A scene from 'The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker' for the Wii U.
In an effort to boost enthusiasm for its new video game console, Nintendo says development has started on new games featuring its biggest franchises.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata confirmed through a Web broadcast Wednesday the company is creating a new game based on fantasy series The Legend of Zelda, as well as fresh 3-D Super Mario and Mario Kart titles. No release dates were revealed.
Nintendo says both Mario games will be playable during this June's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Also, it's likely video game players will get their first look at the next Legend of Zelda at the show.
Since launching in November, Nintendo has sold 890,000 Wii U consoles, highlighted by a GamePad controller that combines a tablet touchscreen.
However, the library of available retail titles remains small, leaning heavily on its launch lineup. First-party games now available for Wii U include platformer New Super Mario Bros. U and casual mini-game compilation Nintendo Land, bundled with Deluxe models of the device.
During the broadcast, The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma says the development team will focus on "rethinking conventions," such as completing a set number of dungeons in order and playing alone.
The last console adventure title starring hero Link was 2011's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Nintendo also revealed a remake of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker will launch for the Wii U this fall. The company is bringing the Virtual Console to the device as well, which features classic titles from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System consoles.
Brett Molina, USA TODAY