Flagship Mario, Mario Kart, Yoshi, Zelda et al games headed for Wii U

Yoshi Wii U
Yoshi Wii U

The folks behind Mario and Zelda revealed a treasure trove of information during an exhaustive Nintendo Direct broadcast earlier on Jan. 23. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata got up before wide-eyed fans across the Atlantic and Pacific and revealed--among several updates for the Wii U MiiVerse, Virtual Console and more--that several high-profile games are in development.

For starters, Iwata announced that both a 3D Mario adventure game and a new edition of Mario Kart are in the works for Wii U, keeping with the tradition of at least one flagship Mario and Mario Kart game per console. While no images were shown of either game, Iwata promised that both will be playable at this year's E3 event in Los Angeles. (Along with the first images of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.)

Among the major announcements, the Nintendo chief introduced video updates for both The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2, and teased a feature within Pikmin 3 that will allow players to take in-game pictures using the GamePad. Iwata then unveiled two third party projects, a collaboration between Nintendo and developer Atlus on a crossover game titled Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and an effort by Monolith Studios codenamed "X", which looks somehow connect to the Xeno series of games.
Finally, Iwata went on to mention that a successor to Wii Party is in development for the Wii U, and that a full-fledged installment in the Legend of Zelda series is in development. In fact, game director Eiji Aonuma mentioned that his team looks to rethink the fundamentals of the franchise for this next release, meaning it will take a considerable amount of time. In the meantime, fans will get to enjoy an HD re-release of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker this fall.

Given the rampant rumors and leaks surrounding Sony and Microsoft's imminent consoles, it's not surprising for Nintendo to make such an exhaustive announcement at the tail end of January, one of the slowest months of the year for gaming. There's no doubt that the Mario maker feels the heat, and the company has one way of dealing with it: making 2013 even hotter. Check out the announcement in full below:

Which of these upcoming Nintendo games are you most excited for? How will the Wii U stand up against the new Xbox and PlayStation? Add Comment.