Speaking with Wired, famed Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed the possibility of Texas-based Retro Studios working on a Legend of Zelda game in the future. The studio has been responsible for some of the best Nintendo franchise re-designs, including the Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country Returns, and they were heavily involved in the development (mostly level design, says Miyamoto) of Mario Kart 7, the 3DS's latest hit.
When asked about the collaboration between Nintendo's EAD designers in Japan and Retro Studios, Miyamoto had this to say: "People often say that videogames made by Western developers are somehow different in terms of taste for the players, in comparison with Japanese games. I think that means that the Western developers and Japanese developers, they are good at different fields. And that resulted in a different taste in [their games].
"As you know, we have already collaborated with Retro for the Metroid Prime series in the past. And I think when we talk about any other franchise, Zelda might be a possible franchise for that collaboration."
This is far from a promise, but it's heartening to hear that a Western development studio has gained the confidence of Miyamoto and, by extension, Nintendo. We really hope this goes somewhere, and we can't wait to hear what Retro's doing next.