Aonuma talks Zelda and the Wii U, hints at online play

Zelda HD Experience

While speaking to Industry Gamers, Eiji Aonuma stated that he has been working on the Wii U in some capacity for about two years. He was often asked how Zelda would work on the Nintendo Wii U which resulted in the HD Zelda experience that we saw at E3. You know, that beautifully detailed demo of Link fighting a boss.

Well, one thing I want to emphasize here, when talking about the Wii U Zelda HD experience, is that we really built it specifically to be an experience. The idea is using Zelda as the backdrop for one of these HD experiences, what kind of representation Zelda can make there. But this is really just to show people what kind of things the console can do.

And so, it’s not necessarily the case that we would use that graphic style or depiction the same way we would in a new Zelda, when there is a new Zelda for the Wii U. Just like the map functionality that was also implemented in that experience – it’s simply us giving an objective look at the kinds of things that can be done with the HD hardware. And Zelda happened to be the filter through which we view it in that experience. So nothing is defined right now as far as how we’ll proceed.

Though we actually know little about the Wii U’s online system, we do know that it will be a step up from its predecessor. Aonuma acknowledges the Wii U’s new online by discussing a Zelda game having that functionality.

It does bring up a question that I think we are examining and will continue to examine, which is “Looking at the capabilities that are in our hands, what kinds of gameplay possibilities are out there for a Zelda game that goes online, maybe something that goes multiplayer?” But it’s all about, for us, finding a clear direction to take that online functionality, to use that online functionality. Once we have that, I think things will move forward. But, until then, we’re in the process of really asking ourselves, “How will this be a natural extension – a natural and enjoyable extension of what makes the series the series?” So that‘s something for the Zelda team to continue to examine as we move forward.

Aounuma doesn’t exactly say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to a Zelda game with online functionality but this comment shows that at least it is being considered.

Industry Gamers then go on to say that the last few console launches have not had a Zelda game launch with them (I’m assuming they are not counting Twilight Princess). In response, Aonuma says that it is hard to get a Zelda game ready in time for the launch of a console because of the lengthy development times of Zelda games.

But in general, the timeline for new hardware is actually shorter than the timeline for a new Zelda game. And because of that, when they don’t line up correctly – and that’s often the case – it’s extremely hard to coordinate getting that title out as a day one title. But when possible, of course it’s something that we understand is great and we like to do it. And, naturally, I realize that it is in some ways a problem that Zelda games take as long as they do. 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.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. Captain Falcon

    Online play? An epic LoZ with online play is what I always wanted! 😀

  2. Joseph

    I have an idea for an online. They should make a multiplayer caves of ordeals, so up to four people online will be batteling enemies together. The more players, the more enemies and harder it gets. You can also give potion to your teammates. Aslong as they don’t make the online like Fable 2/Fable 3 it may be good.

  3. Online gameplay + Zelda HD + Wii U = my wallet.

  4. wolvesgod

    remember that one listing? it said zelda, and the console said, online.

  5. Wolvesgod

    Doesn’t mean they can’t name a game Zelda Universe. -shrugs-

    and there’s all ready been a zelda universe website, for ten or so years. that’s old isn’t that listing new?