Zelda: Breath of the Wild is practically the biggest exclusive game for Nintendo's new Switch console and handheld hybrid system, but new reports indicate the game may not be a launch game for the Switch, instead opting for a release later in the year.
Launch games are incredibly important for new consoles, and can easily make or break the system's initial success and adoption rate. The new Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the first game Nintendo showed off with its new innovative swapping Switch console, and that's no coincidence: Nintendo has said that the new Zelda will be an "immediate reason to buy a Switch."
Sadly, it looks like the new open-world Zelda game may not release alongside the Switch system. Sources have told well-known games insider Emily Rogers that the game isn't progressing nearly as well as Nintendo had hoped, and that it's much bigger and more ambitious than the company had planned. Given this new info, Rogers predicts Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch in Summer 2017, not in March.
Sources also say the Switch version's development is going a lot smoother than the Wii U, hinting the last-gen flavor could hold back the Switch's port.
"In early September, I heard rumblings that the localization for the game was becoming more work than anyone had anticipated. They have to localize all of the game's text, NPCs, quests, etc. Then, around October, I received another update that Zelda's localization was still not going as smoothly as planned. "A very ambitious game, maybe even too much" claimed one particular source.
"That brings us to the month of November. More sources have now come forward and corroborated my information. They've told me that localization for Breath of the Wild might not be finished until the end of December. After localization is completed, this game will require between (at least) four-to-six months of testing.
"As I mentioned earlier, this is one of Nintendo's largest and most ambitious games ever. The amount of testing required for a huge open-world game like this is enormous. Nintendo's intention is to have the game as bug free as possible.
Breath of the Wild was originally supposed to launch in 2015, and it was actually the reason I bought a Wii U. Then Nintendo delayed it into 2016...then delayed it yet again into 2017.
Right now the game is listed as TBA 2017, however the game's amiibo figures apparently launch sometime in March...at least according to older listings.
If Zelda doesn't launch alongside the Switch, then Nintendo will need to fill in that gap with some serious firepower to win gamers over. Nintendo has promised that the Switch will have a "wide array of hardware add-ons," and that the games are basically the missing half of the reveal.
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima also confirmed the Switch will launch with a "full software lineup," but outside of Zelda, we don't know of any real confirmed titles.
We expect to see a number of first-party exclusive franchises like Mario and maybe even Pokemon arrive on the Switch, and possibly even Metroid, Kirby, and maybe even a Splatoon or Smash Bros. port.
The Nintendo Switch will launch in March 2017, but the Japanese console-maker has yet to reveal pricing or launch games; those details will be unveiled at a special event on January 12, 2017.
Check below for everything we know about the Switch so far.
Everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far:
- Nintendo Switch price to start at $249, deluxe at $299
- Nintendo Switch may have 4GB unified memory pool
- Nintendo Switch handheld delivers console-quality gaming
- 3DS won't be cannibalized by new Switch console, Nintendo President confirms
- Nintendo Switch to have wide array of hardware add-ons
- Nintendo Switch may use USB Type-C for power
- Nintendo Switch has 6-inch 720p display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch
- Nintendo investors hate the Switch hybrid
- Everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's new transforming handheld console hybrid
- Nintendo to reveal Switch pricing, specs, launch games and more on January 12, 2017
- 3DS won't be cannibalized by Switch, says Nintendo
- Nintendo Switch gameplay graphics and features are subject to change
- Nintendo Switch is single-screen only, says Nintendo
- Nintendo Switch to launch only as complete bundle
- Nintendo expect 2 million Switch console sales at launch
- Nintendo Switch may have extra power while docked
- Nintendo Switch isn't backward compatible with Wii U games
- Nintendo Switch's battery may only last 3 hours
- Nintendo won't reveal full Switch console specs until 2017
- Nintendo Switch gets a much-needed splash of color
- Nintendo's new Switch console powered by NVIDIA Tegra
- Nintendo Switch may sport dedicated game video recording
- Skyrim hasn't yet been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch