Nintendo’s Zelda Gamble…Is it Worth the Risk?

Zelda Gamble

The Legend of Zelda, this 30 year gaming icon has been a major part of gaming culture, across the original Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii U. Now, with E3 inching ever closer Nintendo is looking to unveil the curtains on the newest Zelda title coming out for Wii U and Nintendo’s newest console codenamed NX. As fans are likely aware of though, this major look at the newest Zelda games Wii U version  is also the ONLY look at Nintendo’s console and software library at E3. Today, I’d like to talk a little about this, look at the pros and cons of everything, and in the end, is this media presentation a good idea or not.

Nintendo’s E3 plans are unorthodox to say the least.
Nintendo’s E3 plans are unorthodox to say the least.

If you want a closer look at what Nintendo and it’s teams may be working on for the NX, I advise you to give an article series written by SG’s Nantendo a read (here’s Part 1 to get you started) but as for the NX and it’s absence, Nintendo itself has of course commented to Nikkei that it would launch in 2017, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said. “At this current stage, I’m not able to say, However, it’s not merely the successor to the handheld 3DS or stationary console Wii U. This will be hardware that’s been made with a new way of thinking. I’d like to announce more particulars regarding its specs and how it works another time this year.” (translation courtesy of Kotaku)  Nintendo’s new NX is simply not at a point where Nintendo is confident to present it yet, whether that be from a hardware point of view or a software point of view (given the release, I imagine it’s software).

Of course, one may be thinking “Well, surely they have a game or two they can unveil with the NX to give the marketplace a sneak peak right?” The answer to that is likely yes, however, let’s look back to when the Nintendo Wii U was revealed at E3 2011. What was shown was minimal software from both 1st and 3rd parties, and focused on being more of a tech demo for what the Wii U was about. General consensus across gamers and media generally viewed the E3 presentation as lackluster. Why is this important to the NX? Well, first impressions are important, so Nintendo want (and should want) to present a Direct on their own time where they’re able to present the NX and it’s software unconstrained by any limitations an E3 presentation may provide, and to give gamers as much to look forward to as possible for the eventual March 2017 release.

Even without the NX, Nintendo looks to come out of E3 strong with Zelda Wii U.
Even without the NX, Nintendo looks to come out of E3 strong with Zelda Wii U.

With the NX out of the way now, this brings us to The Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX. So let’s look at the pros and cons quickly of this move:


The Legend of Zelda is arguably one of Nintendo’s strongest IP, with very strong sales across more limited numbers than some of Nintendo’s other powerhouses such as Mario and Pokemon.

-We know so little, so making a full sized presentation is quite easy, especially given the huge open world nature of the game.

-It allows them to save other titles for Directs down the line. After Iwata’s passing, Nintendo went into large presentation Direct from E3 2015 in June all the way to November of that year, a 6 month drought. This allows them to save other titles to use between this presentation and March.


-It’s unexciting as a huge part of E3 is learning of new games, which will be missing this year.

-On that note, interest may be low for the entire week for Nintendo because of there only being one game, especially from any investors/business personnel.

-While we currently know to little, after E3 way to much could potentially be revealed.

-They’re essentially “sacrificing” E3 for a bigger presentation down the line.


Just a few points that can be made. One thing however that is for sure, is that this is a very polarizing subject for gamers, anti Nintendo trolls riling the Nintendo fans up on how they have nothing, major media outlets predicting doom and gloom for Nintendo. So, is this a good thing or not?

As time counts down until March 2017, how will Nintendo keep gamers interested?
As time counts down until March 2017, how will Nintendo keep gamers interested?

For E3, I can’t say it is. It’s a weak presentation that will see Nintendo easily overlooked for its competitors, no matter how much of a Zelda fan you are… However, short term loss can often equal long term gain. As mentioned, the NX first impression is very important, as it needs to be able to convince the mass market place that it’s not JUST another Wii, but that it’s a must own piece of hardware, supported by the best 1st party support possible, and hopefully, stellar 3rd party support. That presentation needs to sell the system, which is something Zelda does not necessarily have to do. The Legend of Zelda is a major seller, especially for new mainline titles, so it’ll sell to the Wii U owners quite well, and it could very well get new adopters of the Wii U. Far more important though, is that this game will also be on the NX, meaning that this E3 presentation could go a long way to convince people to buy the new NX, for gamers that don’t own a Wii U already.

So in the long term, this is a great move, but it is as the title says, still a gamble, but not just for E3, but for the foreseeable future. However, as mentioned, Zelda has existed for 30 years, and Nintendo has existed even longer, being able to keep up with the changing times, even ready to advance into new markets such as motion pictures (which you can see us all talk about what we’d like to see [url= ]here[/url]) and perhaps the stock might suffer a bit here, perhaps gamers and media will predict doom and gloom, but ultimately, this is a small step along the road of the NX that is for the greater gain of the final goal, and if any franchise can stand alone to give a bright light to fans of the video game industry, The Legend of Zelda is that franchise. So if you’re a fan, look forward to E3, enjoy it, and look forward to the future when this title comes out with the NX, and if you’re not a fan, maybe after E3, you will be.

Neo zero

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  1. I honestly think that this gamble might not be their finest movement, at all. What’s even weirder is the fact that Nintendo still addresses Zelda Wii U as is, and refuses to name it “the next-gen Zelda game” as we all know by now, since it is no longer a Wii U exclusive.
    Trying to save E3 with just one title that will no longer be an exclusive experience as promised feels like trying to cover the sun with a thumb. And it’s not good at all.

  2. It feels like they’re trying to make E3 a thing of the past, maybe they think E3 is on the whole not a good event for them? There is something about that – too much being revealed by so many publishers in the course of just a few days, it’s easy to understand why they’d prefer to have the headlines on an unrelated date.

    Article nitpicks:
    1. Please change “to” to “too” twice in this sentence: “While we currently know to little, after E3 way to much could potentially be revealed.”
    2. Accidental BBCode url tag?

  3. This E3 will show to the world one of Nintendo’s jerkest moves in my opininon. They ALWAYS spend a crapload of money with Zelda marketing rather than any other Nintendo product. Even something consodered small for the series, like the HD ports for Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are saw with lots and lots of marketing, same goes for OOT3D, MM3D, ALBW on 3DS, even that mediocre Triforce Heroes got a lot of attention.

    Am I talking I don’t like Zelda? No! Far from it. I think it’s an excellent series with a brilliant future. My biggest issue is that I hate Eiji Aonuma with all of my guts! Since he assumed the responsibility for the series, Zelda became to follow a gimmicky and puzzle overloaded direction, it’s sad that the fans are unable to want something such as a so desired realistic-looking Zelda because Aonuma likes the cartoony style (let’s never forget how bashed was Wind Waker in its release on GCN, despite being a good game), besides this the fans also wanted a more action focused Zelda, look at the NES and SNES games, its puzzles are not the core of the game, however Aonuma thinks that puzzles are a essential part of the series and because of that, enemy battles are all about hitting the weak point (I miss that ALTTP two headed boss that takes fire damage on the blue head and ice damage on the red head). I believe Zelda faced a decay in Aonuma’s hands and he should be kept away from the series, for being unable to deliver what the consumer wants. Last but not least, what kind of game developer is Aonuma to delay a game multiple times and think that is alright? Yeah, I know that people will come with that “delaying will make the game better” thing, but still is something that couldn’t happen, only in an extremely dire circumstance, the worst part of this is that Aonuma makes this ALL THE DAMN TIME with every single big game he takes to produce! It’s infuriating, how can a developer like this still keep your job? I want games with the minimal of delay, if you can’t deliver a game in the deadline, go away! I’m so sick of the fact that Aonuma is still in charge of Zelda.

  4. Honestly I think only showing Zelda at E3 is pretty safe. It means they can dedicate all the time they need to hyping up the biggest game on the Wii U, that’ll also coincidentally be the game to bridge the gap between this generation and the next. Nintendo shows off all their stuff in Directs these days; I’d imagine they want to avoid a repeat of Wii U’s middling reveal by waiting until more NX software is ready to be revealed alongside the NX.

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