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Nintendo Direct Recap: Crossovers, Zelda, and More!

Wii U

A new Nintendo Direct video was broadcast earlier this morning, offering up several tantalizing details about future Wii U software titles. No less than 5 previously unannounced party games were unveiled today; including some of Nintendo's most popular franchises such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario Kart. To that end, the fact that a new, currently untitled "Mario 3D Action Game" and Mario Kart title are in development should come as no surprise, more surprising, however, is how far along these titles are - both will be playable at E3 this June! The former is being helmed by Nintendo's EAD group, the same division responsible for the Super Mario Galaxy titles, as well as Super Mario 3D Land. Whether this mystery title end up being a third entry in the SMG series, or something new entirely remains to be seen.

Another exciting announcement, this one for fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise, occurred - the Wii U currently has not one, but two Zelda games currently in the works. The first, is a Wii U optimized HD Remake of Gamecube stalwart The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and the second is an all new game, built from the ground up. While details on the new Zelda game were deliberately scant at this point, Eiji Aonuma stated that one of his team's main goals is for the new game to "rethink the conventions" of the franchise; hinting that Nintendo is playing with the idea of implementing a non-linear dungeon structure and possibly even a multiplayer element to the storied franchise.

Nintendo didn't stop there, however. Despite having discussed three of their most popular franchises, they also announced that for the first time in 15 years, Yoshi is once again getting a game of his own. Yarn Yoshi (working title) is being developed by the team responsible for Kirby's Epic Yarn on the Wii, and will have a similar, textile-focused aesthetic. Expect colorful, charming visuals in Yoshi's new 2.5D platforming adventure.

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Retro City Rampage Is Now Available

Retro City Rampage

VBlank's 8 bit styled, open world action adventure, Retro City Rampage is now available. As of this writing, the Steam, GOG, and PSN builds of the game are up for purchase, with WiiWare and XBLA versions planned for release following certification on their respective platforms. Featuring 60 story missions, full free-roam capability, and pop culture references encompassing everything from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and everything in-between, RCR has come a long way since its humble beginnings as Grandtheftendo.

Our full review of the game will be up soon; meanwhile, for your viewing enjoyment, check out the launch trailer below:



Retro City Rampage is available now via RetroCityRampage.com, Steam, GOG, and PSN, for $14.99. (Note that the PSN version is fully cross-play and cross-buy compatible.) Now get out there, and get to "borrowing" vehicles!

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23 Titles Set to Launch Alongside Wii U

Wii U

Earlier this morning, Nintendo has released a full list of games that will be available in time for the Wii U's North American launch. Highlighted by numerous first party titles, as well as a strong third party lineup, the initial batch of Wii U software appears to offer something for everyone.

Announced launch day titles, and their respective publishers, include the following:


Activision
* Transformers Prime
* Skylanders Giants
* Wipeout 3

Disney Interactive

* Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Electronic Arts

* Fifa Soccer 13

Namco Bandai

* Tank! Tank! Tank!
* Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition

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Wii U Launch Details Revealed

Wii U (Black)

Following months of speculation, Nintendo has just announced the North American release date and pricing for the Wii U. At a brief preview event in New York, Nintendo President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed the following:

Wii U will launch on 11/18, and will ship in two editions

As was also the case in Japan, the Wii U will launch with two SkUs, a basic, white model with an 8gb SD card, and a deluxe, black model with a 32gb SD card. Both will include with the console, AC adapter, one Wii U gamepad, sensor bar, and cables. Additionally, the deluxe package will include NintendoLand packed in.

Wii U is backwards compatible

Wii U will be compatible will all Wii accessories, including the nunchuk, wii remotes, and wii balance board, and "most" Wii games.

Wii U is priced at $299.99 and $349.99, respectively

As widely anticipated, the Wii U starts as low as $299.99 for the basic model, and $349.99 for the Deluxe package.

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Steam to Expand Beyond Games

Steam

Valve has announced today that Steam's offerings will be expanded beyond games. Beginning next month, a wide range of software - from creativity to productivity, will begin going on sale via steam. Although an exact list of titles were not available as of this writing, many of them will utilize key SteamWorks features; including Steam Cloud and automatic updates. New software will be added regularly, and additional submissions are encouraged via Steam's Greenlight community voting program.

Support for non-gaming software is slated to launch September 5th. Stay tuned for more information, along with a partial list of available titles in the coming weeks.

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