If you’re a Nintendo fan, we’ve got a glimmer of good news and a whole lot of bad. In an unexpected news dump on Twitter last night, Nintendo revealed that its upcoming console, codenamed the NX, is slated for a March 2017 release and that the new Legend of Zelda game has been delayed to coincide with the new console’s launch.
Nintendo also explicitly confirmed one of the rumors we heard not too long ago — the new Legend of Zelda game will be released simultaneously for both the Wii U and the NX. If you’re having flashbacks to the simultaneous GameCube/Wii launch of Twilight Princess, so is just about every other Nintendo fan right now. The good news is that the game has a launch date and that Nintendo has confirmed that the game will be playable at E3 in June.
The bad news is everything else. The new Legend of Zelda was first announced in January 2013, just two months after the launch of the Wii U. The game was originally tabbed for a 2015 release, and was meant to be one of the marquee games for the Wii U. So, Wii U owners are probably not too happy that not only has the game been delayed a full two years, they likely won’t be getting the best version of the game unless they buy Nintendo’s next console. A Nintendo console concluding its lifespan without its own Legend of Zelda (and a proper 3D Mario entry!) would have been unfathomable five years ago, but here we are.
Don’t expect big NX news anytime soon, though. While Nintendo did confirm that they will reveal the new console sometime this year, they also tweeted that the NX will not be at E3. Nintendo’s E3 showing will focus on the Legend of Zelda game itself, consoles aside. Other than that, from the sounds of it, Nintendo will be showing off more of their upcoming smartphone games. Eesh, although to be fair, Animal Crossing does seem like a good fit for smartphones.
It’s not a good look, but Nintendo probably didn’t have many options. The Wii U has not sold well compared to its predecessor or to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. While the console does have a few standout games like Mario Maker, Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Splatoon, there simply haven’t been enough quality games made for the system. It doesn’t help that the recent revival of one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises in Star Fox Zero has been met with lackluster reviews and has a shockingly short playtime of two to three hours. Wii U owners might rightfully wonder what Nintendo has been doing this whole time, and they might rightfully conclude that Nintendo actually gave up on the Wii U a lot longer ago than we thought.