Tomorrow's Nintendo Direct to discuss spring releases, but… what are they?

What, you thought the year was over? As if. Nintendo, apparently not content with letting writers enjoy the post-release season lull, has announced a Nintendo Direct for 6am PT on December 18. And unlike the last Direct, where absolutely nothing of value was revealed and the aforementioned writers woke up early for nothing, this one is international, meaning we're likely to get some big news.

According to the press release, the Nintendo Direct will be "focusing on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS software launching through spring 2014,"--which is to say games coming out through next June. It's an interesting promise, given that the only game with a solid release date between now and then is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Sure, Nintendo could broadcast an hour of Cranky Kong bouncing around on his cane like an asshole, but odds are we're in for something more substantial this time around. Nintendo has nearly a dozen big releases that are still without solid dates, and some of them should be landing within the next four months.

So, what's coming after Tropical Freeze? Well, let's go down the list.

Nintendo mentioned a spring release for Mario Kart 8 when it was revealed at E3, so we might hear more about that. Though Mario Kart 7 hit 3DS during a December, Mario Kart Wii--which went on to sell somewhere in the vicinity of oh my god how many millions?--came out in an April, and I feel like that might be when we see 8 on the Wii U.

Mario Kart 8, alone, is a big deal, but things are looking even better on the 3DS front. Yoshi's New Island was playable at E3 and actually has a name (unlike that Yarn Yoshi game, which I can't see releasing before July), and the unfortunately named Kirby Triple Deluxe has a Japanese date in January, meaning that a Spring 2014 release in the US/UK is totally in the cards. But those were the easy ones--and I doubt that it's all Nintendo is releasing before the end of spring.

Though Smash Bros. producer' has recently waved away rumors of a pre-summer Smash Bros. in recent weeks, I'm not totally convinced that we won't be surprised by a May launch. There's also a chance that Bayonetta 2, which was playable at E3 2013, could be out pre-E3 2014. Other games, like Project X, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, and Zelda Wii U are almost certainly releasing in 2014, but I wouldn't expect to hear a peep from them before E3.

Then again, Nintendo could throw a Hail Mary and reveal Zelda or Metroid or Starfox (or all three?), since they would absolutely sell systems, but… don't get your hopes up. Either way, be sure to swing back tomorrow morning to find out exactly what Nintendo's plans for the first half of 2014 entail.


  • Pruman - December 18, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    I've never played a Dynasty Warriors game, but they must be doing something right if they're still making them after all this time. Hyrule Warriors looks fun, and it inspired me to give you guys a free idea for an article: If you could have any developer work on a Nintendo franchise, who would it be? My short list: -F-Zero=Criterion Games. I freaking love Burnout, so Burnout in the future with hovercars would easily get my money. The focus should remain on pure speed and tight racing, but with additional combat options (no weapons, obviously). -Metroid=Visceral Games. I would love to see Samus in some environments as fantastically designed as those in the Dead Space games. -Zelda=Platinum Games. Okami is already acknowledged by GR as the best non-Nintendo Zelda game, so a Platinum Zelda game should be pure gold. -Mario=Retro Studios. Turok was awesome on the N64, the Metroid Prime games were amazing, Mario Kart 7 is the best one since DS, and DKC Returns was way more fun than it had any right to be. Set these guys loose in the Mushroom Kingdom and see what they come up with. -Star Fox=Sega. Let the makers of After Burner take a spin in an Arwing. I bet they'd make something cool.
  • Pruman - December 18, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Just wanted to add - Visceral is another good choice for Metroid because it's going to take a gritty reboot on the level of Batman Begins to wash the stain of Other M off the franchise. Samus can still have cutscenes and be a character, but she has to be the tough badass we all imagined her to be before she was twisted into a Generic Anime Girl.
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 6:31 a.m.

  • J-Fid - December 18, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    At first, I thought it was an announcement that Kirby would be playable in MK 8. But this is fine too. Was hoping for some definitive release dates.
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 6:25 a.m.

  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 6:20 a.m.

    Yoshi's Island Zone DLC for Sonic Lost World? WUT AND ITS FREE RIGHT NOW!? Also there's a second DLC but only a hint that sounds like a Zelda DLC, Aw shit
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 6:09 a.m.

    New chibi Robot for Eshop 3DS
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 6:05 a.m.

  • BladedFalcon - December 17, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    Well, the last couple Nintendo Directs have been rather underwhelming, if memory serves. So if nothing else, it does feel Nintendo is overdue to show something that's actually exciting for a change.
  • shawksta - December 17, 2013 11:32 p.m.

    I really hope we see X or maybe even Yarn Yoshi, I doubt it considering it's about spring released(unless Yoshi is set for it) but still it would be nice. Worse case scenario would be delaying the spring games.
  • rainn'sgaydar - December 18, 2013 4:16 a.m.

    It's simulcast with Japan this time, which raises my expectations a fair amount.
  • shawksta - December 17, 2013 9:41 p.m.

    STOP THE F*CKING PRESSES SAKURAI MENTIONED NINTENDO DIRECT TOMMOROW POSSIBLE SMASH FOOTAGE Possible though, still trying to keep my expectation low but its still good news
  • shawksta - December 17, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    It's hard to contain my expectations low when even the goddam smash update mentions the Nintendo direct. Somethings gonna happen.
  • brickman409 - December 17, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    I always get excited when a Nintendo Direct is announced, they're like surprise mini E3s.
  • codystovall - December 17, 2013 7:02 p.m.

    I just want smash bros GIVEITTO ME!!!!
  • rainn'sgaydar - December 17, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    Your reasoning seems sound to me, Coop. I imagine Nintendo would really like to get Smash out the door if Zelda WiiU really is a lock for the fall, though don't they usually like a slow burn on Zelda console releases?
  • shawksta - December 17, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    Sakurai likes to take his time, he delayed kid icarus uprising but it was worth it. I wouldnt be surprised if he delayed smash and this time the "Online" excuse they used for Brawl that ended up failing wont be the case this time. Console Zelda's take time, Wind Waker HD is just candy to fill the void of how long it takes them to make it. Otherwise Aunoma stated he's saving Zelda for a big event, most likely E3 2014
  • rainn'sgaydar - December 17, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    I agree about Zelda. Coop just said something that seemed to guarantee a 2014 console Zelda, which I'm not apt to believe. I wouldn't be surprised with Smash releasing late May or sometime in the fall
  • shawksta - December 17, 2013 9:20 p.m.

    Remember when we believed that Spring 2014 smash release talk? It was already confirmed NOPE but rather changed to "Sometime in 2014"
  • rainn'sgaydar - December 18, 2013 4:20 a.m.

    Late May is still spring, right? I know what they said, but I still wouldn't be surprised if they announce a May or even June release. Nor would I be surprised if it was set for the fall. Neither situation seems preposterous to me...

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