Nintendo has finally put a firm release date on Pikmin 3, one of the Wii U's most anticipated (and annoyingly delayed) first-party heavy hitters. The approachable strategy game has been slated for July 26th, while a few new details about storyline and features were also outed by today's Nintendo Direct presentation.
The three new protagonists have been named as Captain Charlie, Alph and Brittany, who are on a mission to secure food for their starving home planet. Collecting fruit to blend into usable resources will be the aim of the game, and unlike its predecessors, Pikmin 3's campaign will allow players to re-attempt previously completed missions in order to secure bigger harvests and scores.
The action can be entirely controlled with the GamePad, or using a Wii Motionplus WiiMote and Nunchuck. This secondary control scheme will turn the Gamepad's touchscreen into a handy map that can be used to scroll around the stage or jump to hotspots. Off-TV play has also been confirmed.
It's great to finally know when Pikmin 3 is coming out, but it's clear that Nintendo will need more than the current handful of exclusives to jump-start the Wii U's appeal. E3 can't come soon enough.