It was announced in this morning’s Nintendo Direct that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will be getting an HD remake for the Wii U. Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma began the segment by talking about Nintendo’s plans for an all original Legend of Zelda, and how they are working to rethink some of the series’ core gameplay elements. He soon cut away to an oddly familiar screenshot.
This is an image showing Windfall Island from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which was released 10 years ago on Nintendo GameCube. After the Zelda team showed the Wii U Zelda demo that we called “the Zelda HD Experience” at E3 2011, we continued to experiment with converting past Zelda art styles into HD as we continued to consider graphical styles for the new game, but in fact felt as though it had been transformed into something entirely new.
He went on to state that the next Legend of Zelda project, while currently in development, will take quite some time before it is completed. When explaining why Wind Waker is receiving a high definition remake, Satoru Iwata cited the GameCube’s small install base as a reason. Iwata also went on to say:
We also think that The Wind Waker, with its whimsical and enduring cartoon style, is the perfect game for introducing first time players to the universe.
Only a handful of screenshots were shown this morning, but it appears that some work is going into this HD remake. The environments appear to have been completely re-rendered, and the lighting engine seems to have also been tweaked. Along with visual improvements comes Miiverse integration. Players will also be able to play solely on the gamepad, without using the TV.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is planned for an autumn release.