IGNcube has learned that Nintendo’s GameCube version of Legend of Zelda is going to see a release delay. The title, formerly set to ship this holiday — in December, more specifically, according to major retailers, is being pushed by Nintendo into next year. It will debut February 2003, according to sources.
Legend of Zelda, the next in designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s popular and critically acclaimed series, takes Link and characters into a stylized, cel-shaded 3D world complete with beautiful cartoon-like animation, and challenges players to an epic quest. The title’s gameplay mechanics, from snippets of early video previewed, seem directly influenced by the Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask before it.
No reasons have been given for the delay, but it is thought that Nintendo’s team at Entertainment, Analysis and Development simply requires more time to adequately polish the gargantuan 3D adventure.
The absence of Zelda as a 2002 release puts a significant dent in Nintendo’s overall lineup for this year, though with solid entries such as Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime, the cast of games is still strong.
An official announcement about the delay is expected to be made at the Electronics Entertainment Expo 2002, or shortly there afterward.
Nintendo of America could not be reached for comment.