3DS-focussed Nintendo Direct reveals big plans

The latest Nintendo Direct broadcast has revealed all sorts of plans for the handheld 3DS. Predictably, the event was dominated by Mario, but there’s also a bunch of new projects on the way – a combination of old favourites and brand new ideas.

If you’re not up for the full 40-minute broadcast, here are the highlights:
Mario Golf: World Tour is due out before the end of the year, promising “familiar faces and game mechanics”, says Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. He also explains that the game will feature new designs alongside the more traditional ones, and it’s in the works at Mario sporting veterans Camelot.

But he’s not only playing golf. Our favourite plumber is wearing his RPG hat in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, a welcome return to the popular franchise. This time around, we’re getting turn-based battles, side-scrolling areas and overhead world maps, due out on the 3DS around the beginning of 2014.

…and it’s not just the new titles and the red brother in the spotlight – Luigi holds his own in some brand new downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U. The game’s 80+ levels are morphed into all-new courses, in the pack cleverly titled New Super Luigi U.

For fans of Donkey Kong, a demo for Donkey Kong Country Returns is available right now on the 3DS, in the leadup to the game’s release “sometime later this year”.

Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America explains:

This version of the game is being rebuilt for Nintendo 3DS.

…and just when we thought the publisher was only focussing on one major franchise, we found out plenty about Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which is preparing for a western release.

The new version of the friendly town builder is packed with new and upgraded features – plenty more social interaction (via 3DS Street Pass), and the ability to expand your custom clothing and pattern wardrobes. You can even customise the exterior of your home, should you so choose.

You can expect Animal Crossing: New Leaf to hit western 3DS consoles in June 2013.

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