New Zelda won't see Twilight until 2006

Nintendo says next GameCube adventure will ship no earlier than next April so development team can add "new levels, more depth."

Tim Surette
In what could be the most disappointing delay to fans rabid for a sequel since Bungie's "Halo 2" was knocked back a few seasons, the next "Legend of Zelda" will miss its original ship date.

Nintendo on Tuesday announced that "Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" will not ship for 2005's holiday season, but will instead launch in 2006.

"After much discussion, the Zelda development team has requested extra time to add new levels, more depth, and even higher quality to 'Zelda: Twilight Princess,'" said Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo of America's vice president of marketing and corporate affairs.

The new release date is now no sooner than April 1, 2006, as the game is pegged to hit shelves sometime after Nintendo's next fiscal year kicks off.

"While this may come as a disappointment to many eager fans, it will absolutely enrich the game," Kaplan said.

Nintendo let out a trifecta of big news stories today. In addition to the Zelda delay, Nintendophiles will be happy to know that the GameBoy Micro now has a release date of Sept. 19, and the DS will be $20 cheaper as of Aug. 21, to coincide with the release of "Nintendogs" and "Advance Wars: Dual Strike for the DS."

Tim Surette of GameSpot contributed to this report.