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New Legend of Zelda game to hit Nintendo 3DS by end of year

The 3DS Zelda game, which does not yet have a title, will be set in the same world as Super Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. 

By Matthew Shaer / April 17, 2013

A screenshot from the Nintendo 3DS title The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Nintendo has announced that it is working on a new Zelda game for the 3DS.

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In a Nintendo Direct broadcast aired today, Nintendo unveiled a range of new games for the 3DS handheld, including Yoshi's Island, Mario Golf: World Tour, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and an as-of-yet-untitled Zelda game set in the same world as the 1991 SNES hit The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Although Nintendo has already released a Zelda game for the 3DS, Ocarina of Time was a remake of an N64 title, not an original game. 

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The release date for the game will likely be later this year, and the camera perspective on the protagonist will be top-down – other than that, details remain murky. (The project doesn't even have a subtitle yet, or at least not one that Nintendo has disclosed.) So what can we expect from this new Zelda game? Well, Daniel Krupa of IGN, who got a look at some early content, says the title will likely take full advantage of the technology on the 3DS handset. 

"Hyrule has a similar look and feel, but [the new Legend of Zelda game] will heavily incorporate the handheld's 3D screen to its gameplay," Mr. Krupa writes, "especially the notion of depth and height. Footage shown during the Nintendo broadcast depicted Link being hurled up in the air towards the player, avoiding obstacles." 

The Nintendo 3DS launched in the US almost exactly two years ago. For the most part, critics endorsed the device, with one calling the 3DS "the best gaming platform [Nintendo] has ever created: The user experience is quite polished in a variety of ways, and its forward-thinking core feature really does make gaming better."

Still, the 3DS was faulted for having a less than dynamic game selection, and sales, while relatively robust, have failed to make Nintendo's in-house targets. 

Which is why the launch of a fresh Zelda title is so important – it could reinvigorate interest in the 3DS, and pull in users who have been waiting for the perfect reason to pick up the device. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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