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Nintendo counts on new Link to the Past to boost 3DS excitement

April 17, 2013 | By Mike Rose

Nintendo today used its Direct broadcast to detail various new games and features coming to both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles later this year.

All eyes were once again on the Japanese publisher, as it made an effort to get consumers excited about its hardware through an injection of new game announcements, including a new The Legend of Zelda game for Nintendo 3DS.

Earlier this year, Kyoto-based Nintendo said overseas sales for the 3DS were falling short of expectations. CEO Satoru Iwata admitted the 3DS' software lineup was lacking the kind of diversity it needs to attract a global audience. As of January, Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL global hardware shipments stood at 29.84 million units, with software shipments of 84.99 million.

The as-of-yet unnamed Zelda title, coming holiday 2013, is a sequel to the iconic A Link to the Past, and is set in the world as the original 1991 SNES release. The gameplay focuses around making use of the new 3D perspective, and will allow players to convert Link into a flat drawing and traverse the walls.

This new Zelda game joins the two that are also planned for the coming years -- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and another as-of-yet unnamed title, both for Wii U.

There were other big announcements from the company too. A new title in the Yoshi's Island is coming to the Nintendo 3DS, while the next in the Mario Party franchise was also revealed, again for 3DS.

Nintendo touted plenty of other upcoming titles for the handheld as part of the broadcast too, including Shin Megami Tensei IV, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, Bravely Default and Mario Golf: World Tour.

Wii U bound

Although the Wii U didn't receive as many notable announcements in comparison, it still had a few tricks up its sleeve.

Nintendo says it will release an update for the console next week that will reduce the system's loading times, and add features such as the ability to switch straight to the Nintendo Wii menu, and allow for system updates without switching the console on.

The previously promised Virtual Console feature will also be made available as part of next week's update.

And the original Earthbound will be released via the Virtual Console at some point. Notably this will be the first time that the classic SNES game is released in Europe officially.

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