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.

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  • 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.
  • universaltofu - December 18, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    Not bad, not very good either. I like how immediately after revealing Hyrule Warriors he stresses 'don't worry this isn't the next REAL Zelda game, it's just a game with a Zelda theme, it doesn't even count, please don't hurt me'. Rosalina seems interesting, event celebii is nice. I don't know why they re-revealed cranky kong, if only to be more formal, but still. Some more actual release dates would have been cool.
  • Pillfy - December 18, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    It feels icky to have Tecmo doing this to Zelda. Just my opinion. I'll reserve final judgement until the game comes out but I am not expecting a good game.
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    More or less, its for Dynasty Warrior fans and people who dont know or havent tried the Dynasty Warriors series. If were lucky, it'll be good, but i doubt it, itll only be Dynasty Warriors good, but guess we'll wait and see
  • Pillfy - December 18, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    Yeah, I mean I actually hope it does turn out good. My only real disappointment is I was hoping for some release dates. Like DK in Feb, Mario Kart in March, Smash in April, Bayonetta in May. Not necessarily exactly like that, but just showing us that they have a steady stream coming. I don't like long periods with no good releases, which the Wii U has already suffered from greatly. It had a decent launch then just dropped off. That is a big reason I haven't picked one up yet.
  • Pillfy - December 18, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    Nintendo mentioned previously that they would be trying to do more collaborations to release more games. I think that is a good idea but it is tough to do right. For example, I do not think this collaboration to create Hyrule Warriors is very good. Lots of information in this Direct, but I am sad to say it looks like at least the first half of the year will be sparse for Wii U.
  • Pillfy - December 18, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    Also, in app purchases make me vomit. Sure, at first they make it completely optional just to get people to accept it and go with the flow. It's no big deal right? But those things can make so much money that developers end up designing games so that at first, the game seems to be a game of skill, then they very cleverly switch the game over to a game of "pay to win" all the while you still think the game is skill based, but you just "needed a little help". It is awful imo.
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    Depends on how you see it. Dr Luigi NES Remix Tropical Freeze Possibly Mario kart but no release date Sonic Lost World DLC This is for Spring mind you, its not much yeah but still
  • Pillfy - December 18, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    Yeah, I don't really go for those little eshop games but some people do. With the debut of Hyrule Warriors I am pretty sure Zelda is not coming out in 2014 since that is basically another title to hold us over like the Wind Waker remake was. Let's see we have Tropical Freeze, then probably Mario Kart next, and Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2, and Hyrule Warriors also sometime in 2014. Do you think that is going to be it?
  • shawksta - December 18, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    We also have to consider that there are games that werent mentioned that will possibly come in Spring as well. But i guess we'll have to wait and see PS4 and Xbone arent really filled with much either, since there are still current gen games releasing in 2014 for 360 and PS3
  • 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.

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