In comments made to Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, has seemingly confirmed that the next instalment in the Legend of Zelda franchise will be available by year’s end.
In a wide-ranging interview, Iwata spoke about some of Nintendo’s goals for the coming year, such as expanding the number of DS WiFi hotspots in Japan in order to better facilitate the publisher’s ability to allow DS owners to use the handheld in a wider variety of ways in everyday life.
This line of thinking has so far culminated in Nintendo’s current deal with fast-food emporium McDonalds, which allows customers to play against one another, download unique items and content, and play special McDonalds-related games. Iwata is looking to further infiltrate Japanese lifestyles by forming similar deals with other companies:
“To proactively increase the number of hotspots,” said Iwata, “we are talking with a number of businesses.”
Iwata also discussed the possibility of a successor to the current world-beating DS handheld, after downplaying the need to charge customers for a monthly online gaming service to compete with the iPhone.
As Iwata notes, the Nintendo DS continues to see a record number of units flying off of retail shelves, so while there is no real need to release a successor to the DS on the minute, he did offer a few titbits:
“[A DS successor will have] highly detailed graphics,” Iwata said, “and it will be necessary to have a sensor with the ability to read the movements of people playing.”
After commenting that there will be a press conference in July to put the spotlight on Nintendo’s upcoming Vitality Sensor device, Iwata casually mentioned that the next iteration of the Legend of Zelda (presumably on the Wii) will be released before the end of the year, although it isn’t clear whether or not this applies to Japan only.