Zelda Wii U news time! We're coming up on the big moment: it's pretty darn likely that the new, original Zelda Wii U game will be unveiled at GamesCom 2013 next week. That's because we know Nintendo nearly unveiled the game at E3 this year. They admitted as much, but the game wasn't quite ready, and they would unveil it "very soon." And that means GamesCom 2013, so get ready: Zelda Wii U, Skyrim style, is on its way.
Zelda Wii U has been in development for quite a long time, and it is more than far enough along for Nintendo to show it off. A while back, Mr. Miyamoto told Game Informer that "the game is progressing fairly completely," and, more to the point for our purposes, that Nintendo was "thinking about unveiling it here at E3 but decided to wait just a bit longer before sharing it with everyone." That's not speculation, people: that's a quote, from one of the three people most in the know about Zelda Wii U (Mr. Iwata and Mr. Aonuma are the others). And there are only two major industry events between E3 and the new console launches: San Diego Comic-Con, which offered no Nintendo news, and GamesCom 2013.
GamesCom takes place from August 21 to August 25 in Cologne, Germany of all places. GamesCom is a relatively new convention; it only started in 2009, but it's already the biggest games event in the world and draws Comic-Con numbers. Except it's entirely about games. That makes it a prime place to announce huge news, arguably a better place than E3, which is first and foremost a trade convention. This year's E3 also had Nintendo at a disadvantage: it's hard to compete for attention with two new console unveilings, even if your new console is doing really well, which Wii U isn't (yet?).
So if Nintendo does unveil Zelda Wii U, what will we see? We know a little bit about the game, mostly because Eiji Aonuma was feeling surprisingly chatty at E3. First, the reason Wind Waker HD even exists is to let Nintendo test out new ideas - presumably of a technical variety - in advance of the full-fledged Zelda Wii U offering. It's, in a sense, their tech demo (and also one of the best Zelda games, but that part of the work was already done). That's because Zelda Wii U is insanely ambitious: it features big new ideas, is heavily influenced by Skyrim, breaks away from the Zelda formula, and, oh, is the single biggest game Nintendo has ever worked on. This isn't going to be some slapdash franchise cash-in. It's going to be a flagship triple-A title, the kind we haven't even seen from Nintendo since Super Mario Galaxy (or maybe Skyward Sword, which I personally found a little low-rent).
And we'll finally get to see Zelda Wii U at GamesCom 2013, unless Nintendo has changed their minds and timelines. And it's about darn time. We all know that Wii U is struggling. Something as high profile as Zelda Wii U might make people rush out and buy one now - even though the actual Zelda Wii U release date is almost certainly going to be two years away, in holiday 2015. Nintendo, rush a project? Never!