Five years after its original release, Zero remains one of the only major Wii U titles yet to be ported over to Nintendo’s latest console. As one of the more divisive Nintendo releases of recent years, it could also benefit more than most from a remaster.
Speaking to VGC this week, Platinum’s studio head Atsushi Inaba said that if Nintendo was interested, the developer would “definitely” be interested in considering a new version of Zero. However, any potential changes would be up to Mr. Miyamoto.
Asked if Platinum would be interested in a Switch port of Star Fox Zero, Inaba said: “It’s unfortunate that people aren’t able to play older games because they’re locked out of the platform, so of course if possible we’d like to bring over any of those older titles to the newer platforms.
“It kind of depends on what’s in the realm of actual possibility, but yes, if the chance came up it’s definitely something we’d like to think about.”
Most of the criticism of Zero was targeted at its complicated control scheme, which had players dividing their attention between the TV and Gamepad.
A potential Switch port, which would need to work in Portable mode on a single screen, would presumably remove this controversial element. However, Inaba stressed that all design decisions would need to be led by Nintendo.
“The important thing to remember there is that because it’s Nintendo’s IP, the ideas are coming from Miyamoto-san himself,” he said. We have to respect what Miyamoto-san wants to do.
“Of course, at that time there was a lot of discussion between Platinum and Nintendo, but if the opportunity came up to bring Star Fox Zero to the Switch again it would be more of a question of what he would like to do in that opportunity, and of course we would respect that again.”
Asked if giving feedback to someone as prestigious as Mr. Miyamoto was difficult, Inaba said:
“Actually, Yusuke Hashimoto, who was working on Star Fox as director at the time, but he’s no longer with [PlatinumGames], he was probably the one who had the most trouble taking the ideas to Mr. Miyamoto, because aside from how he is personally, he is a giant in the industry and somebody who a lot of creators look up to. So, it takes a lot of courage or anyone to go to him with ideas or feedback.”
Nintendo has actively made Wii U ports a part of its software strategy for Switch. Although Wii U hardware sold poorly at just 13.5m units, it hosted a strong line-up of critically-acclaimed first-party software which has so far thrived when given a second chance with Switch’s larger audience.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – a version of the 2014 Wii U game with additional characters – is Switch’s best-selling game to date with an impressive 37 million units sold as of June 2021.
Meanwhile, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101 have also been ported to Switch in recent years.