When Is the 'Legend of Zelda Game & Watch' Release Date, and How Much Will It Cost?

A new Legend of Zelda: Game & Watch has been unveiled at Tuesday's Nintendo Direct conference.

For those who are too young remember, the Game & Watch systems were early precursors to the Game Boy. These miniature handheld devices were released by Nintendo in the early '80s and they each had a single game preinstalled on them. This meant that they could not play anything else, as they did not even have cartridge readers.

All they could do was load the one designated game and tell the time through an inbuilt clock. Original titles that were ported onto Game & Watch consoles include Donkey Kong, Pinball, Super Mario Bros., and the inaugural release, Ball, which was basically a juggling simulator.

Despite portable technology advancing by leaps and bounds in the intervening years, the Game & Watch devices still possess a retro appeal for many, and they have even been making a little bit of a comeback lately. It is no different from how hobbyists are now collecting VHS tapes for their nostalgia value, or how vinyl records recently underwent a resurgence in popularity.

In 2020, Nintendo cashed in on the renewed enthusiasm for Game & Watch by issuing a limited-edition handheld that featured NES versions of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.2. These collector's items were in exceedingly high demand, and it actually became quite difficult to get your hands on one—so it obviously benefits Nintendo to do it again.

On that note, the publisher just announced at their "Direct" presentation that a brand new Game & Watch system is being released to coincide with The Legend of Zelda's 35th anniversary. The machine will come pre-installed with The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventures of Link, and the Game Boy version of Link's Awakening (as opposed to the last year's remake for the Switch). In addition to this, it will also include the classic Game & Watch title Vermin with a new Zelda theme, that recasts Link in the main role.

As with the original Game & Watch systems, this throwback edition will also feature a clock and timer app, although these will be significantly more interactive than they were back in the 1980s.

Speaking about the limited-run item, Eiji Aonuma, producer of the Legend of Zelda series, said: "This year, the original Legend of Zelda game reaches its 35th anniversary. While we do not have any campaigns or other Nintendo Switch games planned, we've been working on this Game & Watch system [to] help mark the occasion and reflect fondly on the earliest days of The Legend of Zelda".

The Legend of Zelda: Game & Watch will be released on November 12 with a recommended retail price of $49.99. Last year's Super Mario version was sold at GameStop, Best Buy, Amazon, Target and a number of other retailers, so expect a fairly similar arrangement here.

Pre-orders are currently not available but, as with the next-gen consoles, Newsweek will monitor the situation and let you know once units begin to hit stores.

The  Legend of Zelda Game & Watch
A screenshot taken from the announcement trailer of the "Legend of Zelda Game & Watch" Nintendo