Release deluge promised for DS

Inc. Yoshi's Island 2, Diddy Kong Racing, Starfox.

Nintendo DS owners can look forward to a handful of potential blockbuster first party titles over the coming year, with the Japanese company revealing the likes of Diddy Kong Racing, Yoshi's Island 2 and Starfox during the latter stages of its pre-E3 conference this morning, with more on Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, recently shown during GDC.

We caught a quick glimpse of an updated DS version of Diddy Kong Racing, Rare's fondly remembered N64-era Mario Kart clone. Using roughly identical-looking mechanics as Mario Kart DS (and clean, impressive 3D visuals), this looks like being another obvious big-hitter for the legion of karting fans, particularly if it includes the same Wi-Fi functionality.

Also shown off briefly was an updated version of Final Fantasy III, sprucing up the gameplay and graphics of the ageing RPG classics in ways that should give Square-Enix lovers palpitations.

Zelda, meanwhile, will "pick up from where Wind Waker left off," and using the same cute cel-shaded visual style that caused such a stir a few years back. The brief gameplay footage showed touch control battles, with players loosing off cannons on board their ship, and a scaled-down isometric viewpoint for the main dungeon exploration.

But that's not all - also announced (but not given any airtime) were the likes of Mario Vs DK: March of the Minis, Yoshi's Island 2, Starfox DS, DK King of Swing DS, Mario Hoops 3 on 3, Touch Generations, Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (available as Red Rescue Team on GBA), Elite Beat Agents (the Western take on Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!), and Chibi Robo: Park Patrol.

In total, 100 new DS games are promised, but Nintendo wasn't giving much away in terms of release dates, except to say that they're all coming "this year" according to the accompanying press release. In all, a pretty busy time in prospect for DS owners, and plenty of big names to look forward to among a clutch of innovative unknowns.

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