Wind Waker is one of those games that has remained a critical and fan favorite for years. It was a rare moment that brought something truly new to a classic series – not just in the distinct, graphics but in the particular interpretation of open-world gameplay and the powerful use of the open sea. The cel-shaded graphics are a great candidate for the sort of visual overhaul that the Wii U could provide, and an important counterpoint to the vast world of brown in many modern games.
That was one of the highlights of a massive explosion of Wii U news that felt like E3 come early. We’re also getting badly needed updates to the Wii U OS and Miiverse, expansion of the virtual console into Wii U, Wii U Party, a few new RPGs, a new Yoshi game by the same developer that made Kirby: Epic Yarn, and the promise of more to come at E3. For a console that had developed a troublingly thin release schedule just months into its lifespan, this is a breath of fresh air.
The Wii U is getting competition soon. Microsoft and Sony are making broad, rumbling moves to announce new consoles. These few months before those consoles arrive will be crucial for Nintendo. If it can make its new console strong enough to be a good choice next year’s holiday season, it can put itself it a strong position for the next-gen to come.