Nintendo is broadcasting a new Nintendo Direct this morning at 9 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT where it is expected to reveal a new Nintendo 3DS. That’s not all, though, as a spring line-up of games for the handheld and Wii U will also be on display.
9:47: Nintendo wraps things up by announcing that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask will launch on February 13 with the new Nintendo 3DS. What’s more a custom Majroa’s Mask version of the new handheld will be available as well.
9:45: A Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate demo will be available when the game launches on February 13.
9:43: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is getting a new Nintendo 3DS bundle that will only be available at GameStop. It will launch alongside the standard editions of the handheld on February 13.
9:40: Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ is another game that will use the C-Stick. Xenoblade Chronicles is coming North America in April. It can only be played on the new Nintendo 3DS.
9:37: Codename STEAM is being shown as an example of a game that will benefit from the new Nintendo 3DS games. It uses the C-Stick and amiibos from the Fire Emblem series can be added to the game.
9:34: Reggie is extolling the virtue of the new Nintendo 3DS’s enhanced processing power to improve application load times. Developers of future games can decide whether they want to use the power or not. It also has a longer battery life.
9:31: Nintendo confirmed that the new Nintendo 3DS will only be available in North America in the XL version. The non-XL version with the customizable plates will not be available. It is confirmed to be released on February 13.
9:30: Reggie is finally up with the new Nintendo 3DS.
9:27: A series of new eShop games was announced. A Sega Pack including After Burner 2, Etrian Mystery Dungeon, Story of Seasons. This was followed by a Fossil Fighters Frontier announced for the Nintendo 3DS. It is coming March 20.
9:24: Technical issues caused me to lose connection when Xenoblade Chronicles came up. There was a new announcement from Namco Bandai for a free-to-play Wii U game that can be downloaded from the eShop.
9:18: A new DLC pack was announced for Hyrule Warriors featuring Young Link and Tingle from The Legend of Zelda: Major’s Mask.
9:15: The third-person shooter Splatoon is up now. A hub world is being shown where the inkling characters can walk around and communicate with each other. Enter the tower to play with others. The game will also allow players to customize their characters with different weapons and clothes with items purchased with in-game money. Clothes can change character stats like strength and speed as well. It will be available in May.
9:13: After a brief overview of Kirby, Nintendo revealed that new Super Smash Bros. amiibo figures are on their way. Additionally, Super Mario amiibos are coming with Mario Party 10. It works with nine different amiibos.
9:09: Nintendo is now making Wii games available for the Wii U as downloads from the eStore. This comes after finding a way to not require the console to switch to Wii hardware mode. The first game will be Super Mario Galaxy 2, which will be available today. Punch-Out and Metroid Trilogy will follow. All will be half off for a limited time.
9:07: Pokemon Shuffle is the next one. Nintendo is running through these quickly. This is a free-to-play match-three puzzler featuring the popular pocket monsters.
9:04: Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Edition for the Nintendo 3DS is up next. Both will be out together in one package in May 2015.
9:00: After a quick opening by Saturo Iwata, Nintendo opens with a trailer for a new Fire Emblem game for the Nintendo 3DS. It comes from the same team that created the last Fire Emblem game for the handheld.
Gamenasia also claims that GameStop already has trade-in deals in the work with a regular Nintendo 3DS valued at $75 and a 3DS XL at $100 toward the new handheld. Presumably, these trade-in offers and deals from other retailers will go official after Nintendo makes the announcement during today’s Nintendo Direct broadcast.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) January 13, 2015
For those that don’t already know, the new Nintendo 3DS has already been released in Japan and Australia. It adds a second analog stick on the right-side of the device called the C-Stick. Two shoulder buttons, ZL and ZR, were also added. NFC support for Amiibo figures was also added along with support for Micro SD cards.
The new Nintendo 3DS is also more powerful to support upcoming games like Xenoblade Chronicles. Existing games will remain compatible with the new handheld but some future titles may not work on older versions of the device.
The new Nintendo 3DS screen size gets a slight bump to 1.2 times the size of the original. Meanwhile, the 3DS XL screen size will remain the same.
Nintendo also added front and back plates to the new 3DS (but not the XL) to allow owners to customize the handheld. Given the popularity of custom handhelds over the years, this seems like a no-brainer.
This article will be updated with the announcements that Nintendo will make during the Nintendo Direct broadcast. So, stay tuned!
[Image via Nintendo]