For a little while now, we've known that the next Legend of Zelda title, Breath of the Wild, would be making its way to Nintendo's upcoming #Switch console. What we didn't know was whether or not the game would launch alongside the Switch or if it would release sometime later like, say, in June.
However, the latest reports are going to be good news for virtually everyone: Breath of the Wild appears to be launching in March, right along with the Switch.
The Info Comes From Multiple Reliable Sources
You may or may not recall reports back in October claiming a Nintendo Switch (at the time "NX") reveal announcement was imminent. Moreover, these reports had a few details about the reveal itself, such as the length of the video, the lack of tech specs, and the abandoning of the "Wii" line. All of these reports came from Laura Dale of Let's Play Video Games.
In other words, when it comes to news on the Nintendo Switch, she has an almost perfect track record of leaking reliable and accurate info. Moreover, Dale is claiming to be "100% confident" in the March release.
However, if you're wary of putting all your trust eggs in one source basket, popular Japanese manga magazine CoroCoro coro-corroborates the info — to a degree. Leaked images of the alleged upcoming issue of the magazine show that Breath of the Wild will release in "Spring 2017." The only real question that remains is if this is a genuine image of CoroCoro or a fake (most seem to believe it's real, for what it's worth).
While that might sound vague, if the image is genuine, this puts Breath of the Wild at a March-through-May launch window. And if you're worried about that vagueness, it's worth noting that it's not uncommon in the gaming industry to use quarters instead of specific months when referring to a release. Given the Switch's March launch, it seems more likely the Zelda title will release with the console rather than a month or two later.
Initially, It Appeared 'Breath of the Wild' Would Launch In June — But March Makes More Sense
Outside of the obvious, attention is being called to this latest leak because Laura Dale honestly isn't one to recant leak statements lightly. When you're considered a reliable source of information, a lot of weight rests on your reputation (and being wrong can mean disproportionately angry responses from the community).
Before the Switch's announcement, Dale had heard it would be called the Switch (and not the NX) but didn't post this info because she wasn't absolutely confident in its accuracy. However, she was still transparent with what she did and did not know the entire time.
Working off more than just Dale's leaked info, though, March makes more sense from a marketing standpoint. Granted, we all know what happens when a game is released unfinished or buggy, but assuming Breath of the Wild is ready to be launched, March would give Nintendo the best shot at a successful, potentially record-breaking launch. Think about it: How much more likely are you to buy a Switch pre-packaged with Breath of the Wild than one by itself, with the #Zelda title a ways away?
What's more, Breath of the Wild has more or less been the flagship title at every single Switch promotional event. For casual gamers not following news as closely, all signs have pointed to the game as a launch title. To not have it launch alongside the Switch would be immensely disappointing and, frankly, would feel like deceptive promotion for a lot of people.
Whatever The Case, We'll Probably Know More Very Soon
You may recall that January 12th is slated as the next major announcement date for everyone itching for more Switch news. In all likelihood, that's when we'll have more details on the system's technical specs and — hoping with all hope — the launch titles. And if we are getting launch-title news, that would explain why the latest leaks are coming to light.
Release dates — especially leaked ones — in the gaming world may be ephemeral, but they're more and more likely to be accurate the closer a company is to officially announcing something.
As far as we know, both times Dale has leaked release windows have technically been correct. Things change all the time, but usually not in favor of the gamers. Here's hoping the latest leaks are true, and even more so that they're confirmed on the 12th!
Would you still buy a Switch in March if Breath of the Wild weren't a launch title?