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Nintendo Wii U to get new titles and updated features

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has announced future plans for the Wii U, including new games and system upgrades.

During yesterday's instalment of Nintendo Direct, Iwata revealed a list of top game franchises headed to the console, including titles that longtime players will recognise and newcomers will surely learn to love.

Among them are nostalgia-infused romps like two Zelda games from The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, a new 3D Super Mario action game and an updated instalment of the Mario Kart franchise. There's also the first console game to feature Yoshi as a main character since 1998's Yoshi's Story for Nintendo 64 - now set in a world of yarn and textiles.

For anyone excited about Zelda and Mario Kart reboots, Nintendo is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NES by offering one NES or Super NES game for 30 cents (20p) each month from now through July 2013. The first title is the NES game Balloon Fight, now available in the Nintendo eShop for Wii U.

Additional new features will be introduced for Wii Fit U, allowing players to create user communities within the game, while the Wii Party franchise will launch a new instalment this summer featuring the ability to compete head-to-head using just the Wii U GamePad.

Other titles include the Pikmin 3 game, an RPG mashup of Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei, and a new game from Monolith Soft, which built Xenoblade for the Wii.

The Nintendo Direct video also featured a trailer for The Wonderful 101, which is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2013, along with Game & Wario; Bayonetta 2 and the new Super Smash Bros. instalment are still in development, according to Iwata.

Nintendo provided no specific release dates for any of the new games.

"The fun of video games is not only just playing games, but also sharing experiences together with people — even though they live far away, their skill levels are different or their experience does not happen at the same time," Iwata said in a statement. "We want Wii U to be the system that brings everyone together."

With new game titles come new system updates. The company also tipped two major updates scheduled for the spring and summer, which will introduce Virtual Console capabilities and shortened software launch time.

Additionally, Nintendo is expanding its Wii Miiverse to smartphones, first as a browser-based enhancement, and eventually as a dedicated app.