Here’s a blast from the past for videogame console players, as Nintendo has announced that it will revive some of its most popular NES franchises of the 1990s for a 3DS release. New installments of “Legend of Zelda,” “Super Mario Bros.” and “Donkey Kong” will be available for the 3DS hand-held gaming device this year.

The Japanese videogame company is hoping that the move will further expand its 3DS market by drawing in new fans but also older customers who have already played the previous installments of the three franchises.

Nintendo Announces New 3DS Releases, Wii U Updates

The Wii U console will get two updates this year

Nintendo fans are surely curious to see what will come out of the sequel to the NES classic “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” as it is rumored that the 3DS release will have a more modern look and feel. We hope however that even if the graphics are updated, they will remain in line with the original game and so will the actual gameplay.

As for the “Donkey Kong” franchise, the 3DS release will actually consist of an updated version of the “Donkey Kong Country Returns” Wii console title. The upgraded version will reportedly include various new features and be available for 3DS play in May.

Nintendo America head Reggie Fils-Aime says the releases are meant to offer consumers new experiences and fresh gameplay of already familiar game environments. The 3DS is sure to offer a unique gaming experience, given that it is designed for three-dimensional play without requiring the user to wear specialized glasses. Although this handheld device got off to a slow start on the American market, the sales have been boosted by a 32% price cut and an increase in 3DS game releases.

But Nintendo’s increased focus on the 3DS doesn’t mean it’s ignoring the Wii U. The game console will get a major update this week and another one this summer, both aimed at increasing its speed. This week’s update will help the software load faster and add a Virtual  Console, which will be launched together with revamped classics such as “Punch-Out!” and “Super Mario World.” And later this year, an upgraded version of the widely popular 1995 release “Earthbound” will also be available for the Wii U Virtual Console.

[Image via Wired]