily lost when hit by an...

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Super Mario 3D World's multiplayer mayhem is delightful, long overdue

Super Mario 3D World is the first three-dimensional entry in the core platforming franchise with a multiplayer mode. After my ten minute hands-on demo with the title, I was left incensed, with a question burning in my mind: What the hell took them so long?

Super Mario 3D World for Wii U mimics, both in controls and aesthetics, Nintendo EAD's Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS, with diorama-esque worlds filled with coins, power-ups, obstacles and hidden objects. It has the same shiny, bouncy veneer of 3D Land, thanks to Nintendo EAD's involvement on this new title.

The biggest...

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze rewards its most thorough players

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the next game to come out of the fruitful partnership between Nintendo and Austin-based Retro Studios. It's a platformer in the truest sense, despite the fact that its title makes it sound like a delightful, pina colada-flavored crushed ice treat.

Tropical Freeze is a sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns, Retro's well-received Wii spiritual successor to the SNES series. It plays incredibly similar to that title, tasking players with navigating DK and Diddy through side-scrolling stages, looking for bananas and tokens while stomping every enemy in...

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Xenoblade Chronicles successor will be open-world, coming 2014

The in-development successor to Xenoblade Chronicles is coming in 2014, Nintendo announced during its E3 Nintendo Direct today.

The game was announced earlier this year and is in development with Monolith Soft. The project is being headed by studio lead Tetsuya Takahashi.

"The goal is to create a large-scale open world that players can explore seamlessly," Iwata said. "The team is using their experience from creating Xenoblade to make this goal a reality."

Footage for the game showed giant mechs, that Iwata said players will drive at certain points in the game. These mechs can fly and be...

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Super Smash Bros. coming in 2014, introduces Animal Crossing, Mega Man characters

Super Smash Bros. will launch in 2014 and include new characters Villager from Animal Crossing and Mega Man, Nintendo announced today during Nintendo Direct.

Those familiar with the series will also recognize returning characters Mario, Fox, Donkey Kong, Link, Kirby and many more. You can watch the trailer below.

Super Smash Bros. was first revealed during E3 2011, where it was described to have cross-platform play on Wii U and 3DS. The title is in development at Sora Ltd., creator of Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS, and Namco Bandai games.

The last game in the series, Brawl, launch...

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Bayonetta 2 set for a 2014 release

Bayonetta 2 will be released in 2014, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata revealed at during the company's E3 Nintendo Direct event today.

The event also included gameplay footage and a new trailer (which you can check out below) for Platinum Games' action game, which revealed the heroine's new shorter hair.

Nintendo announced the Wii U-exclusive sequel at a New York event last year. Its predecessor was was released in 2010 in North America for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze coming to Wii U

Nintendo announced today plans to launch a new title in the Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

The title allows for two-player co-op with both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong working together to save Donkey Kong Island from invading vikings from the North Sea. Dixie Kong will also be available as a playable character, offering different abilities to two previous characters.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will feature HD graphics, and for the first time include various camera angles as the player explores the island, while dynamic scenes will show previously hidden...

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The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker coming to Wii U October 2013

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker will come to Wii U in October 2013, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced today during a Nintendo Direct presentation.

During the presentation, Iwata showed off new features in the game such as the ability for Link to change the sails of his boat to make the boat go much faster, as well as the introduction of the Tingle bottle, which allows players to post messages and images to Miiverse that will appear in bottles around the game world that other people will be able to find. Players will also be able to find other people's bottles in their game.

The HD...

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Art Academy headed to Wii U this summer

A new installment in the Art Academy series is in development for Wii U, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata announced during an E3 Nintendo Direct event today.

The new software will be available in the eShop this summer. The game will give aspiring artists pencils, colored pencils and pastels to draw with on the Wii U's tablet-like GamePad. Players will also be able to post their creations on the console's social network, Miiverse.

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Wii Party U and Wii Fit U delayed until later this year

Wii Party U and Wii Fit U will both be delayed past summer, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation today.

Iwata said both games require more development time, so Wii Party U — which was initially slated for summer — will release later this year, and Wii Fit U will be delayed until winter of this year.

For more Nintendo news from E3, follow our stream.


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Mario Kart 8 coming to Wii U in spring 2014

Mario Kart 8 is in development on Wii U and is set for release in spring 2014, Nintendo announced today during its Nintendo Direct for E3 2013.

One of the major new elements in this iteration of the kart racing series is anti-gravity, with tracks rotating sideways and even upside down as the karts' wheels turn into magnets to stay on the track. Karts can also sprout hang gliders when they go off high jumps, and kart choices now include motorcycles, according to a trailer Nintendo showed during the presentation. You can watch the trailer below.

It will be the first entry in the franchise...

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Super Mario 3D World coming to Wii U, includes multiplayer

Super Mario 3D World is coming to Wii U later this year, Nintendo announced today during its E3 Nintendo Direct.

The game includes four-player multiplayer using the same four characters available in Super Mario Bros. 2: Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad. During the trailer shown, each character appeared to have the same abilities as in the past title. The title also introduces a new Bell power-up that turns players in to a cat. Mario and friends will be able to climb walls and scratch enemies.

Additionally, the system's touch screen can be used to find hidden objects.

Super Mario 3D World...

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Nintendo Direct live video from E3 2013

In an unusual departure from E3 tradition, Nintendo opted to forgo a traditional press conference in favor of streaming a presentation in its "Nintendo Direct" format. "As a brand new challenge, we are working to establish a new presentation style for E3," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in April. Nintendo's E3 presence will be "specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market," he explained.

"During the E3 period, we will utilize our direct communication tools, such as Nintendo Direct, to deliver information to our Japanese audience," Iwata said. "And we will take the...

Pokemon X and Y coming Oct. 12, will feature new Fairy type

Pokemon X and Y will include a new Fairy Pokemon type and mini-game to help you bond with your Pokemon, Nintendo announced during its E3 press conference today.

The new Fairy type will be introduced with newly-discovered Pokemon Sylveon, which users its long feelers to transmit feelings of calm. Some existing Pokemon will also be reclassified as Fairy-type, including Jigglypuff, Marril and Gardevoir. Fairy-type Pokemon will be strong against Dragon Pokemon.

Two new Pokemon have also been introduced: the Flying and Dragon-type Pokemon Noivern, which uses sound wave attacks; and Vivillon, a...

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Nintendo to skip E3 2013 press conference in favor of smaller directed events

Nintendo won't hold a traditional, large-scale press conference at this year's E3, president Satoru Iwata revealed in a financial results briefing today. Instead of a presentation targeted at an international audience, Nintendo plans to host smaller, more directed events.

"As a brand new challenge, we are working to establish a new presentation style for E3," Iwata said. Nintendo's E3 presence will be "specifically focused on our software lineup for the U.S. market," Iwata says.

At E3 2013, Nintendo plans to hold a closed event for American distributors and another closed hands-on event...

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