Posted on July 16 2011 by Locke
During E3, IndustryGamers was able to talk to Aonuma about Zelda development, Zelda’s future on the Wii U, and the Japanese gaming market. The interview reveals some interesting things about how Aonuma feels about the Zelda series, and some great possibilities for the Wii U. When asked whether he wants to work on other things besides Zelda, Aonuma responded:
Working on “something new” has always been Nintendo’s strong point, though the possibility of Aonuma coming up with some ideas that wouldn’t fit Zelda and gladly leaving the series (if for a short time) is somewhat disheartening. I’m very fond of Aonuma’s work in Zelda, and am thankful that so far his new ideas have fit very well within the series. More quotes and thoughts are after the jump.
The IndustryGamers interviewer was concerned with overlapping development times between Zelda and Mario series and Nintendo’s new consoles. “I would think that it would be in the best interest of Nintendo to have, for example, a new Zelda at the launch of a new console like the Wii U.” Aonuma attributed this problem to the long development period for Zelda games.
It’s great when the timelines are coordinated for a Zelda game at launch, because it really helps sell the system. The 3DS had a slow start because it didn’t have any major first-party games like Zelda or Mario to support it at launch. Twilight Princess was delayed in order to become a launch title for the Wii, though I think it’s a good idea not to do the same for Skyward Sword. This means there won’t be a Zelda title available at the launch of Wii U, but Skyward Sword will be the only real Wii game, and they’ll probably have a Mario or something ready anyways. Still, Aonuma expressed a desire to shorten the Zelda development timeline to ease coordination. “I would like to get them out faster. That’s something that I consider a personal challenge and it’s something that I look into.”
While Zelda won’t be available at Wii U’s launch, there will certainly be one in the works. What I found most interesting in this interview is that Aonuma’s focus in the later stages of Wii U’s development was how a new Zelda would work on the console. This means that the console was made with Zelda in mind, and the next game is sure to take full advantage of the new technologies the Wii U offers.
We probably won’t see what he comes up with until well after the release of the console though. “Nothing is defined right now as far as how we’ll proceed [with Wii U Zelda].” While the HD experience demo shown at E3 used the screen on the controller to display the map and inventory, what other uses do you think Aonuma can come up with? Aonuma talks more about the HD Zelda experience, Miyamoto upending the tea table, Zelda online play for the Wii U, and the Japanese gaming market in the interview.