So, Nintendo continues to be silent about the forthcoming installment in the Legend of Zelda franchise, with the only new info being a gameplay trailer from this year’s Game Developers’ Conference. We’ll doubtless hear more about the game at this year’s E3 in early June, but I’ve been thinking about this game along with the big news from yesterday and what that might mean for this new Zelda title.
Think back to about six years ago, when The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was still in development. It was to be one of the last great first-party games for the Gamecube, along with Super Paper Mario, a Kirby game, and some others. Then rumors started circulating about Nintendo’s new home console, which we eventually came to know as the Revolution. Attention focused from the failing GCN to this new console. At E3 2006, we found out more about the Revolution, including the console’s actual name, but Twilight Princess still hadn’t been released. Well, we know what Nintendo ended up doing: they ported the game over to the Wii, adapted it to include motion controls (which is why the visuals are mirrored from the GCN port, as most people are right-handed), and released the Wii version of the game well ahead of the Gamecube version.
Skip ahead to nowadays. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was revealed, confirmed, given a title, and so on at E3 2010 during Nintendo’s press conference. We were told quite a bit about the game, but not given a release date. Just a vague hint of 2011 as a release, and Nintendo are notorious for delaying the release of games (with the exception of Wind Waker, which resulted in two dungeons being omitted from the released version). Even then speculation was going around about what Nintendo would do for their next home console, the Wii 2, Wii HD, or whatever name was thrown around.
Yesterday we had confirmation from Nintendo that they are planning to release a new home console next year (probably in the second half of 2012, given that they aren’t planning on including it in their new fiscal year financial data). The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword could easily not come out this year, could easily be pushed back to 2012 due to development issues or whatever. Either way, Nintendo could push the release of the game back to next year and do the same thing to it that they did with Twilight Princess. The situation then and now just has too strong a parallel for this to not happen.
So it seems to me that Nintendo will decide on releasing two versions, one in its original form on the Wii, and another with modified controls to showcase Nintendo’s new console. If this ends up happening, remember I called it here and now.