As much as we loved Nintendo’s Game & Watch revival featuring the original Super Mario Bros., we regretted the handheld’s limited selection of games. Today the company revealed a follow-up with the Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda that includes four games instead, but it now seems very likely that Nintendo might release an $80 handheld for all of its classic franchises, instead of one that just plays them all.
Available starting on November 12, later this year, the Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda includes the original NES The Legend of Zelda, released in 1986, its sequel, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link released in 1988, the brilliant Game Boy version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, released in 1993 (and again in 2019 as a remake for the Nintendo Switch), and finally an update of a classic Game & Watch title called Vermin now starring Link. Like the Super Mario Bros. handheld, the Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda will also include an animated clock, as well as a Zelda-themed timer, sweetening the pot that you’ll be tempted to smash in search of rupees.
Nintendo didn’t reveal pricing for the Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda handheld during its E3 presentation, but we’re going to remain cautiously optimistic it will be priced the same as the Super Mario Bros. version (which was already kind of expensive in our opinion) despite the extra games included. But even if it ends up being more expensive it’s definitely the better buy thanks to the depth of the Zelda games, but we’d buy it for the original Game Boy version of Links Awakening alone.
Is there a Metroid version of the Game & Watch en route? Possibly. A version packed with all the Game Boy and Game Boy Colour versions of Pokémon? We wouldn’t be surprised. Would we buy them? Of course, we would, but begrudgingly, because as hackers quickly proved, getting other NES games to run on the Game & Watch revival was trivial, and now we know they can easily play Game Boy titles too. Nintendo could easily pack one of these full of hundreds of classic games, but they won’t. Instead, a few Christmases from now, we’ll all have a stack of these on our desks all but defeating the purpose of their easy pocket-ability.
Update, 1:26 p.m. EST/EDT: Nintendo has added a page to its website highlighting the new Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda and has confirmed a $79.95 price tag when available come November.