Super Nintendo games are now available for the New Nintendo 3DS

Big news for 16-bit fans, and more 3DS game announcements too

The Virtual Console was one of the big selling points of the Nintendo's original Wii, but the company's vast retro gaming vaults haven't been tapped quite as consistently for its latest hardware. That is thankfully changing in one respect.

Starting right about now - following the Nintendo Direct livestream - the New Nintendo 3DS has added the Super Nintendo to the Virtual Console, with a couple of games out today and more scheduled throughout March. Note that only the New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL have compatibility; curiously, the standard 3DS models and 2DS didn't make the cut, despite these being 20-25 year old games.

In the UK, players can grab Super Mario World and Earthbound today, with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid following on 10 March, F-Zero and Super Mario Kart out on 17 March, and the first two Donkey Kong Country games due for release on 24 March. And if you buy one of each week's new titles, you can get the other at half price.

It's a different release situation in the United States, by the way, with Super Mario World, Pilotwings, and F-Zero out now, Super Mario Kart, EarthBound, and Donkey Kong Country due on 24 March, and Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Donkey Kong Country 2 not releasing until 14 April.

Quite a bit else is coming to the Nintendo 3DS this year, as well. Kirby: Planet Robobot is a new side-scrolling platformer in the long-running series, and it will release on 10 June alongside four new Amiibo figurines: Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee.

Also announced were Capcom's action role-player Monster Hunter Generations, due out this summer, along with Rhythm Heaven Megamix, which includes the original Game Boy Advance entry that was never localised. That one is planned for later this year. Additionally, Hyrule Warriors: Legends will release on 24 March, with Yo-Kai Watch following on 29 April and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past due later this year.

The Wii U got a bit of love during the Direct stream, as well, with the new Paper Mario: Color Splash announced for release later this year, while Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - the newly-titled mash-up between the Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei series - will release on 24 June.

And when Star Fox Zero releases on 22 April, it will be joined by an eShop spinoff game called Star Fox Guard. A download code will come with the first run of the physical release of Zero, but it will also be sold separately. Meanwhile, next week's update to Super Mario Maker adds even more items to create with, while a couple of Splatoon updates are coming to balance the gear, tweak the matchmaking, and add new weapon combos.

Amazingly, that's only some of what was revealed, detailed, or dated during a wide-ranging Nintendo Direct stream, so if you're interested in all the little tidbits and have 42 minutes to spare, hit the above embed and enjoy.

[Sources: Nintendo, Twitter]