During Nintendo’s recent investor briefing, where they confirmed the rumors surrounding the successor to the Wii, president Sartoru Iwata revealed information about an upcoming firmware update for the 3DS that will put a classic title back in gamers hands – Excitebike.
The firmware will contain the first, free title as part of their “3D Classics” program. 3D Classics is similar to Virtual Console, however the titles are manipulated to take advantage of the 3D technology, thus adding a new feature to an old game.
At last year’s E3, Nintendo demonstrated other 3D Classic titles with 3D capabilities. In order to make a classic title 3D, they altered sprites and background layers to better enhance the sense of depth in the game. It’s a safe bet with Excitebike‘s angled view of shifting lanes on each course, the game will be a great example of adding 3D effects to the increased depth.
The 3D Classics program is a great addition to add quantity of games and value to the 3DS hardware. Older Nintendo fans will enjoy jumping back into some old favorites without having the screen randomly start flashing or having to blow into the cartridges, and younger fans can get a glimpse of earlier titles with a new 3D twist.
Excitebike, if you don’t recall, is a classic title on the NES where you control a dirtbike across various tracks with jumps and obstacles. Check out the video below for a refresher.
The firmware will be available this May through the 3DS eShop, though there is no word if or when the Excitebike will be released in other regions besides Japan. At this point we can only hope that the free nostalgia will eventually be available to get our hands on.
Follow me on Twitter @jonlavallee and let us know what classic Nintendo titles you’d like to see become a part of the 3D Classics program on the 3DS.