E3 2012 Highlights: Nintendo

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Nintendo Wii U

At E3 last week, Nintendo failed to provide answers to the two biggest questions everyone had about the Wii U: launch date and price. However, it was not a total loss, as Nintendo demonstrated the capabilities of the Wii U and unveiled a solid lineup of upcoming games—both new titles and remakes of old classics.

New Games

  • 3DS Games — In a separate 3DS press conference, Nintendo announced a number of promising titles, including New Super Mario Brothers 2, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Lego City Undercover.
  • Super Mario Brothers U — In this new installment, up to five players can play on four WiiMotes and one GamePad. The player using the GamePad can tap the screen to create platforms for the other players to jump on. With only one player, the game can be played on the tablet without the TV.
  • NintendoLand — Twelve minigames based on classic Nintendo titles will show off the Wii U's multi-screen capability. Nintendo compared NintendoLand to Wii Sports, the collection of sports games that came free with every Wii.
  • Pikmin 3 — A top-down strategy franchise, Pikmin was a huge hit when the first installment came out on the Nintendo GameCube. On the Wii U, you'll be able to use the GamePad as a map to strategize how you'll control your Pikmin. You can also check your Pikmins' status and switch leaders with the touch of a finger.
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited — The word-based puzzle-platformer is coming to the Wii U, enabling players to use the GamePad to create their own objects and have them registered in the magic notebook. Two players can combine objects and create their own items. Think Transformers with less destruction.
  • Sing — The name may change before launch, but this new game, from the developers of DJ Hero, allows you to sing karaoke by reading the lyrics on the GamePad, so you can sing while facing your friends instead of the TV. And yes, the first track to be announced is "Call Me Maybe."
  • Wii Fit U — Of course we're getting a new fitness game with the new Nintendo console. It will use the GamePad and Balance Board as well as a pedometer. Players can use the GamePad for basic workouts while the TV is tuned to something else, and you can use it for reviewing the workout stats that you upload.

Existing Games

  • Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition — One of the top games of 2011 will be updated for the Wii U. Players will be able to use the GamePad to access an entire suite of Bat toys, enter the new BAT mode for melee attacks timed with taps on the screen, and guide Batman's Batarang while it's in flight.
  • Mass Effect 3 — Prepare to hate the ending all over again. No word on what, if anything, is new or different in this version.

Other Important News

  • Two Gamepads — Although you probably won't want to spend the extra money right away, you can use two Gamepads per console.
  • Streaming — Nintendo said its focus is on games, but they let everyone know that Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Instant and Netflix will all be coming to the Wii U. No word on the ability to watch video with the GamePad, but chances are good that the GamePad will act like Microsoft's SmartGlass.

Check out other highlights from E3 2012 on STACK Gamer.

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