Getting Even More Direct at the New Nintendo 3DS XL Showcase

Above, you can watch the entirety of today's Nintendo Direct presentation (and I'll probably join you). Truth be told, I missed the video and skipped straight to an event in San Francisco where Nintendo invited me to get hands-on with the New Nintendo 3DS XL hardware.

During a brief presentation, Nintendo executives talked about how the company has been doing. Here's the word straight from them:

  • 14 Million Nintendo 3DS hardware units have been sold to consumers to date.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, released in 2014, have pushed total Nintendo 3DS software sold to 48 Million units sold to consumers
  • Nintendo 3DS offers over 50 games with a Metacritic average review score of 80 or better and 20 games with a Metacritic average review score of 85 or better (Metacritic's algorithm remains unknown, but we can't argue with that impressive stat!)

Nintendo said that Mario Kart 7 leads software sales on Nintendo 3DS with over 3.8 Million units sold or downloaded to date, though the company was quick to point out that three games sold over 1 Million units in 2014 alone. In fact, every single handheld game near the top of the sales charts proved to be a Nintendo 3DS game and Scott Moffitt, EVP of Sales & Marketing correctly pointed out "There is literally a game for every type of gamers on this platform."

Before moving on to hands-on time, Moffitt offered details of the New Nintendo 3DS Hardware once again. Specifically, Moffitt pointed out that amiibo figures are supported by the bottom touch screen and that the overall processing power increase enables better 3D, better software support, and improved loading times.

I immediately thought to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS as that game can occasionally take a while to get started on my original launch Nintendo 3DS XL hardware. After this, the presentation moved to two key pieces of software for prospective New Nintendo 3DS owners.

First, Capcom offered details on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Here's what I got from the presentation, though quotes were pulled on the fly so don't use them to start any needless arguments:

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will have its own New Nintendo 3DS XL bundle decorated with logo, title, and brushed-steel effect. The game will come pre-installed as has been the case with past Nintendo 3DS bundles. Capcom promises it is the biggest Monster Hunter title in the series.
  • "For the first time, you're going to be a hunter who joins up with a caravan to help villagers all around the world…."
  • "We've added a new layer to the combat with a focus on verticality so you're going to be able to use the C-stick to track monsters…."
  • "You can use the ZL and ZR buttons to pan the camera around as well…."
  • "For the first time on Nintendo 3DS you're going to have full online functionality and the ZL button can be used to bring up a chat window…."
  • "You can use the ZR button to switch targets" when fighting multiple monsters….
  • Players will meet the Ace Hunters in order to take down the Gore Magdila, a brand new monster for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

A demo for the game will enable players to use all 14 weapon classes, local and online multiplayer, 3 unique quests, and a robust tutorial sequence, though the full title will be available when the New Nintendo 3DS XL hardware launches.

After Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Nintendo moved on to talk about The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D. I personally did not play the game at the event because I wanted to start the adventure for the first time once I could experience it comfortably at home.

Nintendo said that Majora's Mask 3D will still feature Skull Kid, the evil Majora's Mask, and the three-day cycle that players must navigate both backwards and forwards in order to save the world of Termina. Here are my notes from this part of the presentation, though longtime Zelda-fanatics will probably already know what to expect:

  • The game is all about what's going on minute by minute, day by day, and the world lives and does things regardless of what you do. Using the New Nintendo 3DS C-stick to look around Termina's environments will come in handy.
  • "You become an intimate friend to these people hours before their deaths…."
  • Majora's Mask 3D seems to feature an inventory and map system similar to that of Ocarina of Time 3D, prominently displayed on the lower touch screen.
  • At this point in the demo, Link donned the Deku mask to help Tingle fall back to Earth.
  • Next, Link wore the Goron mask to roll around Termina at great speed and crush any enemies foolish enough to get in his way.
  • Nintendo said that the bomber's notebook and save system have been upgraded and that the Double Time Song which allows player to skip in-game days has been altered to allow for hour-by-hour navigation.

Nintendo very graciously offered attendees of today's event New Nintendo 3DS XL hardware, so I've got one sitting pretty next to my previously purchased Nintendo 3DS XL unit. I'll have more details in a complete review later, but until then are you eager to jump into Majora's Mask 3D? Do you think you'll upgrade from your older Nintendo 3DS?

When will the hardware update madness end?!