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Nintendo bets on new Mario, Smash Bros. games to save the Wii U

June 11, 2013 | By Mike Rose

June 11, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, Video, E3

Although there weren't any real surprises during Nintendo's E3 broadcast today, the Japanese publisher was ready to pull out the big guns in a bid to save its flagging Wii U console.

Super Mario 3D World was announced, a new 3D Mario game for the Wii U that includes four-player multiplayer. It's due for release this December.

And the Mario love didn't stop there, as Mario Kart 8 for Wii U was revealed. Due for release in spring 2014, the twist this time around is that racers can utilize anti-gravity to race on walls and ceilings.

A couple of new Super Smash Bros. fighting games were also trailered, with new characters including a Villager from Animal Crossing, and Mega Man.

Both the Wii U and the 3DS will receive separate versions of the upcoming fighter, with the 3DS version taking a cel-shaded approach to the visuals. Both games are due for release in 2014.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze was another new first-party announcement -- a Wii U installment in the Donkey Kong Country series that is due for release later this year.

A new Art Academy is also on the way, although Nintendo said that there's still a way to go until its release. In the meanwhile, a set of tools taken from the game will be released for Miiverse during this summer.

Elsewhere, Nintendo admitted that the upcoming Wii Party U and Wii Fit U have been delayed in order to bolster development. The former is now due for release in October, while Wii Fit U will land sometime during the winter.

And the company reiterated that a revamped version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is due to release this October. The upcoming Zelda for 3DS wasn't given an exact release date, but was given a name: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Third-party support

Nintendo didn't just splash out the first-party titles, as there was plenty of third-party support to go around as well.

A new title from Xenoblade Chronicles studio Monolith Soft is on the way to Wii U in 2014, simply called X.

Previously announced titles received release dates -- The Wonderful 101 from Platinum Games will land on August 23, while Bayonetta 2 is out sometime in 2014.

In total, Nintendo listed more than a dozen third-party retail games due for release on Wii U during 2013, including Shin Megami Tensei IV, Sonic Lost World, Watch Dogs, Disney Infinity and Just Dance 2014.

And there was a strong eShop showing as well, with 11 digital games shown off. The full list of eShop games due for release in 2013 was as follows:

Ballpoint Universe
Cloudberry Kingdom
Coaster Crazy Deluxe
DuckTales: Remastered
Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara
Mutant Mudds Deluxe
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
Scram Kitty & His Buddy on Rails
Shovel Knight
Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party
A World of Keflings

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