The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most hotly anticipated Nintendo titles coming out this year, but so far Nintendo has only given a vague launch window of 2017”. However, a new report from Eurogamer suggests that consumers in Japan and the US might see it as early as March as a Switch launch title.
Previously, the rumour mill had pointed toward a potential June launch for Breath of the Wild, but releasing it alongside the Switch would certainly help bolster Nintendo's launch line-up to secure a successful launch.
A March release in Europe, however, is currently less certain. According to Eurogamer's sources, European consumers may have to wait before getting their hands on Breath of the Wild while Nintendo of Europe finishes the localisation process – a move that's sure to anger fans and potentially frustrate UK sales of the game should the Switch prove to be region-free.
Eurogamer reports that Breath of the Wild's release date has been the subject of intense debate internally at Nintendo, with Nintendo of Europe allegedly pushing for the longest testing and localisation period possible before launching the game globally. Nintendo of Japan, however, were apparently uncomfortable about waiting until later in the year, says one source, with another source stating the decision to move ahead without Europe was only finalised by committee at the end of last year.
Release date debates aren't uncommon within Nintendo. During the launch of the Wii U's Xenoblade Chronicles X, for instance, the North American version of the game launched without any French or Spanish language options. These were then patched in at a later date, roughly a month after the game's initial release in December 2015.
Nintendo of Europe also wanted more time to polish Star Fox Zero last year, but Nintendo of Japan ultimately decided not to delay the game any further.
Either way, we shouldn't have to wait long to find out. With Nintendo's Switch reveal event fast approaching on January 13th, we should hopefully know next Friday whether we'll be buying our Switch with a copy of Zelda or not.