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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 naďve 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...
@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.
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