The latest Nintendo Direct broadcast, by which Nintendo unveil their plans direct to anyone who tunes in, aired this morning.
There will be two Wii U system updates in Autumn and Winter, aimed at incrementally improving the system performance. Software will launch faster, and return to the Wii U menu faster.
Right after spring system update releases, Nintendo will launch the Wii U Virtual Console service.
Existing Wii VC lineup will not be available straight away; a selection of NES & SNES titles will be available.
VC games are newly developed for Wii U and therefore can't just be made available on the new system.
Save a back-up of your progress (like 3DS)
Play off TV on GamePad
New platforms coming (including GBA) Special pricing if you already have Wii games (normal is the same as Wii - EUR4.99 / GBP3.49 for NES, EUR7.99 / GBP5.49 for SNES, discounted rate is EUR0.99 / GBP0.99 for NES, EUR1.49 / GBP1.49 for SNES) - discount will be automatically applied (you need to transfer your purchases from the Wii first)
2013 is the 30th anniversary of the Famicom's release in Japan (the Famicom system was known as the Nintendo Entertainment System / NES when it launched in the West). To celebrate, Nintendo are launching the "Wii U Virtual Console Trial Campaign"; one Virtual Console game will be released each month, from now until July (the month the famicom originally launched). The titles coming before April will be available before the official launch of the Wii U virtual console service. These special games will be available for 30c for 30 days (after which the game will return to its full price).
January: Balloon Fight (NES) - Available now, normal price is $8.50
February: F-Zero (SNES)
March: Punch-Out!! (NES)
April: Kirby's Adventure (NES)
May: Super Metroid (SNES)
June: Mario & Yoshi (NES)
July: Donkey Kong (NES)
Pikmin 3 will let you use the GamePad as a camera to take pictures, which you can then share on Miiverse
Wii Fit U will let you create closed user communities on Miiverse by using a "specific ID number" which is then shared with your friends. Similar to Mario Kart 7 on 3DS, it then allows you to discuss health topics with people in that community.
User communities, as announced for Wii Fit U, will be available on an ad-hoc basis in the wider Miiverse utility. Miiverse will also support more than one official community per title, as a method of alleviating vast amount of user posts that are being generated, which results in information being buried. Improved usability is also planned for Miiverse, as is filtering functionality - again, to help with huge volume of posts. More upgrades and improvements are coming, including ability to access Miiverse via smartphone (starting with browser-based service, but apps coming too).
"Steady stream" of Wii U games coming from March through to Winter, starting with:
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - March 22nd (US)
Lego City Under Cover - March 28th (US)
Game & Wario
Wii Fit U
The Wonderful 101
Screenshots for the new Smash Bros. game will debut at E3
Nintendo's internal EAD development team is working on a new 3D Mario game for Wii U
There's a new Mario Kart in development - it will be playable at E3.
New party game from the Wii Party guys coming this Winter. Includes Twister-like party game with multiple remotes, and a GamePad-only multiplayer game (game shown was foosball-like). The goal of this title is to show that Wii U is the system that brings everyone together.
Kirby's Epic Yarn team making a new game based on Yoshi; retains "yarn" aesthetic. The unnamed title (we're referring to it as Yoshi's Epic Yarn, for now) will be the first game to feature Yoshi as the main character since 1998.
There's a new "collaboration" title in the works; Shin Megami Tensei meets Fire Emblem (it's unclear if that's a working title, we assume it is.) There are more collaborations coming, too, as a way of offsetting increasingly complex development. Nintendo working with "many" more partners - these will be discussed at future Nintendo directs, and at other opportunities.
A new Zelda game is in development - the team's mission this time around is to rethink the conventions of the game. Expectations that the player is supposed to complete dungeons in a certain order, or that you're supposed to play by yourself... "we want to set aside these conventions," Nintendo said, "get back to basics."
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is coming to Wii U to tide players over while the new Zelda game is developed - something Nintendo say will take some time. This new version includes updated graphics, tuned gameplay, off-TV support via the GamePad, and Miiverse support.
New game by Monolithsoft (Xenoblade Chronicles), featuring massive monsters, huge vistas, transforming mech / vehicles, Xenosaga-like action RPG gameplay. No name, yet; featured big "X" at the end. Look for a trailer for this one shortly.