Abandon ship! Mustached plumbers, gorillas, and Hyrule princesses first! Stay calm people and remember your sinking console safety tips. Nintendo announced late last night via their Twitter account, some interesting news on both the upcoming Zelda game and their plans for the rumored next console from the company.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 27, 2016
This news is a bit of a surprise for many. Sure, we knew the “NX” was coming soon. Some even speculated that this holiday season would have been the consoles launch window. Personally, I am relieved. I wasn’t ready for my Wii U to become obsolete. What I do have an issue with is the news that Zelda will be delayed…again. What is becoming an even bigger concern is that I have almost lost all trust with Nintendo.
Going back to the very first Nintendo console back in the 1980s, when you brought home a shiny and glorious new Nintendo console, we were guaranteed two games. A new Super Mario and a Zelda game. Sprinkle in a Metroid and Nintendo fans were happy. Both the original NES and SNES gave gamers huge library’s of both first and third-party support. Life was good in Nintendo land.
Then the Nintendo 64 came along. While once again giving gamers great first party support with Mario 64, and two Zelda games–Ocarina Of Time and Majora’s Mask–the console suffered from a serious lack of third-party support. Even so, the N64 still holds a special place in my heart. They don’t build them like they used to. Pull one out of the attic, or grab one from a flea market, and watch that baby boot right up. Playing my first ground breaking first person shooters with 007 Golden Eye and Perfect Dark, or watching the sunset in Hyrule while playing Ocarina Of Time, and having my jaw drop as I controlled a 3D Mario going for a swim still remain as some of my fondest gaming memories.
Which is why I had high hopes for the GameCube when Nintendo launched their next console once the N64 was laid to rest. Nintendo made a point prior to the consoles launch when the system was still code-named “The Dolphin” that they would make sure gamers got a better library and third-party support. Right out the gate we got Star Wars Rogue Leader, which to this day is still amazing. Then Super Mario Sunshine, Zelda: The Windwaker, and a new Metroid soon followed. The GameCube was kicking some serious butt, and then? Drought time.
It was as if Nintendo fans were teleported to a Mad Max gaming wasteland of nothing but deserts and mirages of “upcoming AAA games” that would never come. The GameCube’s swan song was scheduled to be a second Zelda game in The Twilight Princess, which also turned out to be a port to release simultaneously with Nintendo’s next console launch for the Wii. Kind of felt as if we were promised a new car for your birthday and then on the big day, you look in your drive way to see a used Honda from “Hub Cap Willies Car Lot.” Sure you have a car that you can drive, but it’s not the same as that brand new BMW you were promised.
The Nintendo Wii started on fire with sales its first two years of its console cycle with Super Mario Bros Wii and later, Zelda: Skyward Sword. Then once again like a bad comedic joke, a long desert gaming drought. As the Wii began to finish its last days in the ICU–Nintendo was already moving their focus to advertising their next console, the Wii U. This was starting to feel very familiar.
Once the Wii U launched, gamers were finally able to play a Nintendo game in HD. I will give some credit where it is due. The Wii U did deliver on some of the best games from the company in years. Super Mario 3D World, Splatoon, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Xenoblade Chronicles, and for the first time in years, a new Star Fox game kept a very steady pace for Nintendo. Still not much third-party support, but we still had a new Zelda game coming in 2016. Until today’s news that is. Zelda Wii U was not only delayed into 2017, but now we know it will be a port of the Nintendo “NX” version. Similar to The Twilight Princess and the used Honda analogy, feels a bit bitter-sweet.
I am sure I am not the only one who will feel a bit of a “last gen” cloud over them as they boot up Zelda Wii U in 2017. I’m sure it will still be a fantastic game but it will surely lose some of its luster knowing that it is a port and there is a better version of the game on the new hardware. I suppose Nintendo still delivered that “guarantee” of getting a new Mario and Zelda game when I purchased the latest Nintendo console. Still…I do feel a bit mislead.
Moving forward into 2017, I can’t bring myself to buy the new “NX” at launch. After two plus decades and four Nintendo consoles that have completely failed their fan base to reward their faith and dollars by delivering a solid library of games, I simply have lost trust with Nintendo. Which is sad. With news that the company’s profits are down a whopping 60% from last year, my inner Nintendo fan boy heart wants to support the company. I firmly believe that Nintendo is good for the industry. In an era of what console has the best frame rate and largest hard drive, Nintendo simply delivers games that are fun.
In what many are wondering could be a make or break console for the company’s future, it is too bad that a large part of their fan base have already lost all faith and trust that we will be getting the games we want. Having fans buy a Wii U at launch and stringing them along for a true new Zelda game for the entire console generation to only say in its last year, “sorry, but the better version of the game will released on our new console” is not the best way to reward its fan base.
My advice, save your money and wait. If history has taught us anything, there is no rush to buy a new Nintendo system that will more than likely sit and collect dust while you wait…and wait…and wait for a new game worthy of your time. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I don’t want to live in a gaming universe without Nintendo.