Zelda Looks Sharp In HD, But The Wii U Experience Demoed Another Feature

By Spencer . June 10, 2011 . 4:01pm


Escorted by a Nintendo representative, I walked upstairs to the Wii U area overlooking Nintendo’s entire booth. A row of hands-on demos were before me and what Nintendo called The Zelda HD Experience was one of my first stops.


Half of the demo was watching Link step into an altar and battle a giant spider in HD. Yes, it’s pretty with rippling water and a volumetric light pouring into the stone room. While I couldn’t move Link, there were controls… sort of. One button on the top right changed the camera angle, emphasizing that the Zelda HD demo was rendered in real time. Another button switched the fight from day to night. A button on the left side of the touch screen turned off the sun, which made the torches the only light source. The final button brought Zelda HD to the controller. The transition was instantaneous and Zelda HD looked about as sharp as it did on the TV. Nintendo would not specify the resolution of Zelda HD, however.


As seen in the screenshot above, the Wii U controller usually holds status information and perhaps a touchscreen inventory. However, you can move the hearts, HUD, and map to the TV. The same button that brings Zelda HD to the controller transfers the status display to the TV. In this mode, Zelda HD is windowed with hearts on top and a map on the right. On the bottom of the screen, you can see the number of keys and rupee’s Link holds in his Doreamon’s pouch-like pockets.


Aside from showing a shiny version of Zelda, the unplayable demo was an example how an adventure game or RPG can utilize a second screen. For players that want a cinematic view, the TV can have uncluttered action with all of the status information on the bottom. Imagine, perhaps, a Final Fantasy game with ATB bars and menus on the controller. And for those gamers that want everything on the TV, developers can design games to switch between the two views.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • That actually intrigues me… customizing the layout of game information between screens? I know I wouldn’t want my main playing screen to be too busy…

    Wii U, I think I like you so far.

    • Its like a big DS

      • ninjaonizuka

        lol no -_-” it just have qualities of a ds wich is pretty kool :D we dont know till it released :)

      • kylehyde

        I don’t know in which sense are you saying this, so I’ll pretend that you are saying it in the sense of “the DS was great, is good to see the spirit of the DS on the Wii-U” even if thats not the case, if thats not the case my bad, but for some reason thats what came on my mind when I think about Wii-U, and I loved it, seriously this DS like qualities have made want the console a lot more.

        Seriously a “The world ends with you” on Wii-U would be pretty possible, even better it can be multiplayer, one person controls the character with the pad-like control and another control the other character with the classic controler (which was already confirmed that is supported). Or an Okami game would be really well translated. Also it makes me excited to think that Team ninja is planning to use touch controls for their ninja gaiden game, I loved the controls in Dragon Sword.

        So for me if Wii-U has heir the DS spirit then I’m going to get it.

        • Yeah, i meant it in the good way, one think i like of the DS is the dual screen, i feel it gives me more flexibility on games to be able to have the menu at hand or w/e in the other screen.

          After watching all this, the only thing it came to my mind is that they used the DS (and it’s success) as base to “update” the wii to the wii U

        • Doesnt TWEWY require frequent use of both screens simultaneously. I do not know how comfortable it would be to have one screen farther distance from the other with that type of gameplay. In my experience of using my computer to extend the screen onto the tv, the distance gap and constantly glancing down and up is a frequent inconvience for continuous use.  Really if they are going to be doing that…then why not just bring the games to the 3DS?

          • kylehyde

            Yes, the one that exist is frequent the use of both screens, but not necessary at the same. However I was talking about how could be a TWEWY build spefically for Wii-U.

            About how could been inconvienent, well is understable your point, even on the original was difficult on the beginning to look at the two screens, but later was natural to me.

            However I think that I can see the reasons or maybe I should say the circunstances of why was difficult to you to look up and down and I’m supposing that it was because the two screens were not the only things that you have to watch, there were other things that you have to watch, the keyboard and the mouse, even if both are wireless you have to keep your attention on them aside of the TV and the monitor. The advantage on the Wii-U case is that the control has the inputs and one of the outputs very close to each other, and I’m talking about the buttons, the circles pads and the touchscreen, and this can make possible a game like TWEWY.

            And finally, of course that I want a TWEWY on the 3DS, I wast just saying that a game like TWEWY could be possible on the Wii-U for the reasons tha I mentioned.

  • Why not just hide all that information behind a menu and press pause on the screen, Id imagine one has to still press pause to look at the huge controller to notice their health and go through the inventory. Neck isshus. 

    I cant imagine a situation at home where I would be taking the game to the Wii U controller away from the tv. Controller is probably too pricey to bring it to the dinner table to keep playing while snacking and eating (ek, I couldnt eat while playing games anymore, ethanol would probably be bad for that screen!), could play it in bed, but then the screen is huge and I wonder what the brightness and backlighting is. Hm.

    • So you either have your own setup or live by your self. For those who are not so lucky this has potential. Being married this is a good send. In stead of arguing over watching Top Chef I can just transfer and play my game. The controller also has a headphone jack so the gives me all the sound I will need.

      • Surely sacrificing an hour to watch a fantastic cooking show with a loved one is worth it? What if the game requires precise motion controls, how will this screen controller translate that or the user? Cant imagine Zelda needing to shoot an arrow at a target using motion with just this controller or attachments to it without the main tv display..

        • kylehyde

          Theres a little thing on the Wii-U controller called touchscreen, is already used for aim in many DS games.

        • Suicunesol

          You crack me up.

        • Nope. 

        • ninjaonizuka

          or it cud be guud if u wanna watch anime or a show and play ur game :D or in my case go outside like (porch) and instead of inside all the time :/ also with that controller possibly watch sumthing from the internet while drawing or sumthing i say this tablet has alot of possibilities and ima get 1 but anyways every1 shud try it :D

          • Isnt all of that a concept? Of all the features, I cant imagine that drawing app would be a final one…unless it was flipnote. Do you think it can stream from system to outside? The way they mentioned in interviews seems it has a very limited one room range…

          • ninjaonizuka

            yes and i think if it had apps it will have alot of stuff and i wud love for drawing to be one i love drawing so i think that wud make a great app  and also the way my living room is setup that can work.. i wunder if it will work well if people had it setupp in their cars that sounds nice :>

      • and an AC adapter jack so you can charge the controller separately away from the Wii U docking station.

    • skyblaze

      I don’t think it would lead to neck issues… I can imagine just glancing down between the screen and controller with my eyes

      And as far as situations go, the most popular one I’ve been hearing is that special time when you’re in the middle of that epic final boss fight, and the hot pockets you were munching on have just reached the other end of the tunnel >.>

  • I can picture a great Trauma Team game for the Wii U using that tablet controller. 

    • that would be one of the best games that would fit the WII U perfectly xD

  • WonderSteve

    Oh man I drool when I was watching this demo video of Zelda. Would be awesome to see it becoming a game.

    Here is hoping a Trauma Centre game will make it to WiiU also.

  • onilink888

    It’s really unfortunate… I don’t believe we’ll ever see another game with Twilight Princess’s art direction, especially given that now the hardware can actually do it justice. I read somewhere that Miyamoto (or was it Aonuma?) felt that it didn’t suit the Zelda franchise, or was it that the Windwaker and its hybrids suited it better?

    Well, whatever. I hope they release direct feed video of the demo. If I’m not going to get a game like that, at least give me something that my dreams can be built around…

    *runs off crying in dramatic, girly anime fashion*

  • I can’t wait to see how the new smash bros game would look like!!

  • XypherCode

    now that’s how games should be….HUDless! :P well not much :D

  • TheGoddamnedKamina

    So what’ll happen to Skyward Sword now? Will it still release on Wii or will it be saved for the Wii U?

    • It was reaffirmed at E3 for release this year exclusively on Wii.

      • TheGoddamnedKamina

        Thank god. I was afraid i was gonna have to buy a Wii U only for this.

  • Zelda always been awesome since Day 1 and still it is!

    looking forward to a HD version of zelda or twilight princesse.

  • cool stuff.

  • mikedo2007

    This would be the closet thing to one guy said on Blu-ray.com about Zelda in HD:”Could you imagine the next Zelda game with Drake’s Fortune graphic? It would be amazing.”

    Well that’s pretty close, but I like Nintendo to take it up a notch.

    • If it took ND developers +3 yrs to get to Uncharted 2/3 level graphics, it would surely take Ninty an even longer time to produce an experience like that on a new system. 2016.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos