I dunno about you, but I thought the whole special red models for the Wii and DS were an excellent idea – particularly given the fact that they both had popular Mario-brand software packed-in. Given Zelda‘s status as the “gold game,” it only makes sense that they’d find some way to promote both the Wii and
3DS by releasing a special gold version alongside a Zelda title for that system. They did the same thing with Phantom Hourglass on the original DS, so it’s not too far-fetched, right?
Fortunately Zelda is also getting two headline games – one for Wii and one for 3DS. Now, I dunno about you, but if I didn’t have a Wii, and I saw a special limited edition Zelda-themed gold Wii with Skyward Sword, probably the most Wii Remote-dedicated piece of software to come out of Nintendo, I don’t think I’d be able to contain myself. That’s not to say that I think Nintendo should leave those of us who already have a Wii in the dust, however – it would be just as easy to release a Skyward Sword + limited edition gold Wii Remote Plus combo as a preorder bonus.
Given that the 3DS is a brand-new handheld console, what better way to promote it than a special Zelda version that comes with a free copy of Ocarina of Time 3D? That way Nintendo could take advantage of four excellent selling points: that the 3DS has a stereoscopic display; that the 3DS is still a young handheld; that it’s Zelda‘s 25th anniversary and that particular package will only be limited-time; that Ocarina of Time is widely hailed as the best video game of all time. Honestly I think something like this is pretty much a given, and as long as the final product doesn’t turn out ugly as sin I’ve already more or less resolved to order one. Of course, it’d be nice if it could turn out as beautiful as the fan-made mock-up below, but we can’t have everything, can we?
What about celebratory software? I get the impression from the fact that Nintendo is going to be releasing two Zelda games this year – three if you count the downloadable version of Link’s Awakening DX – that that’s going to be their push in terms of games. However, I don’t know that we can quite rule out the possibility of some kind of collector’s edition compilation. Might we see a graphical and musical overhaul of the NES games akin to the Mario All-Stars treatment? The anniversary is, after all, first and foremost the birthday of the original game – and an updated tileset and soundtrack wouldn’t be all that difficult to implement. In any case, I get the feeling that the introduction of new software versus an all-star compilation is going to be the primary difference between Zelda‘s birthday and Mario‘s.
Of course, I still can’t quite figure out Miyamoto’s cryptic plan for all Zelda fans to “celebrate together.” Surely he must be planning something Iwata didn’t mention at the GDC keynote – which pretty much rules out the release of Skyward Sword or Ocarina of Time 3D as the big “surprise.” Is it a beautiful custom console skin to rival the fan-made 3DS skin? Is it a special rewards program to loyalty customers of the series? Is he finally going to reveal the timeline? I guess we’ll know in due time.