Nintendo of America held a media summit earlier this morning in San Francisco, where they announced the company's upcoming releases for both the Nintendo Wii and DS for the first half of 2010, accompanied with some highlights from third party publishers. From the looks of it, Nintendo is packing the heat right up until this year's E3 Expo on June 15th.
Nintendo is firing on all cylinders for the Wii this Spring, announcing that Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to the critical and retail success Super Mario Galaxy, will see a release on May 23rd in North America, much earlier than anyone had anticipated. New galaxies and new challenges await Mario in this sequel that promises to be bigger and better. As shown before at last year's E3, everyone's favorite dinosaur Yoshi will be along for the ride.
On June 7th, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, the Wii sequel to Treasure's cult N64 hit, Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth which made a splash on the Wii Virtual Console back in 2007, will see its release in North America. Already released in Japan last year, Sin and Punishment will feature international online leaderboards, two playable characters, alongside frantic gameplay signature of the series.
First unveiled at last year's E3, the Nintendo and Team Ninja collaboration Metroid: Other M will also be seeing a release within the next couple of months on June 27th. Players will be able to switch perspective in-game at any time from the 2D side scrolling view to a 3D first person view. The Wii Remote will be held sideways when used in 2D view for classic Metroid action, and the Wii Remote pointer will be used to look for some of the hidden clues and passages while in first-person mode.
The last Nintendo-published Wii title announced is FlingSmash, originally unveiled as Span Smasher during the 2008 Nintendo Fall Press Conference, and confirmed for North American release at last year's E3. The game is set for a summer release, and will feature Wii MotionPlus compatibility.
However, this was not to be dominated by Nintendo's Wii titles, as Capcom has brought to table Monster Hunter Tri for consumption at the summit. The game will release on April 20th, and will feature free online play for all players. There will also be WiiSpeak support for MHTri, but if you don't have the microphone device, text chat is still an option. As already announced, Monster Hunter Tri will be bundled with the black version of the new Classic Controller Pro. Starting on March 8, GameStop will carry a demo disc of MHTri that contains two quests.
Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands also received a mention, launching on May 18th. Additionally, exclusive to the Wii version will be the SNES version of Prince of Persia. Disney has also announced a new title from the former-Bungie staffers Wideload Games, named Disney Guilty Party. It is a mystery party game set for release in the second half of 2010.
Nintendo's WiiWare downloadable service was not to be forgotten, with a bevy of notable titles coming our way within the next few months. Capcom's next retro installment of the classic Mega Man franchise, Mega Man 10, will be released on March 1st. From Press Play comes Max & the Magic Marker, which releases on March 8th, which turns the Wii Remote until a magic orange marker that can be used to create platforms and objects. The long awaited indie title Cave Story, originally developed by Pixel and being ported to WiiWare by Nicalis, will finally see a release on March 22nd. Rounding out the confirmed games in March is WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase on March 29th, a companion to the retail DS title WarioWare D.I.Y., which allows you to play 70 new microgames in addition to the ones created on the DS.
WiiWare titles with less concrete release dates are two new Art Style titles from Nintendo this spring: light trax and Rotozoa. In Art Style: light trax, players control a white beam of light as it races against other beams on a dark track, with obstacles, items and power boosts added to the mix. For Art Style: Rotozoa, players have to absorb correctly-colored organisms, with the player growing in size as more are absorbed. Ghostfire Games' Rage of the Gladiator also releases in Spring, which is a fighting game that is compatible with the Wii MotionPlus. The surreal platformer And Yet It Moves from Broken Rules also launches in spring, while Team Meat's adventure Super Meat Boy will come in the summer.
Starting off the Nintendo DS side, Nintendo has announced that the latest iteration of the best-selling handheld, the Nintendo DSi XL, will be seeing a March 28th release here in North America. The hardware will retail for $189.99, and will be available in two colors: burgundy and bronze. Additionally, the system will be preloaded with five DSiWare games and applications: Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math, Photo Clock, the Nintendo DSi Browser, and the notepad animation sensation Flipnote Studio. The DSi XL release will be support by two additional DS releases on the same day: cooking aide America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking, and microgame creator WarioWare D.I.Y..
Among the surprising announcements from the summit is that Nintendo of America has announced that they will be publishing the latest entry in Square Enix's Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for the Nintendo DS. The title is expected to release this summer. The Japanese version has sold over four million copies to date. Like Monster Hunter Tri, NoA will assist in bringing the title to DS owners.
On May 3rd, Nintendo will release Picross 3D, a 3D take on the classic puzzle game Picross, and on June 14th, 100 Classic Books will be available, which allows the reading of novels on the Nintendo DS. Both games will feature Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support to download additional content. Majesco also announced a new DSi-exclusive title, Ghostwire: Link to the Paranormal, a ghost hunter game that utilizes the DSi camera which will release in October.
Nintendo annouced three new DSiWare titles today. Photo Dojo is a fighting game that allows users to take pictures of themselves and other objects and insert them into a simple fighting game. Up to eight characters can be created and two players can play on the same DSi system when it releases in this spring. Also coming this spring is Metal Torrent, where gunfire fills the screen and players have to try to convert that gunfire into cubes. Online leaderboards and top-ranked gameplay replays will be available. The last DSiWare game announced by Nintendo, also coming this spring, is X-Scape, where players pilot a tank in an adventure that spans over twenty planets.
All of these titles (with a couple exceptions) will hit before the E3 Expo kicks into gear on June 15th. With heavy hitters such as Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M out of the way, what does the Big N have left for the holiday season? Looks like we'll have to tune it to their E3 press conference to find that out. Zelda, perhaps?