The Legend of Zelda 2016
Link atop Epona looking over The Legend of Zelda 2016's huge open world.Nintendo

The next Legend of Zelda title, initially intended for a Wii U exclusive launch, will now release simultaneously on Wii U and Nintendo's next home console, the Nintendo NX. Previously intended for a late-2016 release, the title commonly referred to as 'Zelda Wii U' has also been delayed until 2017.

Fans eager to see more than the momentary glimpses and over-the-shoulder gameplay we have seen so far will want to keep their eyes open during Nintendo's E3 2016 showing, as the Kyoto publisher revealed that the next entry in the long-running series will be its main focus at the Los Angeles event by confirming it will be the "only playable game Nintendo presents at the show."

An official news post from Nintendo revealed that the delay was necessary "because the developers need more time to polish the game." With the Nintendo NX launch now scheduled for March 2017, speculation is rife that Link and co. could return as an NX launch title, although this is unconfirmed.

Nintendo also noted that both versions have "been in development in tandem," making the situation eerily reminiscent of the release of 2005's The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The Nintendo Wii launch title was initially intended to be the ultimate farewell title in the Nintendo GameCube's library during the system's 'twilight' years. The game was released for the cubic console a week after its Wii debut.

While Zelda may be the only Nintendo game on the E3 2016 show floor in June, the company is likely to make other announcements, possibly via its usual 'E3 special' Nintendo Direct format. With some of the company's major IP, such as Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem, now heading to smartphones, Nintendo's showing at the game industry's biggest yearly event is shaping up to be essential viewing for any Nintendo fan.

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