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In a recent interview with Kotaku about the Wii U, Nintendo's Katsuya Eguchi (Animal Crossing) speculated about what the Wii U could have in store for Nintendo's key franchises, specifically mentioning Star Fox and Zelda:
Now that we have a Wii in HD - the Wii U - there are games like Zelda or Metroid or Star Fox, that definitely will benefit from the ability to display those detailed graphics.
The purpose of this statement was to illustrate how the Wii U's HD capabilities were not only advantageous, but also necessary to not only compete with other systems but to also be create better game design. However, Kotaku's Stephen Totilo asked Mr. Eguchi to clarify about the Metroid statement, discussing specifically the controls for the Metroid-themed Battle Mii - Other M split aside, everyone is obviously excited about the possibilities for a new Metroid on Wii U:
I can't give you any details now, but I'm sure there will be a new Metroid release making use of the new controller, not just to control Samus and her ship but also to give the player a new source of information. Maybe the player is looking at the screen but has the information that they need to defeat the enemy in their hands.
While this isn't an admission that a new Metroid is in development, it certainly shows that Nintendo is thinking hard about how all of their franchises can benefit from Nintendo's new system. It's interesting to speculate about the use of the second screen for maps, scanning, and log entries ala Metroid Prime (or heck, even its use as a motion-detector in an Aliens-style game, something people have been speculating since the days of the GBA/GC link cable). I personally feel there are more creative options available for the Wii U than simply using it as another screen for a map or other information interface, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of this sort of thing on the Wii U, considering how it's so common on the DS. Needless to say, as soon as the next Metroid game is announced, you'll be hearing all about it right here.
Until next time...