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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Zelda Wii U Delayed... so what?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Did anyone expect it to come out in 2015?

Last week, the world of The Legend of Zelda fans exploded: The long-awaited Nintendo Wii U iteration of the franchise (Wind Waker HD not counting) was DELAYED. Or, at least, no longer locked into a 2015 time-table. (In layman's terms, that means it's coming out after 2015.) Apparently, it was announced to come out in 2015 during The Game Awards and we didn't remember it from that event, but The Game Awards 2014 was a horrible waste of time anyway (to the point where I put the KoopaTV staff member whose idea it was to watch it on indefinite unpaid leave).

For more information, here is Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda producer.

So... He is basically allowing feature/scope-creep to direct the project, rather than sticking to the budget and time-table. On one hand, you can cheer to be able to eventually play "the ultimate Zelda game", but on the other hand, as the producer, it was Aonuma's job to NOT have this scope-creep be a thing.

For a reminder of what the producer is supposed to do, take another look at Masahiro Sakurai's New Years Resolution for 2014. (That he succeeded at.) 
"Key phrase: Completion
Resolution: I resolve to complete development on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and release it in 2014."
People who like to shamelessly parrot industry villains (such as Michael Pachter) will bring up Shigeru Miyamoto's infamous quote:

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

This quote is just flat-out wrong. Miyamoto said it to justify his table-upending ways, but we all know and can name games that were delayed and bad. Miyamoto's quote is basically saying, "If a game is delayed, it will be a good game." Tell that to Duke Nukem Forever or Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon or Too Human or The Order: 1886 or Choice: Texas (which was... okay) or any number of historical examples. And as an example of a great rushed game, look at Super Smash Bros. Melee. It's an exception to the rule and no way to make a videogame or run a project, but it still exists.

I'm not criticising the delay... because I expected it to happen. This type of thing usually happens to Zelda games anyway, most infamously The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. And it's that particular example that has people worried that this Wii U game will not come out on Wii U at all... but will end up on the mysterious "NX" system. The one we still don't know anything about.

I'll explore that line of thinking a bit more and then comment on the NX.

This was supposed to be a GameCube game.

Nintendo had a variety of titles that were supposed to come out on the GameCube but were moved to the Wii, including Twilight Princess, Super Paper Mario, and Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast. The latter of those was supposed to be controlled using the DK Bongos, and the middle is pretty much a platformer that could've easily been controlled using a GameCube controller. They got moved due to lack of time and they brushed up against the end of the GameCube's life-cycle anyway. Maybe they got nudges from Iwata that the Wii needed more games near its launch window so "go ahead and just move the games over." Really, the only game that would have inherently benefitted from the GameCube's controls would be Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast, which was criticised on the Wii for its inferior Wiimote + Nunchuk replacement. Add that to the "games that were bad after being delayed" list. (And not really the GameCube but the DK Bongos.)

The Wii U is different. It has this whole second screen thing going on. For The Legend of Zelda on Wii U, they are having the whole world's map be on that second screen. There are probably some other things going on, too. If they were going to port it to the NX (whether it's a complete move or they release it on NX and Wii U like Twilight Princess) then they would have to put that map somewhere.

Nintendo sort of presented the NX as a "third pillar" (like the DS was supposed to be the third pillar to the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance, but we know how that turned out) type thing in their diagram of their ecosystem. It co-existed with the 3DS and Wii U. Do you think its controller will have a second screen? Or will it be radically different?

Whatever happens, if the NX is going to be suitable for a Wii U port, then it needs to share features with, or be able to workaround, the features of the Wii U. And the Wii U's features are pretty distinct.

The NX is going to have details announced next year as of 2015.

This makes it unlikely that Zelda on Wii U will not be on Wii U.

If details are merely announced in 2016 (and we can think E3 2016), then is it likely that the NX will be available to purchase in November 2016? ...Not exactly. It's probably coming out November 2017. I could easily be wrong about that, but I don't see the Wii U only being on the market for four years. It's doubtful (but possible) that the Wii U Legend of Zelda will be delayed past 2016 to 2017. You can have confidence it will be released on the Wii U. And if you don't like waiting for 2016, it's a good thing the Wii U has other awesome games coming out in 2015.

Oh, yeah, Nintendo also said E3 2015 will focus on titles coming out in 2015. See? I'll be able to list out those awesome games that aren't named Splatoon this June!

...So how many minutes are we going to have dedicated to Nintendo's new mobile games at E3? 

E3 is in less than three months, and then KoopaTV will be able to live-react to seeing Nintendo's mobile games. It'll probably be entertaining to read, so stay tuned. Also, there is a Nintendo Direct tomorrow so you might even get live-reactions much sooner than E3.

The Nintendo E3 2015 really sucked.
Zelda Wii U is now being delayed again to 2017, with the NX to be launched in March 2017.
The Legend of Zelda on Wii U is now called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be releasing March 3, 2017, simultaneously for Wii U and Nintendo Switch. Which to get?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released on both Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3rd, 2017, to highly critical acclaim.


  1. The NX is still a cooler name than the switch, although I wonder what the initials would stand for. Nintendo Xperience, Nintendo Xtreme, Nintendo Xeno, so many possibilities.


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