Where is the Zelda Wind Waker Switch port?

Is Wind Waker Switch even real? Fans have been clamouring to bring the Wii U remake of the seminal Zelda title to Switch for years, so it is actually possible?

Wind Waker Switch: a mock-up shows key art from the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker running on a Nintendo Switch OLED model

I’ve been a Zelda fan since I could pick up a controller, and in my many years exploring the lands of Hyrule or riding the waves on the King of Red Lions, few games have recaptured the magic and the wonder that emanates from every second of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The art style, the action, the amazing music, it’s all just so perfect, so you might be wondering where is the Wind Waker Switch port?

Despite being pretty happy to port or remaster many previously released titles (and to great success, Mario Kart still sells better than cans of coke), Nintendo hasn’t quite gotten around to bringing either Wind Waker or the improved Wind Waker HD to the Switch yet, even though the Switch has sold a mammoth amount of over 100m consoles compared to the Wii U’s 13.5m. So, let’s speculate and do some guesswork, as to when Ninty might do the sensible thing and put one of the best games ever made on one of the best consoles ever made, shall we?

Let’s sail across the ocean of information and get stuck right into our Wind Waker Switch guide.

Wind Waker Switch: a screenshot shows a cel shaded scene, and a young cartoonish version of Link

Wind Waker Switch release date speculation

Frankly, there have been rumours of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess coming to the Nintendo Switch every year since the console launched. With two of the most successful Wii U titles thanks to their respective HD remakes and two of the most highly acclaimed entries in one of Nintendo’s premiere franchises, it just makes sense. So are the rumours anything more than wishful thinking?

Firstly, Nintendo wouldn’t ordinarily release two Zelda titles within a year. It waters down the brand and affects marketing. 2017 saw the huge success of Breath of the Wild, and the DLC packs known as The Master Trials and The Champions Ballad helped to push sales and interest well into 2018. 2019 saw both Cadence of Hyrule and the remake of Link’s Awakening, as well as the announcement of the sequel to Breath of the Wild, now known as Tears of the Kingdom.

2020 saw Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a Musou-action game and a prequel to Breath of the Wild telling the events of the great war 100 years before the original. The next year in 2021 we got The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, a ground-up remake of the Wii title mapping the motion controls to buttons and giving the game a significant visual overhaul.

2022 has been the first year without any sort of Zelda content for quite some time, and because of that, many assumed that this was the year fans would finally get a Wind Waker Switch port, and maybe even a Twilight Princess Switch port. Both games are already HD and easily run on the Wii U, so the porting process shouldn’t be as strenuous as a full remake or new game. Right? Right? But here we are, staring into 2023 and the impending release of the next mainline Zelda game with Tears of the Kingdom, and still, we cannot wake the wind on our Nintendo Switch.

If there was ever going to be a Wind Waker Switch release date, 2022 felt like it would have been it, so now with silence on the matter, it’s looking increasingly likely that these games aren’t coming to the console any time soon. If there is a Wind Waker Switch release date, perhaps it is on future hardware, with Wind Waker HD HD with enough visual upgrades from the 10-year-old port (oh god) to warrant charging consumers again. Perhaps Nintendo could even include the dungeons they removed from the original release due to time constraints.

Are there any Wind Waker Switch leaks?

While we haven’t seen nary as much as a screenshot, a leaked classification, or so much as a whiff of Wind Waker Switch, many industry insiders and prominent leakers have still spoken about the game’s Switch port with apparent authority, helping to further churn the rumour mill, and fan the flames of player’s hopes over the years.

Industry insider and Giant Bomb staff member Jeff Grubb and his podcast co-host Mike Minnoti brought up Wind Waker HD, Twilight Princess HD, and a Metroid Prime remaster all heading to Switch at some point in the coming months on several episodes of Games Mess Decides. The speculation was that Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD would be announced in the September 2022 Nintendo Direct, but that ultimately didn’t come to pass. One day, Link, one day.

Wind Waker Switch: a screenshot shows a cel shaded scene, and a young cartoonish version of Link

Why isn’t Wind Waker on Switch?

Wind Waker is in a tough spot, because the Nintendo Switch doesn’t currently have a library of Gamecube games as part of the Nintendo Switch Online service, otherwise Wind Waker would surely be on there. The Wii U port Wind Waker HD would also run great on the Switch, but Nintendo won’t give it away for free, and may not want to charge people all over again for a port without considerable updates, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

For a time fans speculated that Nintendo might add Wind Waker and Twilight Princess as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, but that feels very un-Nintendo. Any Zelda release is treated with reverence and respect, and even re-releases of the Zelda ports would appear in a box and with some celebration. Perhaps one day fans will see a Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD double pack, justifying both the price and the need for a box. Until then, we’ll just have to look ahead to the Tears of the Kingdom release date for our next Zelda fix.

We hope this guide answered some questions you may have had, and helped ease the wait for our favourite green little adventuring boy to finally sail onto the Switch. If you still have a couple of titles to play in the series though, figure out where to start with our guide to the best Zelda games next.