Nintendo seems to prefer Zelda: Skyward Sword HD players to use motion controls

Many fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the popular The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, now in its definitive HD version, which has been optimised and modified to take advantage of the modern technology of Nintendo Switch; including its interactive Joy-Con controller.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD will essentially be the same game, but in addition to being HD-optimised, it will now be playable in a different way, as Nintendo will implement support for the Pro Controller, as well as the platform’s handheld mode. This means that players will no longer be forced to use the motion controls.

As you all know, the original Skyward Sword for Wii relied heavily on the enhanced motion controls of the Wii MotionPlus, a peripheral that could be attached to the bottom of a Wii Remote to give the console’s sensor bar another point of reference. While this made the motion controls much more precise than those of, say, Twilight Princess, this type of control remains a common criticism of Skyward Sword. In fact, there is no consensus on this aspect, as many players found it a marvel of gameplay, while others did not like this type of control at all, making the game tedious at many points.

Despite including the option of a classic button control, Nintendo seems to prefer Zelda: Skyward Sword HD to experiment with motion controls. Proof of this is that the Japanese company uploaded a general trailer for Skyward Sword HD, showing off the game’s setting and controls. However, button controls are mentioned only as an afterthought, which seems like a missed opportunity on Nintendo’s part. Here are the most relevant details:

  • In the section of the general trailer that explains the controls, it only mentions that button controls have been added to support portable mode and those playing on a Switch Lite.
  • The trailer doesn’t mention that the button controls can be used with Joy-Con in docked mode, or even that the game is playable with a Switch Pro Controller.

It’s certainly a strange thing to say, as including the option to play without motion controls is a big change for multiple reasons, including personal preference, accessibility, and simply an overall quality of life improvement for Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. Making sure potential buyers know that they have different control options seems like a smart move, but Nintendo has shown that it’s still committed to Zelda: Skyward Sword HD being seen as a motion-controlled game.