With the failure of the Wii U in their minds, Nintendo has begun work on a lot of projects to move the company forward. Most notable of those is the partnership with DeNA to develop mobile games of their famous IPs, a move that has upset a number of the Nintendo faithful. To stifle fears that they’re abandoning the home console business, top Nintendog Satoru Iwata immediately announced that work on their next dedicated platform, the NX, is well underway, promising some concrete details at some point in 2016. A lack of information is always frustrating, but we have gotten our nerdy little hands on some production information, courtesy of DigiTimes, that could shed some light on their release plans.
Nintendo has allegedly partnered with Foxconn Electronics to begin production on their new console on or before October of this year, with full production to ramp up in Spring 2016. According to these rumors, they have the somewhat ridiculous plan to launch with 20 million units, which is double the lifetime sales of their nearly 3 year old Wii U platform.
With that information in mind, it seems to me like Nintendo are planning on producing some development kits to ship off to developers, and maybe some actual pieces of hardware to act as hype drivers for press or their outstanding Nintendo Direct presentations. With full production speculated to begin Srping 2016, I’d not be surprised to see a full reveal at E3 followed by a Holiday 2016 launch or, at the very latest, a Spring 2017 release.
On the matter of Nintendo continuing into the home console space, CEO Satoru Iwata had this to say:
“The reason I mentioned this was, at that time, there were more than a certain number of people that thought that Nintendo would give up on the dedicated game system business and concentrate on smart device application development, or that Nintendo should take that path… I felt it was necessary to communicate that Nintendo is not pessimistic about the future of the dedicated game system business but rather more and more eager to continue it. On the other hand, details on the new platform essentially should come later… It is not convincing enough to the consumer if we describe how the magic works before actually showing it to them and then expecting them to be surprised or delighted.”
To elaborate a little further, Nintendo of America’s own Reggie Fils-Aime chimed in himself:
“In the home console space, we’re focused on Wii U. NX is in the future. That’s something that we’ll talk about at the appropriate time. But right now, it’s all about driving our Wii U business… Consumers know that effectively, as we complete one piece of hardware, we always start thinking about the next. So we’re constantly challenging ourselves. What’s new? What’s different? What’s coming down the pipe?
The way we approach it is when there’s a game or an approach that we can’t do on the current system, that’s when we begin in earnest to focus on the next system. So what that means is that our developers, a number of them must have certain ideas that will be enabled by the NX. We’re going to have to develop those ideas and get that software ready. And that’s going to drive the timing for when we provide more details on NX.”
Just for fun, I have a couple points of speculation on the NX launch myself. Indulge me, if you will.
-The NX will be a home console and handheld hybrid, with significant crossover between the two device concepts. Look for an expanded take on the Wii U’s gamepad configuration, possibly going into a full-blown tablet, where gamers could take their NX games on the road with them.
– NX will launch with a couple gangbuster Nintendo titles, specifically the next 3D Mario game (Mario Galaxy 3?) and a new entry in the Metroid Prime franchise. I’d not be too surprised to see an HD remaster or two to pad the launch lineup.
– Nintendo is going to have some third party partnerships in their pocket to surprise and entice non-Nintendo gamers with. They’ve got the money to shell out to fund development on significant titles, so it’s not outside of the realm of possibility.
– Lastly, the NX is going to be fully playable on the E3 2016 showfloor, with Nintendo hosting a traditional press conference. They’ll come out swinging with big game announcements to wash the taste of the Wii U out of gamer’s mouths.
What do you think? Is the NX going to be a step in the right direction, or will Nintendo struggle to maintain their place in the home console market? Do you have speculation of your own to share? Be a part of the conversation in the comments section.