Two pieces of news from today's Direct stand out over everything else. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has finally been officially confirmed as a next year release. The combination puzzle/visual novel adventure game has been out in Japan since November last year, and there was much concern that Level 5 and Capcom would never bring the game over given the latter's reticence in talking about it. Now, fans can rest easy knowing the game is on its way. Nintendo also announced the coming release of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, the last installment in the Layton story, also coming in 2014.
Iwata also announced a new limited edition addition to the Wii U called the Animal Crossing Plaza. It is basically an Animal Crossing version of the Warawara Plaza, with assets and characters lifted from the game. You will get to upload pics into photo albums by moving your SD card from 3DS to Wii U, and interact with other people who have played the game. Nintendo made no announcements of this, but my speculation is the Plaza will only be around until the end of next year because Nintendo plans to bring Miiverse to 3DS very, very soon.
Another game getting 3DS-Wii U connectivity is Sonic Lost Worlds. Both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the games are coming out on October 22, and if you own both versions, you will be able to send RC vehicles made on the 3DS (by Tails, of course) to the Wii U wirelessly, to help you out in the Wii U game. Rayman Legends is also getting new content, with additional levels from Rayman Origins, as well as Mario and Luigi costumes for Rayman and Globox, respectively.
Art Academy Sketchpad, another Wii U Miiverse addition, was delayed but will now be releasing August 9, and will be getting its own community in Miiverse, to allow artists to make and upload original work. Pikmin 3's Miiverse will allow you to upload pics taken from the game, and add caption to make essentially Pikmin motivational posters.
Other 1st party announcements include Pokemon Rumble U, coming to Wii U eShop August 29. The 18 NFC figures for the game will be available exclusively at Gamestop on that date.
Virtual Console is getting some noteworthy additions, including Donkey Kong (August 15), Wario Land 3 (August 29), Tecmo Bowl (Fall), and Summer Carnival '92: Recca on the 3DS. Recca is one of the most graphically stunning and technically difficult schmups from the Famicom, and with its two minute time attack mode and high score mode, its a perfect fit for 3DS. Finally, Super Mario Bros. 3 is coming to both 3DS and Wii U in the near future.
Iwata hinted at new details for the two new The Legend of Zelda games. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds' shadow world is accessible via going flat and entering crevices between walls, which will have its own Triforce, as hinted at in the game's logo. Iwata also explains this game happens years after A Link To The Past, so you are now playing a different Link.
Regarding The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, tweaks have been made to adapt to the new system and newer audience. So, the collection event in the game's 2nd half has been adjusted, as well as sailing and using the WInd Waker. Iwata again clarifies the Zelda timeline, pointing out it occurs only a few months before The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the DS.
And Luigi has been confirmed for Smash Bros, although that doesn't really seem to be that huge a surprise.
Iwata rounds up the Direct by announcing the Wonderful 101 Direct two days from now. Good thing they got all this out of the way first, as Platinum's latest outing definitely deserves its own event. Please check back with us for coverage of that stream as well.