Way back in 2006, the original Nintendo Wii launched. While there were quite a few different titles available at launch, gamers only really cared about one: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
The game had been in development for years and delayed numerous times before Nintendo decided that it should be released on both the aging GameCube hardware and the shiny new Wii console. The strategy largely worked, and Twilight Princess went on to be one of many successes for Nintendo during the Wii's life cycle.
So, why does any of this matter? Well, it's because Nintendo is doing the exact same thing with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It's been rumored for months that Breath of the Wild had been delayed until next year in order to launch in tandem with Nintendo's new console — that being said, there was never any proof. It made sense, but without official word from Nintendo, there was no way to confirm or deny if that was the case. However, in an interview with IGN, Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed what so many fans had already assumed: that Breath of the Wild had indeed been delayed to launch alongside the NX.
"It's complicated because as we're developing this — obviously development of NX started a while ago — and unfortunately, I'm sorry, but the development of this game took a lot longer than expected ... Also, when we thought about developing a Zelda game for the NX, it would have to be way further down the life cycle of the system.
And this game, rather than really focusing on the unique features of the Wii U, it's really a game you sit down and get into. There was a change in direction, so we decided to develop for both consoles a while ago."
Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma also commented on the delay, claiming that cross-platform development had always been on the table:
"With Twilight Princess, I was looking at, this [then-new] platform called Wii and I had more of an outsider objective view of, 'Oh this is coming out. But for this one I was slightly more involved with NX and just judging on the timing of development. When we were going to finish this, we thought it might be fun to have that available for NX as well."
Miyamoto also cited that the game's new focus on realistic physics proved to be quite the hurdle for the team, and that it also contributed to the game's push to 2017. However, given what Aonuma said, the NX launch seemed to be the biggest factor in Breath of the Wild's delay.
Given Breath of the Wild's impressive E3 2016 presence, most fans are perfectly fine with giving the game a bit of extra development time. Those who have been waiting on the game since 2013 may not be so enthused, but hey — at least the game is looking good.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set to launch alongside the Nintendo NX early next year.