Nintendo has knocked the Wii U's biggest game of 2015 - its upcoming open-world Legend of Zelda - out of this year's release schedule.

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Splatoon is set to be a highlight for Wii U in 2015.

In fact, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma did not even commit to a 2016 launch when he recently announced the game's delay, and with word of the new Nintendo NX console on the horizon it is easy to speculate that the game could be held back further for repurposing as a next-generation launch title.

So which games can Wii U owners still hope to play, and which are confirmed to be due out in Europe this year?

Speaking in last week's Nintendo Direct conference, company president Satoru Iwata laid out the console's release schedule for the next few months:

Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush is set to be Nintendo's next major Wii U launch, and will arrive in the UK on 8th May. Online shooter Splatoon will follow on 29th May, before Yoshi's Woolly World on 26th June.

In terms of DLC, Nintendo will expand Mario Kart 8 with its Animal Crossing pack on 23rd April. New characters will also be added to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U in the coming months.

We expect Nintendo's next round of announcements at E3 2015 - and it's likely we will not hear of more release dates before then.

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Yoshi and Splatoon will both be accompanied by new Amiibo.

Looking at the latter half of this year, 2D platformer toolbox Mario Maker is already slated for September.

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We've heard next to nothing about Devil's Third since E3 last year.

Nintendo has a number of other games still listed with a vague 2015 launch, including Art Academy, Project Guard, Project Giant Robot, Star Fox, Devil's Third and Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Whether all will still launch this year remains to be seen. 2016 will see the European launch of crossover RPG Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. And then, at some point, the next Legend of Zelda game will follow.

But the Wii U still has a smattering of third-party support. Versions of Don't Starve, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Q.U.B.E.: Director's Cut and Never Alone are all Wii U-bound.

Both major Lego launches this year will also grace the Wii U: Lego Jurassic World in June and then Lego Marvel's Avengers in the autumn. Spooky exclusive Fatal Frame/Project Zero 5 is also due this year.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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