E3 2014 was a desperate, last-gasp attempt to gain any kind of traction for the Wii U, where they put everything they had on the table. If they weren't in the state they were in they probably would have held Zelda back.
This is Zelda, though. They all get delayed. This was inevitable, so I'm not sure why it upsets people this much.
That kind of thinking essentially sums up why Nintendo is in the bind its in. Part of Nintendo's idea of a desperate, last-gasp attempt at gaining traction was to show an extremely early build of a game it knows it can't deliver when it says its going to deliver it. Only a company that has lost touch with reality would think that's even an option. Take Zelda out E3 2014 and Nintendo still has the best overall showing. Delaying the game, potentially off Wii U entirely, just makes the company look so much worse than if it just kept its mouth closed.
I understand people getting upset over the delay since they want the game sooner rather than later. I don't agree, but I understand where they're coming from. I will always support delaying a game for quality control. My gaming habits are such that I don't care when a game is released, but my time is such that I want to make the most of it, and I'd rather do so with a better game. However, that isn't what my issue is. As recently as five months ago, Nintendo was insisting that Zelda was on schedule for a 2015 release, and I remained skeptical then:
Realistically if development has actually gone smoothly this time with no huge shakeups in design or controls, a 2015 can still be possible.That goes without saying. When was the last time that actually happened? Not saying it can't, but at this point, I'd certainly bet against Nintendo releasing a console Zelda game on time.
November 2016 is when the Wii U's successor launches, and they're going to prefer to get Zelda out prior to thatZelda would make a really lovely launch title.
Sure, much can happen in five months' time, but just don't say anything then. This is the same promise Nintendo has had such a hard time keeping in the past. Nintendo should have accepted that it wasn't winning the war. That doesn't mean "Give up and abandon Wii U." It means admitting, "Wii U is going to lose, but that's okay." Keep releasing solid titles, and don't screw anything up. Regroup, rebuild the brand, and ride the momentum into the next console. How hard is that?