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Zelda Wii U Delayed Until Possibly 2016
News reported by 
March 28, 2015, 00:25:56
Well this is a hookshot to the balls...

The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U is officially delayed until possibly 2016. This news comes from a Development Update video (seen below) that Eiji Aonuma posted on Youtube. Mr. Aonuma of course is the director of this upcoming Nintendo title.

While he doesn't explicitly say the game will release in 2016 for sure, the team is no-longer using 2015 as a focus and thus they aren't trying to release it by year's end. Will they still pull it off? Maybe... but it's not probable from the sound of it.

Sure our initial reactions are that of sadness, disappointment, or anger,... but could this be a good thing? Maybe it's obviously one? More time, more ideas, more polish... should be wonderful right? Anyone worried about a Twilight Princess situation where the game eventually has a weak release on the original system in order to be even 'more spectacular' on the next-gen system? We have no reason to believe this would happen but it'd be kinda crazy if it did.

Discuss in the comments below.

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Posted: 03/28/15, 00:25:56  - Edited by 
 on: 03/28/15, 00:30:40    
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When Aonuma kept talking about making Majora's Mask in just 1 year it seemed like the new Zelda was a real possibility for the holidays. So I was a believer (especially when he kept repeating it, and they seemed to be taking more opportunities than usual to show off the game).

Personally, I'm more excited about XCX. So if that arrives this year I'm good.

The funny thing about Zelda delays is it's devastating when it happens, and then a few hours later you find yourself thinking, "huh, this new Zelda game must be going to turn out amazing, they're spending all this extra time and money making it awesome". So it doesn't take long to come to terms with it. Skipping E3 though, not cool. And it speaks a lot about how drastic the changes must be.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 13:37:01

Just because you made a guess that turns out to be true, still doesn't mean the game was destined to follow suit. Even with delays being a common thing, a delay long enough to push it out of this year also wasn't explicit.

No E3 is a bummer but I guess I'll deal. I just don't want this to have some E3 reveal in 2016 and then a holiday 2016 release. That's a bit too far away for my liking. Now's the time to see what Nintendo has in store to fill the void it'll leave.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 15:32:28

I actually wouldn't be too shocked if the 'look' of the game turned out to be different.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 16:01:14
Maybe this is all to retool the game and story so Link is female...

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 16:46:48
@DrFinkelstein That... would be kind of hilarious because of how angry it would make a lot of people.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 17:25:08
Not too surprised by this, and totally okay with it, they should take as long as they need to make sure it's the best it can be.

Axiom Verge looks really cool will definitely check out at some point, I wish it wouldn't have come out the same time as Bloodborne because that game demands undivided attention.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 17:28:23

It's probably for the best. The fact that they're going back on their word and delaying the game shows that quality is a high priority. Whenever a game is delayed, that usually shows that the developers care about what they're making and recognize that rushing will only make the finished game worse.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 18:13:04
I have to say I will be a bit pissed if it gets bumped to the NX, that would make Wii U a really sad place for me considering no 64/Galaxy-style 3-D Mario, no Metroid, and no main-series Zelda, that would be crazy, complete no shows from my three favorite franchises. Seems too impossible to fathom. But if it's delayed to 2016 and the NX is a possible 2016... hmm...

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 18:41:27
It's possible, but I think NX for 2016 doesn't seem likely. Nintendo has at least a five-year-cycle for their home systems:

1985 -> (6) 1991 -> (6) 1996 -> (5) 2001 -> (5) 2006 -> (6) 2012

Their less-successful ones had 5-year cycles. Interesting...like they were quick to move on. Based on this, I'm thinking 2017 for NX.

Also, no reason to believe yet that we won't get the Metch!

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 19:39:33
Is there a reason people think the NX might come out in 2016 other than "Wii U isn't doing well?"

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 19:40:15
I'm betting on 2017 for NX, but who knows. 2016 is possible, and we don't know for sure if it's even a console. If it were to happen, that's still four years of support for a flop of a console. Microsoft only supported the original Xbox for four years for strategic business reasons, and nobody gave them any grief about that, so I'm calling bullshit if Nintendo does it for even better reasons with the Wii U and everybody flips out.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 19:57:54

Well Skyward Sword was never delayed...


I could definitely live with a Metroid Prime 4. That would alleviate my disappointment considerably.

Shadowlink said:

Easy? Not at all. Called this last year.

Shadowlink said:[quote]Delays on Zelda are pretty standard.

Only 2 of the 18 games have ever been delayed though... That's not exactly what I'd call "standard".

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 20:12:23
Zero said:
Is there a reason people think the NX might come out in 2016 other than "Wii U isn't doing well?"

That's a big part of it. The typical 5 year cycle would place the next console in 2017, and the typical 6-ish year cycle for handhelds would place the next handheld there too.

The NX is being unveiled in 2016 though, and with the Wii U's software slate seemingly running out, an exciting new hybrid system for 2016 is within the realm of possibility.

Still 2017 seems more likely.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 20:55:06  - Edited by 
 on: 03/28/15, 22:10:50
I hope 2017. I'm not a fan of 4 year cycles. I feel like we have still barely cracked into the Wii U.

I do have to wonder though if the only way Nintendo can compete in tech AND keep costs down (relatively) is to like... release 2 years or so after the others do with similar tech, which might be early enough that it doesn't get drowned out by "next gen" talk. Which would make 2016 a *tad* late, but at this point what else can you do? They're not going to release in 2015.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 21:03:42  - Edited by 
 on: 03/28/15, 21:06:44
I've came across a few of these theories while searching the internet. The Zelda, with its open world concept is not working out on the Wii U due to technical limitations. Its not even being showm at this years E3.


Because its being moved to Nintendo's NX console, ala Twilight Princess, both which will be showm at the 2016 E3. The Zelda game and the NX will be released holiday 2016 to increase sales of the new system. Iwata & Nintendo knows the Wii U is dead in the water and wants to cut their losses as quickly as possible. This scenario still gives the Wii U a 4 year life span.

Do I believe this. No, but I guess anything is possible.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 21:04:49  - Edited by 
 on: 03/28/15, 21:05:23
It's too bad they couldn't meet a 2015 release date, but I'm not too upset over it. This title seems very ambitious and so they can take all the time they need to satisfy their vision. At the same time, it makes me excited to see what surprises Nintendo has up its sleeve for E3 reveals, my bet is on Mario Strikers and Animal Crossing for this holiday. Possibly another HD remaster, as well.

I really hope we get a Zelda trailer at E3 though.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 21:26:54

Yeah, Nintendo has put themselves in an odd spot with the Wii U all around. A lot of people keep insisting that they need to just wait for the next console cycle and release something just like Sony and MS. I wholeheartedly disagree... not only does the Wii U lack the steam to last that long, but look what happened the last time Nintendo released a console that was just like the other guys. They found themselves in dead last, even under a new competitor, and they were already losing third party support left and right even with a console that was more powerful than the leader. It's na´ve to believe that they would return if only Nintendo would release a powerful machine again.

They are going to have to keep sailing the blue ocean and doing things differently than the competition, but they need to make sure that their next concept is one that is actually appealing and useful. The Wii U had people cocking their heads from the second they unveiled it... but hey, this is the company responsible for bringing us pretty much every feature you see on a modern game controller. I trust that they can do it again.


I'm still going to imagine that the problems they are having with the open world structure is related to gameplay and not technical limitations. Zelda isn't Skyrim. But if the Wii U really is forcing them to scale that ridiculous world down to a reasonable scale, then yay Wii U...

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 21:50:54
@Shadowlink It wasn't hard to call, but there was also no reason based on what we knew, Nintendo's track record lately, their situation with Wii U, and their insistence just 3 months ago that this was arriving this year.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 22:07:09  - Edited by 
 on: 03/28/15, 22:08:49
XCX doesn't seem to be suffering from any 'technical limitations', and Skyrim played well on lesser tech.

No, this delay is about either going cross-platform like TP or it's a creative change that is so drastic that it won't be ready to show at E3.

Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 22:10:06
On the subject of timing, when is the best year for Nintendo to launch a new console?

Releasing earlier than normal (2016)

Zelda at launch
Staying in the public eye, keeping relevant
Being first to market with unique technology
Potential of more profits than Wii U is generating
Possibility of re-engaging with 3rd party publishers sooner than later

Releasing on schedule (2017)

Five years of support appeases Wii U owners and preserves the core fanbase
Wii U might be able to finally have a substantial price reduction and be a modest success
QoL hardware is slated for 2016, so launching further apart might be preferable
The unique tech for the NX may need more time to be mass produced / affordable

Releasing sometime later (2018+)


Posted by 
 on: 03/28/15, 22:19:31  - Edited by 
 on: 03/28/15, 22:26:19
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