One of the bigger announcements during this morning’s Nintendo Direct presentation was the confirmation that The Big N is currently developing an all-new “3D Mario action game” and a new Mario Kart title for the Wii U.
The new 3D Mario is being developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo, which is the team behind Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Super Mario 3D Land. Even without a single detail released about the new 3D Mario, the studio’s track record suggests that it’s probably a good idea to just go ahead and set aside $60 right now for whenever Nintendo decides to launch the game. Nintendo was similarly tight-lipped about Mario Kart Wii U details, but did promise that both it and the 3D Mario game will be shown in playable form at E3 this June.
Even though we really don’t know anything about the two titles announced today, the fact that the game’s are in development should make Wii U owners feel much better about the console’s lackluster first quarter lineup.
In other (sort of) Mario news, Nintendo announced that the first screenshots for Smash Bros. on the Wii U and 3DS will be shown at E3. The title is still in the very early stages of development, so it is unlikely that we will see any video footage of it at the upcoming show.
Nintendo seemed to be using today’s Nintendo Direct presentation as a way to pre-pack their E3 conference with as many new game reveals as possible — most likely in an attempt to deflect attention away from Microsoft and Sony’s expected debut of their next-generation consoles. With that in mind, I’m not anticipating that we will hear much (if anything) about the Wii U’s new 3D Mario, Mario Kart, or Smash Bros. before E3 this June. If anything on the three games turns up before the conference we will let you know, but don’t get your hopes up.