The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is arguably the most anticipated title for the upcoming Nintendo Switch, will not be available when the console launches. Whilst the release of Nintendo’s upcoming console will go ahead for March, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will not be available to purchase. The delay could signal a huge issue for the Nintendo Switch, which will rely on a strong array of launch titles if it’s to be a success.
According to Eurogamer, a source close to Nintendo has commented on the current development state of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The source claims the game is facing delays in the localization process, meaning it’s unlikely to reach western audiences in time for the release of Nintendo’s new hardware. Speculation was further confirmed by Emily Rogers, a well known and reliable Nintendo tipster, who believes the game requires a further four to six months of testing before it will be ready to be released.
Sources claim Nintendo isn’t prepared to rush the development of Breath of the Wild in order to meet the release date of their Switch console. However, the news of a delay is still something of a surprise considering the game has been in development for a number of years, with a delay coming at such a late stage.
Nintendo’s current official estimate for the game’s release is just 2017. The company hasn’t actually confirmed that they plan to release Breath of the Wild alongside the Switch. However, it was widely assumed considering Nintendo plans to release the game on their current Wii U and the new console. It remains to be seen whether or not the Wii U version of the game will be delayed alongside its Switch counterpart. It’s unlikely, though, that Nintendo would want to miss out on potential Switch sales by allowing Wii U owners to play the game early.
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Breath of the Wild is undeniably the most ambitious title in The Legend of Zelda series to date. With a completely open world sandbox system to develop, it’s no surprise that Nintendo is facing delays during the development process. However, those delays could damage Nintendo’s success with the Switch.
Nintendo has learned from previous console releases that in order to ship units at launch, they need to provide consumers with a good quality selection of launch titles. With that in mind, if The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is no longer launching alongside the Switch, it will need to be replaced with another high-quality title. According to Shack News, Nintendo is preparing to release a new game in the Super Mario series for the Switch, with every effort being made to ensure the game is ready to launch alongside the console.
Details around the Switch and its launch titles are still very much thin on the ground. However, Nintendo is planning to host a media event in January 2017, which will be used to finalize the details. During that event, Nintendo is expected to provide a firm release date for the new console and crucially, lay out the games it will launch with. What’s more, Nintendo has promised more third party support than ever before with the Switch, suggesting that a number of third-party publishers will also be releasing games as part of the console’s launch line-up.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]