Engadget had a chance to sit down for a long conversation with Eiji Aonuma, and he had a lot to say in regards to the direction of the Zelda series and Nintendo, as well as some tidbits into the thoughts going into Zelda U. For starters, there was a comment that referenced the ability to play Princess Zelda yourself, but there are no exact quotes from Mr. Aonuma. Here is the text from the article on that topic:
When it does eventually come to light, gamers may even be able to control a fully playable Princess Zelda (or even Sheik, Zelda's occasional other form). Or, at least, Aonuma seemed open to the idea when we asked him about it. It's a possibility and we can always hope.
Eiji also said this in regards to changing the way we think about items in the series:
"We're trying to find new ways to play. Not only the kinds of items you find, but how you use those items. I want to give the player more freedom. I want them to be able to explore more. The concept of the item will be completely different than what you've experienced before."
I have no idea what this means, but I am definitely enticed to find out more. Aonuma went on to talk about the remake trend and why exactly his team worked on The Wind Waker HD:
"If I continue making remakes, I feel like I won't grow. (Wind Waker HD helps our devs) learn what it is the Wii U can do... [and] what the system is capable of."
Essentially, he doesn't really like doing remakes, but Wind Waker HD was perfect for the team to learn the ins and outs of the Wii U itself without necessarily dedicating too much time into the recreation of the game. Eiji Aonuma also talked about wanting to break the Zelda mold, but how there are some caveats to doing so that he must always consider in the process:
"With regard to... breaking the mold or changing the formula, I certainly hear the thoughts of fans. The impressions of fans that maybe it's getting a bit stale. ...if we change it too much, I'm also concerned people will say, 'Okay, is it no longer Zelda if we don't have this formula?'"
We understand you there Mr. Aonuma. When we ask for change and we start to use other games as examples for some of that change, we often get accused that "if you want that in Zelda, why don't you just go play that game." The fact remains that we're not asking for Zelda to be Skyrim, we're asking for certain elements from that game to be added to Zelda in order to make the Zelda experience better. However, it's such a fine line to balance with an impossible to please fan base. He went on to talk about Nintendo in a rather honest light:
"If we don't change we might die. We need to evolve. Things need to change. Things need to grow."
Oh, and one last bit here about remakes:
"...for people that've played the [classic games] already, you can't just give them something they've already experienced. You need to make it something special, something different. That's something I'm always very conscious about."
In the end, I know people will feel the same way in regards to The Wind Waker HD since not a lot has changed, but again, he did admit the game was used as a training tool for his team. Also, the above quote was more so for releasing games on the Virtual Console.