Star Fox Zero, the game that was to probably be Nintendo’s biggest release this holiday season, has been delayed into 2016 according to a post made by Nintendo’s Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto, who helped found the franchise (along with dozens of others) in 1993. Miyamoto’s post reads as follows:

I made a big decision last week.

We have been developing Star Fox Zero for Wii U with the aim of releasing it this year. Although we felt that the development had been progressing well, we now believe that we will need a little more time to work on areas such as the unprecedented discovery that we want players to experience in the game by using two screens, and further polishing the level designs and perfecting the tone of the cut scenes. While we have already reached the stage where it would be technically possible to release the title in time for the year-end holiday season, we want to polish the game a bit more so that players will be able to more smoothly grasp the new style of play that we are proposing.

To the people looking forward to the launch of the game this holiday season, I am very sorry.

Star Fox Zero is going to bring new game play and experiences that take it far beyond the framework established by Star Fox 64. All the members of the development team are doing our best so that the final product will not betray your expectations. And the game will not be delayed for a very long time – we’re aiming to launch the game in Q1 2016. Please stay tuned for further announcements.

This is troubling news for Nintendo fans, who had to endure the delay of the Wii U Zelda game into the indefinite future. Worse yet, the holiday season is looking particularly bleak for Wii U owners with only a handful of games expected to drop at the back end of the year. Fans still have Yoshi’s Woolly World to look forward to in October, but the holiday release schedule for the Wii U includes only Xenoblade Chronicles X, a JRPG and arguably of niche appeal to begin with, and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, which bears the stigma of being the Animal Crossing game that no one was asking for.

Star Fox Zero was first confirmed shortly before E3 2014 and a playable version was shown off at 2015. It is set to feature gyroscopic controls and a cockpit view via the Wii U Gamepad and transformation mechanics for the series’ iconic Arwing.

Nintendo’s website release calendar confirms the Q1 2016 release date, meaning we could see it early in the new year.

What do you think, dear reader? Is this delay good news? Are you happy that they’re putting more work into it? Or is it a sign that Nintendo is continuing to struggle to produce quality games for the Wii U? Are you actually looking forward to Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival?

(Ok, so that last one’s not relevant, I’m just curious)

Sound off in the comments below.

Brienne Gacke
Writer, journalist, teacher, pedant. Brienne's done just about anything and everything involving words and now she's hoping to use them for something she's passionate about: video games. She's been gaming since the onset of the NES era and has never looked back.

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