What does Zelda Tears of the Kingdom inform us about Nintendo’s future {hardware} plans?

Enjoying The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in 2023, it is laborious to consider that its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, got here out all the way in which again in 2017, simply because the Nintendo Swap launched.

The brand new Zelda recreation is a masterpiece – as you’ll be able to learn in our full evaluation – however, very like Breath of the Wild, it displays apparently on Nintendo’s plans the place {hardware} is worried, elevating questions on Nintendo’s future {hardware} plans.


Breath of the Wild was a launch recreation for the Swap however was additionally out there for the incumbent Wii U, a mirrored image of Nintendo’s fast and laborious pivot away from its largely failed console: a recreation that may have been the jewel within the Wii U’s crown as an alternative signalled its demise.

Now, seven years later, the Zelda sequel is the triumph that Nintendo would have hoped for, capping off half a decade of outrageously spectacular gross sales figures for the Swap in all its iterations. That does not imply that Nintendo has all of it discovered, although.

Whereas Tears of the Kingdom hasn’t needed to bridge the hole to a brand new console, it nonetheless arrives at a time when Nintendo’s {hardware} plans are seemingly up within the air. How does Nintendo observe the success of the Swap, given how badly it fumbled the Wii’s stellar efficiency?

One set of observers thinks that Nintendo’s plans for a Swap Professional have been translated and lowered right down to the eventual launch of the Swap OLED – upgrading the console’s show however not its internals.

Best games console 2020: Should you get an Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch? photo 16

Nintendo Swap OLED

It is one of the best Swap for our cash, providing one of the best of all worlds.

If that’s the case, the transfer has gone properly given the Swap’s continued relevance, however this nonetheless leaves open the query of what the following console seems like. The Swap is undeniably lengthy within the tooth technically, however Nintendo has spent the final couple of years exhibiting that decision and body price do not make a console king – if it may match Tears of the Kingdom on the Swap, it won’t desperately want higher-performance {hardware} with any true urgency.

Reassuringly for Nintendo, the true key to the Swap’s reign has been a gradual stream of extremely good first-party video games you could’t play elsewhere. Tears of the Kingdom is the newest however, whereas we’ll get Pikmin 4 later this summer season, that recreation is hardly a system vendor and there is a slight slow-down in what we all know is coming additional down the road.

The elephant within the room, after all, is Tremendous Mario, which hasn’t had a brand new recreation since 2017’s Odyssey and should certainly be a candidate to launch a brand new console if one is certainly within the works.

So, whereas we absolutely intend to bask additional within the glory of Hyperlink’s newest outing, we will not assist however marvel when Nintendo plans to take its subsequent main step. We would assume that the dockable moveable thought is right here to remain primarily based on its recognition however, given Nintendo’s historical past, all bets are realistically off.

Whereas this all sounds rosy, the very fact is that we’re coming right into a interval of giant threat for Nintendo: it may’t afford one other Wii U.