Nintendo officially confirms that the new Legend of Zelda game has been delayed until 2017, when it will launch simultaneously for both the Wii U and the NX.
Bad news for anyone hoping to make a return to Hyrule in 2016 — the new Legend of Zelda game has been delayed, and won't release until next year. As has been speculated for some time, the game is now set to launch simultaneously on both the Wii U and the Nintendo NX.
The official Twitter account for Nintendo of Japan posted a tweet earlier this morning to make the announcement. Apparently, the delay will give the team working on the currently untitled Legend of Zelda sequel enough time to 'improve the quality' of the game.
However, fans shouldn't be too worried about Nintendo's reference to 'quality.' There's no reason to think that the new Zelda is failing to meet expectations, as it seems much more likely that this delay is primarily designed to bump the game's release to a date closer to the NX launch.
Nintendo seems to be attempting to repeat the success it had in 2006, when Twilight Princess launched across the Gamecube and the Wii. Despite being originally announced for the former console, the majority of its sales came thanks to its release on the company's new hardware.
Even if the new Legend of Zelda is available on Wii U, there are plenty of consumers who would consider buying the NX just to get the most out of a new Zelda title. The franchise is one of the biggest in the video game industry, and holds a lot of sway over the Nintendo faithful.
It certainly seems like Nintendo has plenty of faith in the way the game is shaping up. This morning's announcement was paired with a press release that confirms that the new Legend of Zelda instalment is the only playable game that the company is bringing to E3 2016.
This is a game that was announced in 2013, but still remains a mystery. We've only seen snippets of what it has to offer, but it's certainly one of the most anticipated titles announced for any console — so it certainly makes sense that it's being give such a huge focus.
That said, it will be very interesting to see whether or not Nintendo will regret pinning their hopes to the Zelda franchise in such a big way. The game is dominating the company's presence at E3, and will no doubt be a highlight of the NX's launch lineup, so there's more pressure than ever before for it to live up to expectations.
The Legend of Zelda will release in 2017 for Wii U and the NX.