Nintendo is already guaranteed to have a big presence at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, given that the publisher is expected to have on hand the Wii 2. However, Nintendo's new console may not be the only bit of news setting the industry atwitter, as it could use the event to debut an online installment in its Zelda franchise.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board has posted an E-for-Everyone rating for a game titled "Zelda Universe." The game's only content descriptor is for "violence."
Mysteriously, Zelda Universe's platform is listed simply as "Online," with no mention made for any of Nintendo's currently available platforms. Of note, Nintendo's official website for the Legend of Zelda series is known as Zelda Universe. However, the ESRB does not have a history of rating non-interactive content on game-related websites.
Games built for Web browsers, such as Atari's Sorry! or EA's Dice City Roller, are the only other titles listed exclusively for the Online platform in the ESRB's database. However, the "Online" descriptor is often appended to games with an online component that arrive for consoles or the PC.
Nintendo had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment on Zelda Universe, including whether the title is in development for the Wii 2, as of press time. With the publisher's Ocarina of Time update for the 3DS arriving last month, Nintendo's only announced new title in the franchise is Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii. According to Nintendo's game design chief Shigeru Miyamoto, Skyward Sword is in the final stages of completion.
[UPDATE] As it would turn out, the hysteria over Zelda Universe may be for naught. The ESRB's listing for Zelda Universe dates as far back as 2008, though Nintendo has yet to release a game under that title.