News Article

Out Today: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (North America)

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Sailing off with your hard drive space

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is here, if you're happy to download and live in North America. While many of us count the days until 4th October, this HD remaster / remake / whatever you want to call it has docked in the North American eShop ahead of time. It coincides with an official Wii U price cut in the region — of $50 — and joins the rather attractive Wind Waker HD hardware bundle, picture above.

It's a pity that a similar promotion wasn't rolled out in other regions, such as that in which this writer is sitting, but it's a neat bonus in what is a vital marketplace for Nintendo in the coming weeks and months. Whispers online — or to put it more accurately tweets — have spoken about retailers selling out of the limited edition new bundle, for example, no doubt aided by the new price, the thoughtful inclusion of the digitial version of Hyrule Historia and that rather attractive design. The Wind Waker HD plays its part, of course, and those that are happy with their current system — or put off by the absence of an actual Wii U to Wii U transfer process — can target the eShop and get hold of the game today. It won't even need much hard drive space, either, with the North American version reportedly around 2.5GB; bizarrely, it's just under 1.8GB in Europe.

So what of the actual game? The critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, with 9s and 10s — accompanied by lots of words, of course — being liberally dished out around the web. We rather loved it ourselves, as you can see in our The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD review, and if quality alone is enough to give the Wii U a sales boost, this title will hopefully do the job. While veterans may be tempted, we shouldn't underestimate the potential of this as a 'new' Zelda title, as it will surely be to plenty of gamers and potential consumers out there. Combined with a price cut this could bring immediate benefits now, and perhaps more so once the physical release arrives on 4th October.

So, how many of you in North America are planning to take the plunge on the download version today, or do you plan to wait for the disc release? Are you going all the way and picking up the limited edition hardware bundle? For some of us that's not a choice — we're currently playing the world's smallest violin here in Nintendo Life HQ — but let us know your Wind Waker HD plans in the comments below.

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User Comments (85)

odd69

#1

odd69 said:

I think alot of users will be buying the disc version, i dont know why anyone would want to miss out on the booklet and art.I will be waiting for the disc got plenty of games (GTA ,Dragons Crown) to keep me busy.I think i want the special edition, its actually a great deal.

Whopper744

#2

Whopper744 said:

Yeah I'm getting the boxed version with the Ganondorf figure.... I feel like I'm being punished for doing so though...I have to wait another 2 weeks.

Spoony_Tech

#3

Spoony_Tech said:

I was going to get this but too many expenses hit all at once. I'm usually the type of person that gets Nintendo systems day one but three kids and other payments really throws that all out the window!

pazmon

#5

pazmon said:

i can't wait to play this game, i've never played the gamecube version so this game is new for me..!! :D

Emblem

#6

Emblem said:

"The critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, with 9s and 10s — accompanied by lots of words..."

Lol love this line, just by reading comments on some websites you can tell a lot of people have just looked at the score then responded without even reading the article.

Its going to be very hard to tell how many people buy Zelda in NA since Nintendo is unlikely to give us digital sales numbers to add to the physical sales reports.

FiveDigitLP

#8

FiveDigitLP said:

I'm one of those that is getting a physical copy. I also intended to get the limited edition with the Ganondorf figure (as I already have a Wii U), but I didn't preorder in time. :-(
So I'm just going to end up waiting for a little while before picking it up since I am in no rush to play it again. (Though I am certainly looking forward to it.)

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#10

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

I'm tempted to download, but I bought the Special Edition from GameStop so I think I'll just wait. I've got plenty to hold me over until Oct. 4th.

Mainer82

#11

Mainer82 said:

I hope that the limited edition Wii U controller goes up on ebay as I want that to go along with my black Wii U.

BertoFlyingFox

#12

BertoFlyingFox said:

I missed out on the Ganondorf figure so I'll be checking a few places around town in hopes of finding the LE. Probably wont get it but I never had the chance to beat WindWaker (got as far as the section where you first get the master sword) anyway so it will be picked up.

Mk_II

#15

Mk_II said:

I've got two pre-orders for the boxed retail version with the Ganondorf figurine and hope i'll get them both

biglee

#16

biglee said:

Can't wait to have my limited edition with ganandorf figure in hand. I might even get a second hard copy for myself, so I can keep my LE one sealed up (I'm a bit of a collector) In the mean time, I'll be finishing up Ocarina of Time 3D ;-)

ultraraichu

#17

ultraraichu said:

Would of downloaded the digital version today but the GameStop limited edition made it so tempting to pre-order the disc. It Project X Zone/ SMT4 all over again.

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd Same here.

Tra_Venous

#18

Tra_Venous said:

I've got the limited edition w/Ganondorf figure preordered, but I don't think I want to open that, so I'll download as well.

triforcepower73

#19

triforcepower73 said:

What do I do if I preordered this at gamestop for $60 and I want to get my $10 back, since it's apparently $50?

scottsensei

#20

scottsensei said:

Downloading as soon as I get off work today. Between this and The Wonderful 101, along with other games I have on the HD and disc, I'm gonna be busy this weekend.

scottsensei

#21

scottsensei said:

@triforcepower73 When you go in make sure they refund you the difference or send it to another preorder. I've had cases where I traded against a preorder and ended up getting cash back because the value of the trade ins exceeded the cost of the product.

Dogpigfish

#22

Dogpigfish said:

@odd69 I think teens or young college will buy the disc; everyone else will buy the digital since it's a better value and won't break. Digital purchases are for quality titles that should expect replay value and won't be traded in. Honestly, it's too convenient and the manual can be read on the screen, not to mention no tax or some weirdo hustling me.

rjejr

#23

rjejr said:

Glad I'm not excited for this game or I would be playing a very big violin today - 6 weeks after my Wii U purchase. I'ld still rather have WW HD than Nintendo Land, and pay $299 than $349, but our Wii U has gotten a lot of use - Pikmin 3, NSMBU, Toki Tori 2+, and NL - so I'll muster on.

I do hope Nintendo takes this opportunity to finally push the system. The retailers have had 3 weeks notice on the price drop, I hope the Wii U is in every ad in every flyer this coming Sunday. X+Y and 2DS and PS4 and X1 are coming, gotta start now. Or at the latest on the 4th when the disc comes out. Pokemon trumps everything else.

triforcepower73

#24

triforcepower73 said:

@scottsensei Thanks! I don't know how I'm going to balance between all the games I'm currently playing and the rest of life. I've still got (at least) 40 more hrs of Xenoblade's story, not to mention the side quests, I'm probably going to get MH3U, and WWHD when it comes out!

scottsensei

#25

scottsensei said:

@rjejr Well they did just hire a new ad agency, so here's hoping they get on their game. Same guys that did the really good PS3 commercials.

rjejr

#27

rjejr said:

@scottsensei - "Well they did just hire a new ad agency"

So you're implying they had an old ad agency? They weren't earning their paychecks.

GuruOfGreatness

#29

GuruOfGreatness said:

In 23 years of gaming, I never got on the Zelda franchise bandwagon for some reason or another. Maybe I just didn't have the time to play the epic games, or they weren't my cup of tea; either way, I could never take away from their success. However, I have caved and pre-ordered the disc version from GAME for October 4th, and must admit, I am really, REALLY looking forward to my first Zelda adventure :) It does look incredible!!!

SDDMN

#30

SDDMN said:

It just blows that the disc version comes out two weeks later, that's the one I have on pre-order since I want that Ganondorf figurine. I hate waiting. -.-

bahooney

#31

bahooney said:

Ever since moving out of my parents house, money's been super super tight... I had to save up all summer for GTA V. I'm beyond appreciative that my dad pre-ordered this for me- without even asking! I'm super lucky... was so worried I couldn't play my favorite Zelda game on my Wii U. I'm so excited!!

bahooney

#32

bahooney said:

@GuruOfGreatness Your comment gave me chills!! What I wouldnt give to play through the Wind Waker with a fresh set of eyes... easily one of my most memorable gaming memories. It's such an absolute joy, there's so much love put into this game. I really hope you enjoy this gem!

Burning_Spear

#33

Burning_Spear said:

I'm buying it to have the Zelda GamePad as a second controller. And, oh yeah, Wind Waker will be nice too.

SamIAm69

#34

SamIAm69 said:

Yup! Getting the bundle console in about 3 hours. As soon as the mall opens up. Its 7 am and im excited as all hell.

GuruOfGreatness

#35

GuruOfGreatness said:

@bahooney So do I, thank you :) I may be nearly a quarter of a century late to jump on the franchise, but better late than never lol. Hope I enjoy it as much as you clearly did :)

Gerbwmu

#36

Gerbwmu said:

Thanks to WWHD game/bundle prices for Wii U have skyrocketed on certain bidding and online retailer sites.......would seem that there is some demand for the console right now which is good news for everyone. Hopefully the sales over the next few months will draw back a few 3rd party titles to supplement the great Nintendo titles arriving over the next 6 months

Zach777

#37

Zach777 said:

Hopefully this 2 week eShop release before the retail release doesn't become the normal everyday routine with Nintendo games. Ain't nobody got time for that!

tchaten

#38

tchaten said:

1700MB for NA version - I have downloaded it and can confirm - may want to edit the post.

Got download version last night - and will be keeping new in box that Ganadorph/Game bundle.

treeofmana

#42

treeofmana said:

I will pick up my preordered Wii U bundle this evening. I really wanted a white system but the Zelda style and the value was hard to pass up. I do prefer physical copies of games, and as a veteran gamer I have a lot of cartridges and discs, but as I already have the Hyrule Historia and Wind Waker on GameCube in physical format, I don't mind not having these that way. I do have the physical New Luigi U already, though. And my wife and I plan on picking up the physical copy of Duck Tales!

ShikabaneHime13

#43

ShikabaneHime13 said:

Picked my bundle up this morning as soon as Gamestop opened! Letting the gamepad charge up now before firing up the system later (which allows me to get a little cleaning and housework out the way so I can play uninterrupted once I start gaming)

Spuratis

#44

Spuratis said:

@ShikabaneHime13 Same, I'm actually downloading the updates and about to start the Zelda download.. I have a slow connection so I need to get that going and THEN I'll start doing chores around the house. I can't wait to play this game, I missed the Gamecube version so I'm really looking forward to this. :)

Ryno

#45

Ryno said:

I have no problem waiting a whole 2 weeks longer for a physical copy and the limited edition Ganondorf figurine. Anything Zelda related and "limited" is am must have.

@Dogpigfish: I would think only teens and people in their 20's would download this. If you have been playing and collecting Zelda for years I think you would want something physical. The better value will always be to have a physical copy of something. A digital copy has no value beyond the system it is tied too.

darklinkinfinite

#48

darklinkinfinite said:

Money's been tight recently and I've felt horrible for having to pass (for now) on other great Wii U games like Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, and Rayman, but I just had to have the LE Wind Waker with the Gannondorf Figure. Not sure if I want to open it though since Nintendo LEs are rare enough as it is and Gamestop Exclusives tend to have a nice bump in aftermarket value. Still I don't think I can afford 2 copies of this as I have with other games in the past. Oh well, I still have two weeks to mull it over

Kellx78

#49

Kellx78 said:

If there was an eb games close to me I'd wait for the limited edition. I'll probably download it tonight.

Dezsi

#50

Dezsi said:

Retail version, obviously.

I'd love to see a bundle with an actual box. Not Nintendo Land, though, that game, albeit probably very fun, does not in the least bit interest me. But I guess I'll just buy the Premium Pack (with Nintendo Land) and buy the retail version of Zelda and everything else. Though I'd love to have that box. :(

PrincessSugoi

#53

PrincessSugoi said:

"The critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, with 9s and 10s — accompanied by lots of words, of course —"

LOL nice.

Well, good luck Zelda and Ninty. Wishing the best this season.

mralloverit

#55

mralloverit said:

@ikki5 Saw that as well. It's insane. Anyone willing to throw down that much on JUST the gamepad should be slapped. Even with the Zelda graphics on it, it's worth about a third of what they're asking AT BEST.

darklinkinfinite

#60

darklinkinfinite said:

@Ryno I meant a limited edition to keep sealed and a standard edition to play. I was fortunate enough to pre-order the Limited Edition so I'm getting that one regardless.

idork99

#63

idork99 said:

I haven't purchased a Wii U so the limited edition sounds very tempting.

Sadly, I'll most likely hold off. I'm anxious to try the HD version of this game. But I fear that if I purchase now, I'll spend all my time with the system and abandon my 3DS because of it. Reality is, there are too many good games out for the 3DS. And I just want to make sure that I indulge in all of the games it has to offer before I make the jump to HD gaming.

I'll hold off until Mario Kart 8. Hopefully they'll have a similar bundle for that game as well when it releases.

Giygas_95

#64

Giygas_95 said:

I feel sorely tempted to get this, but I don't have much gaming time these days, and I've already played the original so I don't think it's worth it...
Maybe someday?

"we're currently playing the world's smallest violin here in Nintendo Life HQ" Was that a Spongebob reference?

sinalefa

#65

sinalefa said:

@odd69

What booklet? I felt lucky when i saw that pikmin 3 had a 4 page insert.

I may dl this but most likely i will buy physical along with poke y

Megajack

#66

Megajack said:

Getting the boxed copy. I feel punished for it though, having to wait 2 more weeks... If Nintendo would make an account system on Wii U, this would be a whole new story.

JaxonH

#67

JaxonH said:

I got in my pre order for the Limited Edition Ganondorf Figure edition at Gamestop, AND I bought the Windwaker HD bundle Wii U for my brother for Christmas, AND I finally convinced my buddy at work to switch from PC to Wii U this gen, so he just bought the Windwaker HD bundle Wii U today, AND I convinced another buddy at work to go with Wii U over PS4 or PS3, though he hasn't bought it yet. Pretty sure he will though. So yes, I've amassed quite a few sales with this one.

Halph-Thyme

#69

Halph-Thyme said:

I pre-ordered the Wind Waker Wii U bundle day one and got it today. Wind Waker is currently downloading! Patience!

I loved it on GC and look forward to experiencing it again in HD!

lckulczak

#70

lckulczak said:

I bought the bundle today! The controller is fantastic and Wind Waker HD is awesome!

NightmareXIV

#71

NightmareXIV said:

I've played all my other games until they became stale, but I can't afford the eShop so I'm going to be soooooooo boooooooored until October 4th.

maC_N_Cheezer

#72

maC_N_Cheezer said:

Got my bundle and was shocked that it was updated to 3.0.01U so just had to update one more time.

ouroborous

#73

ouroborous said:

Just to be clear, the WiiU bundle and the eShop download of the game are apparently out today.
But the retail hard copy of the game and the special edition with the Ganondorf figure are not out until Oct 4th, like originally announced.
Who knew the bundle was gonna come out first???

Dr_Corndog

#75

Dr_Corndog said:

I got excited until I saw that Wind Waker is a download in this bundle and not included on a disc. But it still comes with the Hyrule Historia...oh, that's a download, too? Never mind.

StarDust4Ever

#76

StarDust4Ever said:

What, no disc? That's a huuuge download! They could have at least preinstalled it for all the grannies that still use dial-up. Oh wait, they still have an unopened Wii Sports bundle in the closet somewhere. :P

Klinny

#77

Klinny said:

I pre-ordered the Wii U Zelda bundle from Amazon, so just waiting for it to arrive. I thought it was time to take the plunge and finally get the Wii U, haha.

Urbanhispanic

#78

Urbanhispanic said:

I'm not going to lie; that special edition bundle looks freakin' sweet. But I've always been the type to buy physical copies. So I'm actually torn between waiting for the physical release of The Wind Waker or picking the bundle up. Then, there's the rumor going around that Nintendo may release another special edition bundle with NSMBU & NSLU included. If it's true, then that is sweet too. By the way, I don't have a Wii U yet. :/

TheKachoMan

#79

TheKachoMan said:

Picked up the special edition as a backup WiiU. Have the original GameCube Windwaker on disk (loved it) but I am interested to see it in HD. Hopefully I can sync the gampad to my other WiiU when they come out with a game that uses multiple gamepads.

ccanfield1

#81

ccanfield1 said:

I am waiting on the physical disc. I only buy download versions of games if there is a significant savings for doing so. I don't expect to sell this game but with a download version I can never do that without selling the system. Why should I pay the same amount for a game they didn't have to put on disc, package and ship. Some of that savings should be passed on to consumers as incentive to purchase digital, in my opinion.

ccanfield1

#82

ccanfield1 said:

I do hope they release the digital download of Hyrule Historia in the near future for those of us that would like it but already own the system.

AyeHaley

#83

AyeHaley said:

I wonder why Wind Waker HD is 60 euros instead of the usual 45-50 for a Nintendo game.

And apparently that digital Hyrule Historia book isn't a PDF but rather an app for the Wii U..I wish I'd known that before the bundle sold out. Oh well I can't transfer between systems anyway!

barleyguy

#84

barleyguy said:

I purchased this on Friday. I had originally pre-ordered it from Newegg, but they didn't ship it Friday and Best Buy had it in stock, so I canceled my preorder and bought it at Best Buy.

I also picked up Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Need For Speed Most Wanted, Super Mario Galaxy, and Okami. So I'll have plenty of games to keep me busy for a while.

I'm really hoping the Wii U has a sales boost, to encourage companies to make games for it.

iateyourbaby

#85

iateyourbaby said:

Is it bad that I'm planning on buying both the Ganondorf Limited Edition and the Zelda Wii U bundle? I haven't got a Wii U yet so this would be a good chance to buy one since loads of games will be soon realeased but I'm also not a fan of downloadable games, and the Ganondorf figure comes with the game so I don't mind buying both.

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