Upgrading equipment has always been in "Zelda" games, but "Skyward Sword" will take the concept much further. Some months ago we had learned that, for the first time, Link will be able to craft upgrades for his weapons using items collected from enemies. It's a mechanic that's been used in games like "Monster Hunter" and "Dragon Quest" and now it's coming to Hyrule.
The video below shows crafting in action:
It's about as straight-forward as you could imagine. Weapon upgrades have recipes which require, say, three of a certain item and two of another item. Bring the required ingredients to the literal weapon smith in the sky and he'll hook you up. Upgraded weapons will not only have stat boosts, but they'll also change visually, as well.
The video also shows off just how the sky plays a role in the overall "Skyward Sword" experience. Seems that whenever Link is at a certain kind of totem, he can transport himself to the city of Skyloft, thanks to his handy bird friend. You can fly around the city and, when you get to your desired location, you can hop right off, parachuting safely to the ground. Pretty slick!
The other big piece of "Zelda" news today was a comment from Shigeru Miyamoto which claimed "Skyward Sword" could have 50-100 hours worth of gameplay. That's probably supremely inflated for the normal gamer, but for those completionists who have to craft every single item and catch every single fish, 50 hours doesn't seem unreasonable at all.