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Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess slips to 2006

Miyamoto and Aonuma want more time.

Nintendo has confirmed that its main hope for Christmas, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on GameCube, has slipped to 2006. The platform holder says creative leads Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma want it to spend more time in development, and said the result would be a "more enjoyable gaming experience".

Despite the unveiling of its next-generation Revolution console and a new iteration of the Game Boy design, Twilight Princess was arguably Nintendo's biggest draw at this year's E3 conference in Los Angeles, and news that it will miss the end of the year is likely to be viewed as a huge blow for Nintendo.

In a statement released worldwide this morning, Nintendo said: "Our development team has decided to take extra time to add some incredible new elements to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. As a result, the game will now launch in 2006 globally. We recognise there may be some disappointed fans; however we firmly believe this additional time will result in a more enjoyable gaming experience."

The statement went on to point out that Mario Smash Football (née Super Mario Strikers), Battalion Wars, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness would all be out in time for Christmas.

In order to try and lift dampened spirits, Nintendo released seven new screenshots of Twilight Princess to accompany the statement.