What to Expect From Nintendo’s Announcements Today

Nintendo will be talking to it’s legions of fans today in Japan and Europe about the future of Nintendo 3DS and their home console Wii. But what exactly will they be talking about?

There have been some clues dropped since Nintendo announced the Nintendo Direct webcasts yesterday, some from some pretty high-level developers such as Sora Ltd and Indies Zero. Of course, nothing is set in stone, so take it all with a grain of salt.

Kid Icarus Uprising developer Masahiro Sakurai took to Twitter since Nintendo’s announcement late yesterday to tell fans to expect an announcement regarding his latest Nintendo 3DS release. Could it be paid-for Downloadable Content? Perhaps, but it’s also likely that Nintendo will start selling those hot AR Cards in retail. Right now, they’re only obtainable through Club Nintendo, so unleashing them to the public will be a boon for the instant classic Kid Icarus Uprising.

But that’s not all – Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata sent a message out to Japanese Nintendo 3DS owners via “Swapnote” (a.k.a Nintendo Letter Box). The message contained an image of the president posing with a giant Kirby plush doll. Iwata actually helped create Kirby alongside his old friend Masahiro Sakurai before he took up a position with Nintendo.

Masanobu Suzui, head of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy developer Indies Zero also posted on Twitter. He suggested fans of the game should watch the feed, leading to speculation that some kind of announcement will be made about that title. The most obvious one here is more DLC for the game – extra songs to play the game with.

The recurring theme here is likely “Nintendo Network” – Nintendo’s new online service that’s replacing the broader “Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection”, and is a blanket name for everything you do with Nintendo games online such as downloading updates, playing online with friends, etc. Nintendo previously announced that Nintendo’s online services would expand sometime in the future via Nintendo 3DS’ eShop being available through any web browser.

This will allow gamers to purchase games for Nintendo 3DS while surfing the internet on their PC. Once purchased, the game will automatically begin downloading via WiFi to the user’s console. This new service was announced at an investors briefing last year but nothing has been announced since. Will Nintendo use today’s announcement to launch this service?

Of course there’s still the matter of all those delicious Nintendo 3DS games that are still without a release date. Luigi’s Mansion 2, Paper Mario 3D, Animal Crossing 3D and Fire Emblem: Awakening are all big named titles that have been in the works for a while. And speaking of Nintendo 3DS games, we haven’t had word of a new Nintendo developed eShop exclusive title for a while.

The elephant in the room, though, is the Wii U console. Nintendo have not announced a “Nintendo Direct” webcast for the US, so it may make sense that this feed is Nintendo’s way of bringing E3 to the rest of the world. There are still many, many questions about the Wii U console, which Nintendo haven’t really talked about publically outside of the US. While we’re not expecting a release date, Nintendo may bring Wii U along to show off just a little bit to whet our appetite for E3.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long to find out. You can check out details for the Japanese feed here, and the European feed here.

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