Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Breath of the Wild: Release Rumors

It's freezing outside and currently some rumors about the potential release date of Breath of the Wild try to bring the sun a little closer. By three months.

Last year a potential June release for the game was in question and I was actually quite happy with that for personal reasons. Right after E3 sounds like a great time to play it, it's also a great time for me to take two weeks of vacation and it gives me enough time to replay all 3D Zelda games in the meantime. It feels like March is already around the corner and like I'm not ready for Breath of the Wild just yet. But that's just me.

There's also the question of Limited Zelda Edition hardware bundle for the Switch, which will most likely not be happening right at launch, but maybe some time later (like they did with Ocarina of Time 3D back in 2011). I don't want to buy the Switch (or any new Nintendo hardware), until the inevitable Zelda Edition finally becomes available. So, there's that.

The newest rumors now put the game back at launch in March - at least for North America, but for Europe it still sounds like it's coming in June, because the localization takes too long. And that's really the worst case scenario, it's even worse than the Twilight Princess launch ten years ago! There I adopted the European GameCube version, which came out one entire month after the North American Wii version. More than enough time to spoil the final boss for me.

And we're talking about a three month gap here... It might be that the Switch is region-free and people in Europe can just import it, but Nintendo would want to avoid this. Remember, when The Minish Cap was released two months later in North America. People could just have imported the European version, but Nintendo of America advertised, how the North American version will have additional features (even though these features just turned out to be bug fixes, like the Shop's Bomb Bag upgrade). It might be a similar scenario in Europe, where we're getting the game later, but we will get the already mentioned Zelda Special Edition hardware bundle to make up for it.

I wouldn't be buying the standard Switch at launch anyway, so I'd have to wait in any case, since the Wii U version will still be region-locked. And in those three months I'd have to put this website on ice and avoid any other Nintendo and video gaming sites, because I really don't want to get spoiled. And that would suck.

We should know more next week with the Switch presentation on Friday the 13th, though this date doesn't strike me as particularly promising.


Eren Jaeger said...

The Switch isn't region locked, so you'll be able to import a copy of Breath of the Wild and play it on your Switch or Wii U (or both, like I assume most of your followers will :P) .

TourianTourist said...

Uhm, did you even read the post...? :-D

The Wii U version is still region-locked and as I already stated in the post, I'm not planning to buy a Switch until there is a Zelda Edition available, so even if the Switch is region-free, it won't do me any good, because I'm not getting it at launch.

Also, the region-free nature of the Switch is yet another rumor. If the newest rumors are really true, it's even doubtful that the system won't have a region-lock, because Nintendo of Europe would want to avoid the imports.

Eren Jaeger said...

I honestly doubt that they'll try to release the Zelda version for the Switch after release. As of late, it's much more likely for them to release a special edition console alongside the Zelda game for preorder (MM3D and WWHD) . Also, the rumors are coming from Emily Rogers, and while she's not known for her Wii U rumors, all have her Switch rumors have been very consistent in being accurate, most likely due to a different source giving her the leaks and information. And a game being released a bit earlier in a different location compared to another location doesn't mean the system will be region locked; many games release early on the Japanese PSN that aren't available on other regions, but just registering under a Japanese PSN in, let's say, America, will allow you access to those games.

TourianTourist said...

"A bit earlier"? We're talking about THREE MONTHS here! In the age of the internet that's hardly "a bit". A couple of days are already critical, three months is unacceptable. Keep in mind that people like me would have to stay away from platforms like Youtube and Twitter for the entire time, as well as all Nintendo fan sites to avoid spoilers.

And while I concur that a special Zelda version of the Switch will be released alongside a Zelda game, this is entirely possible with Breath of the Wild, if it's not a launch title. This special Zelda version of the Switch might be Europe exclusive in that case, but we have to get something out of the three months waiting time.

Benjamin Fowler said...

What you all are getting is a well localized game :P. Considering it will be a definitive launch title (at least for America and Japan) we should at least get the Zelda version with the release of the game. That way, if you wanted to play the superior Breath of the Wild at launch, you could import both a Zelda Switch AND Breath of the Wild for Switch.

TourianTourist said...

I can't import a Switch, because NTSC vs. PAL.

It's all thought through. If these rumors are true, it will be a messed up situation. And DO NOT expect to get a Zelda Switch at launch. Nintendo usually doesn't release more than one color at launch. It might become available at a later date (see Ocarina of Time 3D and its 3DS Limited Edition), e.g. at June. :D

Eren Jaeger said...

At the launch of the N3DS, there were around 4 different options.

TourianTourist said...

@Eren Jaeger:
That's incorrect. They only had the Aqua Blue and the Cosmo Black for the Nintendo 3DS Launch. And those were considered as the "basic" colors. The Zelda Limited Edition wasn't available until end of 2011.

People are buying a new system at launch anyway, especially if there's a Zelda game ready. So, there's no reason to make such a Limited Edition at launch and it's more profitable to wait some time to lure in the fans, who might have stayed with the Wii U version. The crazy fans might also buy a 2nd Switch later just for the Zelda Edition. It's all marketing.

So, I would be really surprised, if they had a Zelda Switch at launch. If the BotW launch gap between EU and NA/JP really exists, I could imagine that Europe will be getting a Zelda Switch with the game and the other territories maybe at the same time, but not at launch.

In any case I wouldn't want to buy the Switch, until a Zelda Edition becomes available. Because there will be one with utmost certainty and I want to avoid the unpleasant situation that I had with the Nintendo 3DS back in 2011.

Eren Jaeger said...

I said N3DS, referring to the New 3DS line that had two special edition consoles and two basic colors.

TourianTourist said...

Ah, I misread N3DS as "Nintendo 3DS", sorry.

But the New Nintendo 3DS release was kind of weird. It first came out in Japan in October 2014, where you didn't have the Majora's Mask version yet. This means, there basically was enough time to produce Special Editions before the NA and EU releases. Also, NA only had the XL version at first... So, I wouldn't call the New 3DS a prime example, especially since it wasn't really a new console, just another upgrade. The Special Editions were much more important in that case, because they wanted existing Nintendo 3DS owners to adopt the new hardware. And that's best done with something exclusive, e.g. for the Zelda and Monster Hunter maniacs out there.

They don't need to do this with the Switch right away, since it's the next big Nintendo console and many will find that alone interesting enough to justify a purchase. So, don't expect a Zelda Switch at launch, that will most likely come later.

Marandahir said...

Have you seen the designs for the Zelda skin for the switch!?


TourianTourist said...

Yes, but that's not what I want... :-D

Marandahir said...

Well, now we know the game is a global launch title. And if there happens to be some delay with the Zelda-themed console in Europe, at least imports are now available with region-free coding.

TourianTourist said...

There's no Zelda themed console (yet)! Not sure, how imports are any good in this scenario... :-D

Preparing some posts right now!