The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has teased that a follow-up to 3DS adventure A Link Between Worlds may appear on Nintendo Switch after confirming he does not have plans to merge the 3DS Zelda team with the team who made Switch launch title Breath of the Wild.
Breath of the Wild launches alongside the new console on 3 March after a lengthy and twice-delayed development. The last Zelda adventure on console was Skyward Sword, which was released in 2011 for Wii.
Game Informer asked Aonuma whether the two teams may be brought together to help shorten the development time of the next Zelda.
"The 3DS team and the Wii U team have different approaches to game development,"he said, "So I don't necessarily want to combine them and have them think together, but rather have each think about what they can bring to Nintendo Switch from their own perspective."
This tacit confirmation that the 3DS team is working on Switch – a likelihood anyway given Switch is expected to become Nintendo's sole console over the next year or so due to its dual home and handheld nature – drew a follow-up question about the possibility of a top-down Zelda on the console.
To this, Aonuma said it was "definitely a possibility".
"There are definitely good things about the 2D world and the playstyles of the 2D world," he continued. "There are a lot of fans who enjoy that style... For the 3DS team, I am trying to make them think in a more evolved 2D-style approach."
Since the series made the jump to 3D environments in 1998's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the series has been split between 3D adventures on console and top-down, '2D' adventures on Nintendo's handhelds.
Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword have appeared on console, while handhelds have enjoyed games such as Oracle of Seasons/Ages and A Link Between Worlds.
A Link Between Worlds, which was released in 2013, is regarded as one of the best ever Zelda titles, thanks in no small part to it shaking up the established series formula. Players could approach dungeons in any order they wanted and a weapon-rental system was also implemented.
Similarly, Breath of the Wild also shakes the series up with survival elements and an enormous open world.