Yesterday, Nintendo hosted another one of its Nintendo Direct newscasts. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the show was the announcement of the company’s first foray into free-to-play games. Steel Diver: Sub Wars, a first-person submarine combat game for the 3DS, was released immediately after the show. The free version includes two different submarines to pilot, the game’s first two levels, and access to multiplayer where players shoot at each other and chat using Morse code. To get the rest of the game (more levels and submarines) you’ll have to pony up $10 for the “premium version.”
A second free game, this one called Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball, will be coming out for the 3DS in April. It’s a collection of baseball themed mini-games, and only the first one is free. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata promised the games would capture the “feeling of hitting, the feeling of catching, the feeling of umpiring, and more” because they were designed by Rusty, a dog who owns a sporting goods store and is also a retired baseball player who “understands the good feeling” of baseball. Rusty will sell you each additional game for $4 apiece, but players will be able to haggle with the virtual store owner, hopefully getting him to knock some money off the real-world price. Yes, Nintendo has created a service where your standing with a cartoon dog determines how much money you will pay for a game.
Nintendo also announced a new character for its upcoming Super Smash Bros. game—Little Mac, the underdog boxer from the Punch-Out!! series—and a handful of release dates. Mario Kart 8 will be released for the Wii U on May 30 and includes all of Bowser’s long lost children as racers. Kirby Triple Deluxe and Mario Golf World Tour are both coming to the 3DS on May 2.