As far as well-remembered games from previous generations go, Metroid Prime has to be one of the standouts. The Gamecube exclusive saw Metroid star Samus take to 3D - and to a first-person viewpoint - with great success. The game, which saw the bounty hunter travel through the varied landscapes of Tallon IV, was a smash hit and a Nintendo fan favorite, spawning two well-received sequels
As such, there has been plenty of anticipation within the fan base surrounding a future Metroid Prime release, and plenty of frustration to boot. Fellow main series title Metroid: Other M did little to fill the void upon its release in 2010, but recently players have had some cause for hope. A cryptic tweet from Retro Studios suggested a surprise reveal at this year's E3, before Nintendo unveiled the 3DS co-op title Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
The handheld spin-off was seen by many as a chance to bring the Metroid Prime series back to Nintendo's main console line, particularly given Nintendo's previous hints at multiple Metroid titles being in development. As it stands, however, those hoping for a new Wii U release will not see Metroid Prime hitting Nintendo's current home console. In an interview with Eurogamer, Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe revealed that there will be no home console Metroid Prime games until Nintendo's NX at the earliest.
Tanabe stated that the time frame for creating a new Metroid Prime title would not fit in with the Wii U's lifespan. "If we started for Wii U now, it would likely take three years or so," said Tanabe. "It would likely now be on Nintendo's NX console." Explaining that such a game would take a "lot of work" on the development side, Tanabe also revealed that a lack of current Metroid Prime game for Wii U is down to an inability to "collect a team or the resources to do it."
There has clearly been some thought towards the direction that a further Metroid Prime release would take, however. Tanabe confirmed that the "stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done," meaning that another story arc would need to be created. He continued to hint that Sylux, from Metroid Prime Hunters, could play a role. "Personally I'd like to create a story centring around Sylux and Samus," said Tanabe.
It's not the first time that Nintendo has faced question marks over releases on the Wii U. There has been plenty of worry amongst Wii U owners that the upcoming Legend of Zelda title would skip the console and await a NX release, before the publisher announced that a Wii U launch is still on the cards. Nintendo has kept its lips sealed about the next home console, however, and the mysterious device did not make an appearance a E3 2015. With no news planned to be released until 2016, Metroid Prime fans may have a while to wait yet.