Pikmin 3 is the third entry in Nintendo's Pikmin series and the first original Pikmin title after the two enhanced Wii ports of the two GameCube originals. It will be released on July 13 in Japan, July 26 in Europe and August 4, 2013 in North America.
The gameplay in Pikmin 3 will serve as an evolution of the previous two entries. The game's central premise is identical to previous Pikmin games; moving through environments and using an army of intelligent creatures called Pikmin to carry objects around, defeat enemies, break down walls and perform other tasks. Unlike in previous games the inclusion of four leader characters will mean that for the first time tasks will be able to be divided between four different groups of Pikmin. The new Wii U GamePad will also expand the game's features and will display the map so that players may move around the world more easily, and display the status of the four leaders.
It has so far been revealed that the red, blue, yellow, white and purple Pikmin from previous games will return. There will also be a new species of Pikmin, the rock Pikmin, who can be used to break down objects too hard for other Pikmin to smash through. Some media outlets have also reported sightings of new pink, flying Pikmin.
The challenge mode consists of collecting as much food as possible before the time runs out. It will feature a replay function allowing players to watch the previous games and improve the next time.
Pikmin 3 will again feature a local-only co-op mode that has yet to be detailed.
A variety of control options will be available for players to choose from in Pikmin 3. The game's main control scheme has its root in the Wii-origins of the game. Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, Wii U GamePad and Wii U Pro Controller will all be supported.
With the Wii Remote Plus & Nunchuk and Wii U GamePad control method, players will use the Wii Remote much like in the New Play Control! versions of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 on Wii. This control scheme allows players to point at the screen and directly issue orders. Additionally, the Wii U GamePad will function as an interactive overview map screen providing instant access to a lot of data for the player.
Since Pikmin 3 also supports Off-TV Play, the Wii Remote Plus control method is also supported in this mode, with the GamePad screen and built-in sensor bar replacing the TV.
Players will also be able to use the only the Wii U GamePad to control the game, which will make it play more like the GameCube originals, while retaining the touch screen functionality. The Wii U Pro Controller is also supported.
A third entry to the Pikmin series was first hinted at by Shigeru Miyamoto in an interview with IGN in July 2007 where Miyamoto said "I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Pikmin", expressed enthusiasm to continue working with the Pikmin franchise and said that he considered the Nintendo Wii a well-suited platform for the franchise. After an interview with Miyamoto in April 2008 CNET reported that he was looking at a number of projects for the Wii and that he had a desire to continue the Pikmin series.
During Nintendo's developer roundtable at E3 2008 Miyamoto gave official confirmation of a third Pikmin game being in development. In a September 2008 interview with the Latin American version of the Official Nintendo Magazine, Miyamoto confirmed that Pikmin 3 was being developed for the Wii and said that the Wii's controls were working well with the game. After the announcement of the "New Play Control" versions of Pikmin and Pikmin 2, Wii versions of the original game with Wii-based controls, it was feared by some fans that these were in fact the new Wii-based Pikmin project that Miyamoto had been talking about and that there would be no Pikmin 3, however an October 2008 IGN interview with Cammie Dunaway confirmed that this was in fact untrue and Pikmin 3 was a separate project from the "New Play Control" Pikmin games.
At E3 2009 the game was not shown as some had anticipated, but Miyamoto confirmed that it was still in development. At E3 2009 Miyamoto also said to Kotaku that he was sorry the game could not be shown at the exposition but he was working with a small team who were working on a large number of games. In March 2010 the UK division of Official Nintendo Magazine posted on Twitter that Miyamoto had told them the development of Pikmin 3 was "well under way". Pikmin 3 was again a no-show at E3 2010, however Miyamoto confirmed it is still in development.
During a roundtable discussion at E3 2011, Pikmin 3 was confirmed to be in development for the Wii U. At the beginning of the discussion, Miyamoto asked that no questions about Pikmin 3 be asked, that the roundtable was to talk about some of the upcoming titles for the Wii and 3DS. After the question and answer section, Miyamoto thanked those in attendance for not asking about the title, speaking at how the game has been in development for some time. Things changed when he saw the potential for the game with the Wii U and its unique controller, and made the decision to move the project to the new Nintendo console, stating that the wait will not be long for Pikmin 3 to see the light of day.
The game first shown to the public at E3 2012 during Nintendo's press conference on June 5, 2012, where Miyamoto provided a stage demonstration of the game.
While the game was expected to be a launch title for the Wii U, it was delayed to 2013.