A New Zelda for Wii in Second Half of 2010?

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Zelda Wii 2010

We have 2010 release dates for Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M, but could the next Zelda be on its way this year, too? A new Mario, Metroid, and Zelda, all in the same 365-day timespan? Xbox and PS3s sacrificed, Italian plumbers and koopa troopas living together...mass euphoria?

Chatting with Wired, Nintendo America VP of marketing and sales Cammie Dunaway may have let the cat out of the bag. Wired apparently bet Nintendo wouldn't release Mario, Metroid, and Zelda all in the same year.

During the interview Wired asked Dunaway if it owed her a steak dinner for betting incorrectly, to which Dunaway replied "I think you do."

And then she more or less confirms Zelda's in part of a 2010 triple-header here:

One of the things that's true for Nintendo is that we're not driven by a calendar for our release dates. When the games are ready to go, when the quality is perfect, that's when we release. We all benefit if we can keep a pretty steady pace, so the development teams have worked hard to make sure that we've got a full lineup this year. If you compare the first half of 2010 with the first half of 2009, it's night and day. And from some of the things that Mr. Iwata has talked about, and that we will talk about at E3, like Zelda, you know that we're going to have a good back half of the year, as well.

Look for Zelda to feature prominently at E3, and release during the second half of 2010, in other words.

Assuming Mario Galaxy 2's more challenging than its breezy predecessor, Metroid's hybrid platform/shooter gameplay clicks, and Zelda's more than just another Ocarina of Time riff, Nintendo might win more than sales accolades for a change. Still, it's disappointing to see Nintendo power-marketing the same old franchises to the same old fans.

Where's whatever comes after Mario or Metroid or Zelda, guys? I've been asking this for years now: What's next?

Are so-called 'hardcore' Nintendo fans stuck playing Mario-Metroid-Zelda "rhapsodies on a theme from Miyamoto" indefinitely?

Connect with Matt on Twitter (@game_on)

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