Nintendo at E3 2014: All the news, direct to you

What's Nintendo got in store this year? Mario? Zelda? Smash Bros.? Sure, but we're also hoping for a few surprises. Whatever we learn will be collected here for your reading convenience.

How Nintendo plans to reignite Wii U sales

You need to have good games to sell lots of consoles.

Typically that's not a problem. A console's launch is so steeped in media attention and gamer buzz, that attracting games and their creators is a breeze. But what happens when a console stalls? Then it's up to the console maker to find that buzz again, to bring back the sort of audience that makes shipping games for a platform worthwhile to other developers.

"Well, software sells hardware; it is the truism of this industry," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, "and for us, it's always about creating compelling content,...

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Hyrule Warriors producer 'happy to say' there are strong female characters in the game

I killed so many of the dopey, low-level Zelda series enemy — along with a few dozen gorons — in my fifteen or so minutes with the game than I have in entire Zelda games past.

Nintendo and Tecmo Koei's upcoming Hyrule Warriors plays very much like a Dynasty Warriors game. It has the same sense of scale — I was fighting hundreds of enemies at once on massive battlefield environments that looked like Hyrulian versions of, well, the ancient Chinese battlefields that Dynasty Warriors titles play out on. It has the same sense of speed and flow as well — in both games, I played as a powerful...

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Mario's creator is fighting for the heart of the Wii U, but it might be too late

There was an awkward moment in the beginning of that spring 2013 interview when I suddenly realized that I didn't know the official title for Miyamoto, a man who I've interviewed countless times and perhaps the most recognizable game maker in the world. That moment became more awkward when it became apparent that Miyamoto didn't really know his own title either.

I suppose officially he has one, something like senior game developer, but unofficially he is the soul of the beloved company, its smiling face, its heart.

And that was never more apparent in that spring meeting then when I asked...

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We shouldn't underestimate Nintendo's Wii U, says Little Orbit CEO

According to Matt Scott, founder and CEO of family games-focused publisher Little Orbit, we shouldn't count Nintendo's Wii U out of the race just yet; despite poor marketing on Nintendo's part dragging sales down, the company can still regain the race by opening up communication with consumers more, he told Polygon.

"The Wii U is an interesting platform: I think it's challenged, no question," Scott said. "Every publisher is caught between the audience that's out there, and the content they want to put out there. You're always looking for where the audience is playing games."

A lot of it...

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Mario Maker started out as a tool for Nintendo's developers

Mario Maker was originally developed as a course-making tool for Nintendo's internal development teams, according to Nintendo's executive officer of its Entertainment Analysis and Development Division, Takashi Tezuka.

Tezuka told Polygon the people on the tools team typically don't design video game courses — they only build the tools for Nintendo's game designers to use. In this particular instance, the tools team was working on a Mario course editing tool when they decided to pitch it to Tezuka as a standalone game.

"They brought the idea to me thinking it would be a great game idea...

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Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney melds the best of both worlds

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the crossover Nintendo 3DS game featuring the titular puzzle-solving archeologist and the charismatic defense attorney, mixes the best challenges of the two games — the title features both Layton's nail-biting puzzles and the Ace Attorney series' iconic courtroom sequences.

The title, a crossover between Capcom's Ace Attorney and Level-5's Professor Layton franchises, features Professor Layton, his assistant Luke, attorney Phoenix Wright and his assistant Maya. The four are transported by a magical book into a city and are tasked with...

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Nintendo: Wii U won't get Twitch gameplay streaming because it's not fun to watch

The Twitch service was so popular on the PlayStation 4 that Sony struggled to keep the console's peripheral cameras, which can be used in a stream, in stock. Microsoft's take on Twitch streaming, which arrived months later, was timed to hit with the launch of the console's biggest hit so far: Titanfall.

But Nintendo has remained oddly absent from the gameplay streaming conversation, not offering any word on a service for its console or whether one would ever come.

This week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told Polygon that any decision on a streaming service would be...

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Sonic series' nature-versus-machines struggle is heightened in Sonic Boom

The introduction of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise's newest villain — a 1,000-plus-year-old snake that clads himself in robot armor — is an extreme embodiment of everything the series has come to stand for so far, according to Sega developers.

Sonic Boom is the spin-off from the main Sonic franchise that takes place in an alternate universe. Producer Stephen Frost told Polygon the new games are essentially the ultimate evolution of the franchise's main conflict: nature versus technology. The struggle between Sonic and pals and his machine-loving adversary Dr. Eggman always comes down to...

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Code Name: STEAM is a new turn-based strategy game from the creators of Fire Emblem

Code Name: STEAM is the next Nintendo 3DS game from the creators of Fire Emblem, the company announced today.

The cel-shaded steampunk game will launch next year for Nintendo 3DS. STEAM is in development with Intelligent Systems and is being headed by Hitoshi Yamagami, whose previous works include Xenoblade Chronicles and the Fire Emblem and Pokemon series.

"As you can tell from my history I have been working with Intelligent Systems for a long time and became a big fan of turn-based strategy, but I've always wanted to share these games with more people; this has been quite a challenge...

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Nintendo's Fils-Aime: Mario Kart 8 had a 'significant impact' on Wii U sales

Nintendo's Wii U, released in November, 2012, topped six million in sales through the end of March, according to the company's fiscal report.

Sales of the Wii U console quadrupled the week after the release of Mario Kart 8, compared to the week prior, Fils-Aime said.

More impressive still, 18 percent of all Wii U console owners purchased a copy of Mario Kart 8 in that first weekend, compared to between two and seven percent for previous versions of the game during their weekend releases.

Mario Kart 8 is viewed as a system seller by so many because of the incredible popularity of the...

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Yoshi's Woolly World lets two players sync up and squabble over spilled eggs

Yoshi's Woolly World, the new yarn-themed adventure starring Yoshi, allows two-players to team up for co-op — which can sometimes turn into borderline-trolling competition.

During our hands-on time with the title, we played with a friend in a level set among the clouds. These two Yoshis had to find ways to climb blocks, bridge gaps between floating platforms and take out angry Piranha Plants together. Towards the beginning of the level, we encountered a Paratroopa that we had to knock out of the sky with one of many baby chick-creatures in order to steal its shell.

Throughout each level,...

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Mario vs. Donkey Kong offers more Mario making

I was able to get hands-on time with Mario vs. Donkey Kong at Nintendo’s booth on the E3 show floor. It’s an action puzzle game much in the mold of the older Mario vs. Donkey Kong titles, with an emphasis on the new level editor and sharing features.

I played an early stage, which forced me to think creatively, guiding my Mario wind-up toys towards a goal. In the Mario and Donkey Kong games, you don’t control the characters directly, you manipulate the environment by connecting "girders" to make a path for your wind-ups. The design was clever, tricky enough to feel challenging and provide...

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Mario Party 10 lets you endlessly troll your friends in Bowser Party mode

The next Mario Party title will include a mode that allows one player to endlessly troll their friends as Bowser using the Wii U's GamePad controller — the appropriately named Bowser Party mode.

During a hands-on demo of Mario Party 10 today, we tested out two different minigames as Bowser. Up to four other players can participate in these minigames using Wii Remotes or Wii U Pro Controllers. These minigames functioned similarly to one-versus-three challenges featured in previous Mario Party titles, except this time Bowser lorded over the other players and attempted to harm them.

Both...

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The Wii U could take off and compete with Sony and Microsoft ... in 2015

So did that happen at E3? Are we walking away shocked and amazed at what we saw?

Jokes and jokes and jokes

Nintendo isn't having a bad show, and there were a number of new things announced that should be exciting for fans of the company and console. They even joked about Mother 3 and made an Elijah Wood quip during the broadcast. In terms of making things fun for those who follow Nintendo closely, they did very well, and played to the hardcore audience perfectly.

A new Star Fox title that takes advantage of the Wii U GamePad is a great one-two punch — having Shigeru Miyamoto...

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Fantasy Life coming to 3DS in North America this October

Developer Level-5's slice-of-life role-playing game Fantasy Life is coming to Nintendo 3DS in North America this October, Nintendo announced today.

The game, which launched last December in Japan, features contributions from two Final Fantasy series veterans, video game composer Nobuo Uematsu and artist Yoshitaka Amano.

In Fantasy Life, like in Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon games, players will explore and carve out a place for themselves within its open world. Players will build a home, set up a job, and take part in combat and story missions with others players. Check out the trailer...

Nintendo GameCube controller bundle coming this holiday season

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U controller bundle, consisting of a Nintendo GameCube controller and an adapter will be available this holiday season for a recommended price of $99.99, the company announced during its E3 2014 Digital Event.

The Nintendo GameCube controller adapter allows up to four original Nintendo GameCube or WaveBird controllers work with the Wii U to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The adapter, which connects via the console's two USB ports, will be available at a suggested retail price of $19.99. A retro Nintendo GameCube controller with Super Smash Bros. markings will...

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Devil's Third now a Wii U exclusive

Devil's Third, the action game from Tomonobu Itagaki and Valhalla Game Studios, is now a Wii U exclusive, he announced during IGN's E3 livestream.

Itagaki, who previously led development on Ninja Gaiden with Team Ninja at Tecmo, was originally developing Devil's Third as a PlayStation 3, Windows PC and Xbox 360 action game to be published by THQ. After THQ went bankrupt at the end of 2012, the defunct company returned the game's rights to Valhalla. Earlier this year, Itagaki said Devil's Third was on track for a 2014 release.

Nintendo "really understood my vision," said Itagaki through a...

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Mario Party 10 will support Nintendo's new amiibo

Mario Party debuts on the Wii U during 2015, Nintendo announced today, and the title will support the just-announced line of "amiibo" figurine toys.

Mario Party 10 also flips the script by making whomever is playing with the Wii U GamePad into Bowser. During the "Bowser Party" mode, one player is Mario's fire-breathing nemesis while the others must dodge his attacks.

Mario Party 10 also will feature classic Mario Party-style games.

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Star Fox coming to Wii U, one of three GamePad-focused projects from Miyamoto

Star Fox is coming to Wii U in an all-new game — the first for a Nintendo console since 2005 — sometime next year, Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto announced at a pre-E3 event this week.

The new Star Fox, still in its early stages, is one of three new game projects that Miyamoto revealed this week that are designed to showcase the Wii U GamePad's features.

On Sunday evening, Miyamoto unveiled three new projects he'd been working on. All were designed to convince players that the GamePad can work in tandem with a TV screen for fun gameplay experiences players can't get anywhere...

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Mario vs. Donkey Kong comes to Wii U in 2015

The Mario vs. Donkey Kong puzzle series will come to Wii U in 2015, Nintendo announced today, making use of the Wii U GamePad's touch screen when it arrives.

The high-definition entry in the series is under a working title for now (just Mario vs. Donkey Kong.) The game will feature the Minis characters, such as Mini Luigi. A news release from Nintendo also promised "a near-limitless puzzle-creation mode that allows fans to share puzzles and leave comments on Miiverse."

No release date or window in 2015 has been given.

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How Nintendo makes its amiibo toys play for Wii U

Nintendo's people said that the toys, called Skylanders, were interesting, but they declined an opportunity to partner on the project.

Fast forward to 2014, and Skylanders is one of the single most successful toy brands in the world. Nintendo, meanwhile, is struggling to find a place for its underperforming Wii U console.

Today, Nintendo finally caught up with an idea it probably could have incorporated into Wii U from its beginning.

Later this year a series of ten toys will be launched alongside Super Smash Bros. They include Mario, Yoshi, Link, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Princess...

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Lady Palutena joins Super Smash Bros. roster of fighters

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will add Lady Palutena and, possibly, Dark Pit to its roster of fighters, Nintendo revealed in a video shown during its E3 2014 Digital Event.

Lady Palutena is a fictional goddess from Nintendo's Kid Icarus series. Palutena has made several appearances in previous Super Smash Bros. titles as an unplayable character, such as a collectible trophy, as an Emissary and as a statue in the background of the Skyworld stage.

The video depicts Palutena as saying "I'm here for a little divine intervention." Her moves shown in the video include rocket...

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Splatoon is Nintendo's take on third-person squid shooters

In Splatoon, due out in the first half of 2015, players take charge of a inkgun-armed cartoon child that can turn into a squid. The four-on-four multiplayer game has players fighting not to take out the opposing team, but to coat as much of the map as possible with their color ink.

The colorful concept doesn't just make the shooter more kid friendly, it also delivers a slew of interesting concepts to an aging genre.

With a push of the button you can morph into a squid, swimming quickly through your team's ink along the ground and walls. Swimming in the ink doesn't just vastly increase...

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Mario Maker lets you make your own Super Mario Bros. levels

Mario Maker is for anyone who has ever had an idea for a Super Mario Bros. level, Nintendo announced today during its Digital Event from E3 2014.

The upcoming Wii U title will allow players to design side-scrolling stages and swap between 8-bit Super Mario Bros. graphics and New Super Mario Bros. visuals on the fly. In a presentation to the press, Nintendo showed off level editing such as the ability to alter the height of green pipes and place objects such as springs and coins. This all takes place on the Wii U GamePad, with players using the device's stylus to move and edit objects.

M...

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Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is heading to Wii U in 2015

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, a new Kirby title for Wii U, is slated to launch sometime next year, it was announced during today's Nintendo Direct event.

The new Wii U release is set in an HD, stop-motion world made of clay. From a game mechanics perspective, Rainbow Curse features touch-screen drawing mechanics based on those seen in the Nintendo DS title Kirby's Canvas Curse. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a spiritual successor to that Nintendo DS release, first launched in North America in 2005 and developed by HAL Laboratory.

While full details about the new game aren't yet...

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Hyrule Warriors launching Sept. 26, will let you play as Zelda and Midna

Hyrule Warriors, the upcoming Wii U game that brings together the Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors franchises, will be released Sept. 26 in North America, Nintendo announced today during its Digital Event from E3 2014.

The game plays like a Dynasty Warriors title, with multiple battles going down at once; you'll get alerts for each of them and can roam around the battlefield to help out your allies. Hyrule Warriors' bosses will show up in different places, and as in the Zelda games, players will have to think carefully about how to defeat them.

Both Midna, the impish creature who...

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Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire coming to 3DS on Nov. 21

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, re-imagined versions of Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, will launch globally on the 3DS on Nov. 21, Nintendo announced today at E3.

In the game, players travel through the Hoenn region to catch, battle and trade Pokémon as they seek answers to the mystery behind Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre and their possible connection to Mega Evolutions.

Pokémon Ruby/Pokémon Sapphire, the third pair of Pokémon titles, originally launched in November 2002 on Game Boy Advance in Japan, and in North America in March 2003. It is one of the Game Boy's...

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Bayonetta 2 coming to Wii U this October, includes original Bayonetta

Platinum Games' witch 'em up action game Bayonetta 2 will come to Wii U this October, Nintendo announced today during its E3 digital event.

In addition to a more firm release window for the game, Nintendo also revealed that the original Bayonetta will be included as part of the package. The first Bayonetta was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009.

Nintendo is sweetening the Bayonetta package by adding a few console-exclusive costumes. Players will be able to dress the eponymous witch up like Princess Peach, Link from The Legend of Zelda or Samus Aran from Metroid in the Wii U...

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New Legend of Zelda game for Wii U coming in 2015

Nintendo's next entry in The Legend of Zelda franchise will allow players to explore "the new world of Zelda," a vast land with few boundaries when it arrives in 2015, Eiji Aonuma announced today during a Nintendo Direct presentation.

The game, which has yet to have its full title revealed, is the first entry from the franchise to launch for Wii U. Speaking about past titles, Aonuma explained that previous games were designed with small, confined areas. Putting these parts together helped create a large world, he said, but players still couldn't "cut through the boundaries" to truly...

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Captain Toad from Super Mario 3D World gets his own Wii U spin-off

Super Mario 3D World players who loved the isometric side-adventures of Captain Toad will get a full game's worth of the diminutive explorer later this year with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Wii U.

Nintendo revealed Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker at its E3 digital event today, showing a wide variety of new puzzles for the adventurous Toad to solve. Like the side missions featured in last year's Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad will explore contained, isometric view levels in pursuit of treasure.

While Captain Toad still has plenty of constraints that limit his adventuring skills —...

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Nintendo shows amiibo in-game toys for Wii U

Nintendo today announced its range of figurine toys for Wii U.

Called amiibo, they touch the Wii U GamePad and appear as avatars in-game. They can fight against enemies and level up along the way. The first toys will be released alongside Super Smash Bros later this year.

Speaking during a Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the toys "have unique features and functionality that can only be found on Wii U." He demonstrated the toys in action.

"There's a special chip that's embedded in every figure," he said. "Any Wii U system will recognize...

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Super Smash Bros. launching for 3DS on October 3

The next Super Smash Bros. will launch for Nintendo 3DS on October 3, Nintendo announced today.

The game's Wii U version is currently slated to be released this winter.

The game — announced at E3 2011 — will include a bevy of new fighters — including two new Pokemon, the Animal Crossing Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Mega Man and Rosalina with her Luma, as well as the ability to import and play as Mii characters.

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You can import your Mii to fight in the next Super Smash Bros.

The new Super Smash Bros. will let players upload custom created Miis, assign them fighting styles and send them into the arena against other characters, Nintendo announced today in its pre-E3 Digital Event.

During a demonstration of the Mii Fighter feature — in which Miis representing Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime were shown fighting — game lead Masahiro Sakurai said he initially wanted to include Miis as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl but ultimately decided against it because it "didn't seem right to have Miis punching and...

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Report: Star Fox 'rethink' coming to Wii U, two secret projects in the works

A new Star Fox game is headed to the Wii U as one of Shigeru Miyamoto's "top-secret" projects, Time magazine reported this morning.

According to the article, the Star Fox game is at least a year away.

Speaking to Time magazine, the article has since been removed from the site, Miyamoto said that if the Star Fox franchise is a movie series, this upcoming Star Fox would be a TV series.

The game will use GamePad-based controls to aim and fire the Arwing's weapons, while using the the thumbstick to accelerate, turn and do tricks. The game will also let you turn the Arwing into a land tank.

T...

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