The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword coming to Switch in glorious HD — with custom Joy-Cons

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD on Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A remastered version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is coming to the Nintendo Switch, bringing a high-definition take on the 2011 Wii game, as well custom Joy-Con controllers. 

Slated for a July 16 release date, Skyward Sword HD was shown off at the Nintendo Direct livestream, revealing how this how the game will run at 60 frames per second and have the option to use traditional rather than motion controls. 

Before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyward Sword was the last original console Legend of Zelda game released by Nintendo. 

Many of the interesting mechanics in Skyward Sword, such as the stamina gauge and being able to paraglide from high places, were later adapted for Breath of the Wild. Plus, Skyward Sword's music and dungeons remain some of the best in the series.

But Skyward Sword was somewhat divisive amoungst the Zelda fandom, mainly for its controls. While its precise sword swipes were a novel idea, they made dealing with enemies feel formulaic. 

If an enemy was blocking from the left, then you always swing from the right, and so forth. The game also had some repetitive padding towards the end, which artificially prolonged its length. 

These motion controls have been reworked so they map on the Joy-Con controller gyroscopes. But there's the option to simply use the Joy-Con's joysticks rather than motion controls. And as the Nintendo Switch Lite does not have removable controllers, the development team was also able to remap Skyward Sword's directional sword combat to the right analog stick. 

Nintendo also announced that it will produce new, limited edition Joy-Con game controllers. The right Joy-Con is modeled after the Master Sword, while the left takes inspiration from the Hylian Shield. 

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Because Skyward Sword came out toward the tail-end of the Wii's popularity, many gamers never played the game. Plus, there's an entire generation of younger players who may want to jump in for the first time.

Considering that Skyward Sword is currently locked on the Wii, getting standard composite inputs working on a modern 4K television is a bit of a hassle. By giving the game an HD refresh, Nintendo has revitalized Skyward Sword for modern displays, which should make it appeal to old and new players alike. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.