Nintendo's recent quarterly report included very mixed news for the company. On the bright side, the Wii U has now sold over 10 million units, but that number was still short of Nintendo's expectations.
Since the release of the quarterly report, Nintendo has also unveiled to their investors a list of games targeted for 2016 releases on 3DS and Wii U. While The Legend of Zelda was believed to be a lock for 2016, it looks like those anticipating The Legend of Zelda for Wii U may actually have to wait even longer than expected.
This speculation arises from the fact that Nintendo lists all the games coming in 2016 as "2016" on the report, but with The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, they simply have it listed as TBD, or To Be Decided.
Unfortunately for Wii U fans, there are actually only two Wii U games with guaranteed 2016 releases, according to the report. The first is Genei Roku #FE, formerly known by the much easier to swallow title of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, and a game under the working title Project Guard. Wii U needs The Legend of Zelda in 2016, or else it faces its worst year to date.
Things are much brighter on the 3DS side of the coin, as Nintendo has numerous 3DS titles planned for 2016. This includes Bravely Second: End Layer, Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, Hyrule Warriors: Legends, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the poorly-received Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
All of the aforementioned titles were listed as coming in 2016, so if Nintendo is still planning on Zelda to hit the Wii U in 2016, it's strange that they didn't list the game for 2016 in their quarterly financial report. It was discerning enough when Zelda for Wii U skipped E3 2015, and that may have been the first warning sign that the game has not been making enough progress to meet the 2016 deadline.
Another factor to consider is that even though Shigeru Miyamoto promises The Legend of Zelda is still coming to Wii U, the game may be moving to the Nintendo NX, or at least release on both systems like Twilight Princess did on the GameCube and original Wii.
As the Wii U's sales indicate, the console is struggling in a major way, and quite frankly, it stands little chance at bouncing back, already surpassed in sales by both the PS4 and Xbox One despite having a year head start. Saving The Legend of Zelda as an NX launch title would be a smart move, though that console is rumored to release in July of 2016, so it still doesn't explain the potential latest delay for the game.
Hopefully Nintendo releases an official statement on the matter soon, so Wii U fans know whether or not they can hope to see The Legend of Zelda for Wii U see the light of day in 2016 or not.
According to the latest official statement from Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is coming in 2016, but this quarterly financial report may indicate that Wii U owners may have to wait until 2017 or later to get their hands on the game.
Source: Game Informer