Animal Crossing fans are getting a new place on Wii U where they can talk about their towns and share images with players from all over the world. Nintendo announced the free Animal Crossing Plaza application during today's Nintendo Direct presentation. Nintendo also discussed a variety of other topics about Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games, including the debut of the Pokémon series on Wii U with Pokémon Rumble U and the story behind The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for Nintendo 3DS.
"The second-half of 2013 is packed with great games and great experiences for Nintendo fans, from new entries in longstanding franchises to software that highlights the many benefits of connecting our hardware to the Internet," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "We're always on the lookout for new ways that our fans can interact with their favorite game series, and Animal Crossing Plaza extends the fun of the infectious series to Wii U."
To view the Nintendo Direct in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct. Some of today's announcements included:
Wii U News
• Animal Crossing Plaza: A new application on Wii U for Animal Crossing fans is now available for download for free in the Nintendo eShop. The service will run through the end of 2014, and allows Animal Crossing fans from around the world to meet, interact and exchange information through the Animal Crossing Miiverse community. Players can import images they took in Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS, custom design QR Code patterns via their SD cards and organize them in albums. Players also can post messages to Miiverse with those images. The QR Code patterns posted can also be directly scanned and used in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Players can select their favorite animal in the Animal Crossing Plaza to post about those specific animals or view posts only about them. If players want to see more posts, they can jump directly to the Animal Crossing series Miiverse community from Animal Crossing Plaza.
• Pokémon Rumble U: Players have the opportunity to befriend some of the Toy Pokémon that they defeat in battle. People can play as, and do battle against, every one of the 649 Pokémon that have appeared in the video games through Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2. Pokémon Rumble U also lets players bring the game into the real world with optional, collectible NFC Figures that let them access Toy Pokémon with Special Traits in the game by scanning them with the Wii U GamePad controller. Players can purchase 18 different Figures exclusively through GameStop stores once Pokémon Rumble U launches. These NFC Figures are not required to see everything the game has to offer, but are a fun new way to interact with Wii U. Pokémon Rumble U launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Aug. 29.
• Challenger Approaching!: Luigi has been confirmed as a playable character in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo is calling 2013 "The Year of Luigi" due to the high number of games that Mario's brother is starring in, such as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS and New Super Luigi U for Wii U.
• Sonic Lost World from SEGA: Launching exclusively for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS on Oct. 22, the game features radio-controlled gadgets that can be created and customized on Nintendo 3DS and sent to a player's Wii U for use in cooperative multiplayer mode. Players use these gadgets to destroy enemies and collect items.
• Rayman Legends from Ubisoft: Even Rayman likes to cosplay! The Wii U version of the game will include a special bonus: Players will be able to unlock a Mario costume for Rayman and a Luigi costume for Globox. Players on the Wii U version will also have access to select fan-favorite stages from the previously released Rayman Origins game. Rayman Legends launches Sept. 3.
• Art Academy: SketchPad: This application, headed to the Nintendo eShop on Aug. 9, uses features from an upcoming edition of the Art Academy series for Wii U to let users create original artwork that can be posted directly to Miiverse.
• The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD: This reinvented HD version of the Nintendo GameCube classic features several adjustments that enhance the overall play experience, such as faster sailing. The game launches this October.
• Pikmin 3 on Miiverse: The recently released Pikmin 3 game allows players to capture in-game images from the eye-level of diminutive Pikmin, and post them directly to Miiverse. Nintendo is asking fans to post their most creative captions for a series of Miiverse images that will be posted to the Wii U Facebook page in the coming weeks. The top captions will be highlighted for everyone to see and enjoy.
• The Wonderful 101: Stay tuned! A special installment of Nintendo Direct dedicated to The Wonderful 101 is coming at 7 a.m. PT on Aug. 9. The game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on Sept. 15.
Nintendo 3DS News
• Layton-Mania: The third game in the latest Professor Layton series will launch in 2014, as will a new crossover adventure co-starring Capcom's Phoenix Wright in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
• The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The game's logo represents one of its key plot points: Link will undergo a new adventure across two worlds. In one world, the iconic Triforce exists, while the shadowy Triforce in the logo suggests the existence of another Triforce in a different world from where Link lives. Taking place long after the events of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, some of the game's scenery will be familiar to fans of the series, while its puzzles and dungeons are new. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds launches this November.
• Summer Carnival '92: RECCA: This notoriously hard-to-find Famicom game was originally designed for a games festival in Japan in the summer of 1992. It's remembered as being one of the most challenging shooters ever created, and it's coming to the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS soon.
• Virtual Console Games: More classics are headed to Nintendo 3DS. The NES version of Donkey Kong launches Aug. 15, followed by Tecmo Bowl in September. Game Boy Color platformer Wario Land 3 is coming soon, and Super Mario Bros. 3 will be released in the Nintendo eShop on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS later this year.
• Exclusive Animal Crossing: New Leaf Item at Nintendo Zone: Starting Aug. 11, owners of Animal Crossing: New Leaf can visit any Nintendo Zone location to receive a Pumpkin Pie in-game item. Visit a Nintendo Zone, then go to the post office in the game and ask about a present. Different in-game items will be distributed every two weeks through late September.
• Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: The latest hand-held adventure for this super sibling duo launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on Aug. 11. While exploring the two massive worlds of the real world and Luigi's dream, players can customize their play experience by equipping different badges and gear that impart different benefits in battle. Players can also extend their play experience by taking on Expert Challenges, such as dodging 10 consecutive enemy attacks to earn special gear.