Early this week, rumors began to leak that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not going to be finished by the time that the Nintendo Switch launches early next year. Some have even speculated that the game will not launch until late in 2017. This not only casts doubt on the release of the Wii U version of the game, it severely weakens the strength of the Switch’s rumored launch lineup.
It’s a testament to the strength of the rest of that lineup, then, that it’s still shaping up to be one of the best we’ve ever seen.
To be clear, Nintendo has not yet confirmed a single game that will launch with the Nintendo Switch. However, the house that Mario built is leaking like a sinking ship. Everyone from insiders to the President of Nintendo himself has been talking about possible launch games.
So far, it seems like a mortal lock that we’re going to get a new Mario game with the Nintendo Switch. That’s exciting enough on its own, but it also looks like this is going to be the first fully-3D Mario game since the superb Super Mario Galaxy 2.
Elsewhere, it’s looking like special versions of Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 (two of the Wii U’s best games) are going to be included in the Switch’s launch. Even better, those who already own these games for Wii U will reportedly get them for free. It’s also looking likely that the special edition of Skyrim featured in the Switch’s launch trailer is going to be released the same day as the console.
What’s really interesting, however, are the fringe rumors. For instance, it’s looking more and more likely that Pokemon Sun and Moon are going to be released for the Nintendo Switch. Not only are these two of the very best games released this year, but if those games are released for the Nintendo Switch, they’ll be the first traditional Pokemon games to be released for a Nintendo console (at least in Western markets).
Furthermore, Ubisoft is supposedly working in collaboration with Nintendo to develop a new Mario RPG as well as a possible revival of one fo their classic franchises. The reason this particular rumor makes so much sense is because Nintendo has remained consistent that the Switch is going to feature more third party games, and Ubisoft is always mentioned whenever that discussion comes up.
The Switch isn’t a better system without The Legend of Zelda, but it’s clear that Nintendo may be on the cusp of something pretty special.