Gamers with good memories may have noticed that for the past few generations, Nintendo has consistently signaled the end of each console with a second Zelda title. You don't believe me? Well let's take a look at Link's past, and I'll prove how prophetic that little elfin blonde is.
The Nintendo 64 saw Ocarina of Time, followed by Majora's Mask in October of 2000. Less than a year later, the GameCube was released.
Then the GameCube had Wind Waker, with Twilight Princess at the tail end of its life. Even though Twilight Princess launched for GameCube, it was also released for the Wii. Essentially, Twilight Princess launched the day the GameCube died.
Even the handheld systems follow this trend. The Game Boy launched Link's Awakening, followed by the simultaneous release of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages in 2001. (Technically, this was two games, but the release date was the same, the names were similar, and the endings were even linked, making these two halves of the same game.) That was the same year the Game Boy Advance launched, ending the reign of the original Game Boy (and Game Boy Color) for Nintendo's handheld console.
Phantom Hourglass was released for the Nintendo DS, and then Spirit Tracks came out at the tail end of 2009. Just over a year later, the 3DS is getting ready to launch, ending the original DS's lifespan.
For Nintendo, history repeats itself. A system releases two Legend of Zelda titles, and then the next generation console moves in within a year or so. Of course, this only works if you exclude Four Swords Adventures, which I do since it is such a huge departure from the traditional Legend of Zelda formula. That goes double for Link's Crossbow Training, which isn't a game so much as a tutorial that gives you something to shoot at with your silly little Wii Remote gun attachment.
Now we come back to the Wii. Twilight Princess was the first Zelda title for the system. The next, Skyward Sword, is set to come out later this year (unless it is delayed until 2012). According to Nintendo's formula, this puts the Wii's follow-up for a late 2012/early 2013 release. (If Skyward Sword is delayed into 2012, the next console should be around in mid-to-late 2013.)
My prediction: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is heralding the end of the Wii. Once all the 3DS excitement is over, Nintendo will probably announce its shiny new system. Realistically, if Nintendo were planning a 2012 holiday release for its next console, we'd probably have heard something by now. This is why I predict that Skyward Sword will be delayed until mid-2012, and the Wii 2 (or whatever Nintendo decides to call it) will arrive in the fall of 2013. Mark your calendars, kids.
CCC Freelance Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*