There’s no question that today’s Nintendo Direct has intrigued fans of the Japanese gaming company, and may have even convinced a few consumers to consider investing in a new Wii U console. There’s one franchise that gamers have been waiting to arrive on the Big N’s latest system, though, and that’s The Legend of Zelda. Not only did Nintendo take the opportunity to reconfirm that a new Zelda adventure was in development for the Wii U today, but the company also announced that the fan-favorite Wind Waker would be receiving an HD remake.

Since the new Zelda title is currently just in the beginning stages of development, details are understandably slim. That said, the series’ producer, Eiji Aonuma, did elaborate on some of the core themes that they plan on visiting in the new title. Furthermore, he confirmed that there would be some major changes to the recent Zelda formula, as his team tries to “get back to basics” with the franchise.

“Our mission in developing this new Zelda game for Wii U is quite plainly to rethink the conventions of Zelda. I’m referring to things such as the player is supposed to complete dungeons in a certain order. That you are suppose to play by yourself, the things that we’ve come to take for granted recently. We want to set aside these “conventions,” get back to basics to create a newborn Zelda so players today can enjoy the real essence of the franchise.”

Aonuma also revealed that his team planned on taking a similar approach to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, but ultimately had to drop those aspiration to support the linear structure of the game.

“We had actually worked on this kind of challenge with Skyward Sword, but we weren’t able to put efforts in changing the linear structure of the game.”

In an effort to appease the die hard Zelda fans who’ve invested in a Wii U console, Eiji announced that his team would be releasing an HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This remake will tweak the visuals and gameplay mechanics of the Gamecube classic in order to shine on the Wii U, which makes sense given that the console has a radically different controller than the Cube did. Best of all, fans can expect the game to arrive this Fall.

“After the Zelda team showed the Wii U Zelda demo, that we called the Zelda HD Experience at E3 2011, we continued to experiment with converting past Zelda art styles into HD as we continued to consider graphical styles for the new game, but in fact felt as if it had been transformed into something entirely new.”

“I wanted to report that while you’re waiting for that game [the new Legend of Zelda] to release we intend to offer you The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, reborn on the Wii U, to play in the meantime.”

A handful of new screenshots for The Wind Waker HD were also displayed during the Nintendo Direct presentation, and can be seen below.

Since the remake is scheduled to arrive on the Wii U this Fall, fans should be learning more about the new features in the game in the not-too-distant future (likely at E3 2013).

From the sounds of it, the new Zelda title is also still quite a ways off, but the promise of an open world that removes the linear dungeon progression is tempting. It sounds as if, at least for the time being, the rumors pertaining to the new Wii U Zelda may have been true in terms of MiiVerse interactions, but there’s almost no question that it’ll miss its rumored 2014 release at this point in time.

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Source: Nintendo Direct