Zelda Delay Signals Another Slow Year For Nintendo Fans

Zelda Delay Signals Another Slow Year For Nintendo Fans

Longtime Nintendo fans may remember the brutal last years of Wii, in 2010 and 2011, when third-party support had dried up and just about all Nintendo put out was Skyward Sword and Fortune Street. After today's news, it seems like 2016 might be even worse. Yesterday, Nintendo announced that the next big Zelda game won't be out in 2016 after all. The currently untitled Zelda, which was first announced for Wii U way back in 2013, will now A) release on NX as well and B) launch in 2017. Who saw that one coming?

While the extra development time might mean good things for the new Zelda, it also leaves a giant hole in the Wii U's spring schedule, which was already looking anaemic. Per Nintendo's financial reports, here's what they have got announced for the next year or so:

Zelda Delay Signals Another Slow Year For Nintendo Fans

That's a total of three Wii U games scheduled for the rest of 2016: an Olympic sports game, a JRPG so niche even JRPG fans might not care about it and a Paper Mario game that's hopefully more Thousand-Year Door than Sticker Star. The appeal of Zelda might have made up for this weak schedule, but after the delay, what are they going to do this spring? Try to get Watch Dogs 2? Release new skins for Minecraft?

News that the 2017 Zelda will be the only playable Nintendo game at E3 raises louder alarms. Nintendo has traditionally used E3, which takes place in June, as an opportunity to showcase its lineup of holiday games. Even as the company stopped holding big press conferences in favour of pre-recorded Directs, Nintendo's booth was always a highlight of the show, packed full of games in a variety of genres that usually drew the biggest crowds. Back in 2014, for example, it seemed like everyone had come to the LA convention centre just to get their hands on the new Super Smash Bros.

This year, that's changed. Says Nintendo:

Nintendo changes its approach to the show every year. This June, Nintendo will focus its attentions on the upcoming game in The Legend of Zelda franchise. The Wii U version of the game will be playable for the first time on the E3 show floor, and it will be the only playable game Nintendo presents at the show, in order to provide attendees a complete immersion. Additional information about Nintendo's E3 plans will be announced in the future.

While this statement certainly leaves the door open for Nintendo to announce new games that aren't playable at E3, the implications are clear: They have nothing else. Even if they pull out some tricks this June — Mother 3 on Virtual Console, anyone? — the chances of a big holiday Wii U lineup are very slim.

At some point in the past few years, Nintendo must have cut its losses, moving development resources from the floundering Wii U to their next-generation NX, which is full of potential. We know very little about that new system. Nintendo will likely hold a blowout event later this year in which they announce details, show off games and tell us more about what to expect in 2017.

This year, though — this year is gonna be rough. One wise move might be to use this dry period to bolster the Virtual Console and announce some sort of unified system, guaranteeing that eShop games purchased on 3DS and Wii U will transfer to NX, but that might make too much sense for Nintendo. Hey, at least they still have Pokémon.


    The Wii U has probably been the worst console purchase I've ever made.

      It's been a disappointment like all Nintendo consoles after the N64, but it's still been a great console for me.
      NSMBU, Mario 3D World, Mario Maker, Captain Toad, Yoshi's Wooly World, DK Tropical Freeze, ZombiU, Lego City and 2 Zelda HD remakes - the quality has been there despite the quantity being low.

      My PC still gets more play but the WiiU gets dusted off for every major Nintendo release.

        I guess it depends on whether you've got a lot of nostalgia for Nintendo's franchises. I never had a Nintendo system before the Gamecube & DS and don't care for Mario games whatsoever. I was in for the potential of a new Zelda (despite being burned badly by Skyward Sword) and expected a decent Metroid by now, but it was not to be. :(

          If you don't like platformers the Wii U is pretty barren.

          Im glad I kept putting off buying one.

      For me it's probably second best, only being beaten out by the N64.

    I think I might just trade in my Wii U. I was holding out for Zelda but since it's also coming to the NX, and I haven't touched my Wii U in months, I think it might be time.

    I can live without Mario Maker and Xenoblade Chronicals X (which were pretty much the only games I played on it).

      For me, Xenoblade X was the big draw, and it turned out to be a massive disappointment for me. Not what I wanted in a follow-up at all. One day I'll get around to my copy of Project Zero but haven't felt like it. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is the last gasp for the system for me, with Zelda being effectively moved to NX.

    Was thinking of getting a wiiu. Might just stick to collecting Dreamcast games instead. More new games coming out for it anyway.

    Oh. Ugh.

    Luckily I have many, many other things to play. As long as it's good when it arrives, I guess I don't care how long it takes!

    Maybe I'll be able to finally achieve backlog: zero for one of my consoles :P

    ...so ain't gonna happen.

      I'd get very anxious if I had backlog: zero, I've had a backlog for many years now. It's comforting to know that I have new games to play even if no new games that I like come out.

        Oh I'll still have plenty of backlog. Hundreds of games on all the other systems, still waiting to be played :P

    it will be the only playable game Nintendo presents at the show, in order to provide attendees a complete immersion.
    That is some serious marketing spin.

      Up there with "30FPS for the cinematic feel".

    Eh, it's a bit disappointment but Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Splatoon and Mario Maker will keep those WiiUs around the world chugging which should be good for one last season of real competition in those games before people get distracted by the NX.

    This is a beat-for-beat retread of what it was like for Wii owners who either didn't feel pressured to own all three machines at the time plus a gaming PC, or bought the 'proper platforms' as secondary devices to supplement their Wii's.

    I was having a grand old time with the games that were out (the third party support was hardly support, it was a dumping ground for any old crap so there was very few options from them even during the halcyon days :D ) and all the while, yes the prospect of A New Console on the horizon was both a blessing and a curse.

    However, on the gaming sites and the general forum moods, there was a lot of malaise. The hype-based reporting and 'more more more' stuff in games culture is actually something I still quite like. Nintendo has continuously not brought its bat and ball to this sort of hoo-hah however, the E3 stuff is just the latest way of showing that. So when I browse my go-to sites, there's a lot of doom and gloom attached to the slightest bit of NIntendo news.

    For an Apple/Valve/etc approach to work, ie a never-ending running tap of Content, in a console-type environment no-less, is a hell of a prospect nowadays.

    Now I own a PS4, and I appreciate it's The Machine for the content hounds who are able to gorge on lots or consume an open world monster in record time and feel 'done with it', hat's off to you. I am hardly playing it but when I find a game I do want to play, I literally make up the time for it at those games.

    But just remember not too long ago, you weren't 'playing EVERYTHING' unless you had a:

    Gaming PC
    2 or 3 handhelds
    More than one dedicated console

    I suspect very few people who were around for those sorts of shenanigans want a return to those days. I certainly don't.

    Last edited 28/04/16 11:14 am

    Everyone thinking it's gonna be backwards compatible?? If it is I'll be laughing cos always wanted a wii u, and I'll have a nice library of good games to start with and I'll need it knowing Nintendos anemic release schedule....
    Then again you'd think they'd aim for third party support this time right???

      It's a tough choice for Nintendo, Backwards Compatability vs 3rd Party Support

        Why not both?

          The other two consoles use an X86 PC style programming which is what Nintendo would have to do to play ball with the third parties

          The WiiU uses some sort of PowerPC architecture (like Xbox 360) as well as a dual screen technology

          My guess is they will go BC to bolster their launch lineup (and if they do I'll probably bite because most of the WiiU's line up us interesting to me) but how successful they'll be wooing 3rd parties with that set up (or if they even care at all) I'm not sure

    After enjoying Twilight Princess HD immensely, I was looking forward to this one. At least it will be coming to the NX but this leaves few games coming out this year that I will enjoy.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now