Recently, Nintendo revealed that both the Wii U and the 3DS family of consoles missed their sales targets for the last financial year. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for the Wii U, which has struggled since its release in 2011. Plus, the Wii U GamePad was meant to be a selling point but only a few developers have harnessed its potential. The 3DS on the other hand, is the jewel in Nintendo’s crown, but many gamers are choosing to play games on smartphones rather than buy dedicated gaming handhelds.
But Nintendo realizes this and the company has revealed that it is working on a brand new device codenamed ‘NX‘, although not much is known other than the fact that it will be a “dedicated games console”. Unfortunately we are unlikely to get much more information than that for a while, as Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata recently told investors that they “do not plan on talking specifics about the the NX until 2016”.
During the investor’s call, Iwata also said that
“Presently, we cannot talk about the time period when it [the NX] will go on sale or what it’s like. Because we are calling it a ‘new concept,’ we are not thinking of this as a ‘simple replacement’ for the 3DS or the Wii U.
Incidentally, we’re getting various questions for this year’s E3, like ‘Won’t there be a NX announcement?’, ‘Will there be a presentation on smart devices?’, or ‘Will there be more on the quality of life platform?’ However, since we understand that E3 is an event for dedicated video game machines, we do not intend to discuss the smart devices as well as quality of life.”
The confirmation that the NX will be kept under wraps until 2016 is somewhat unsurprising as Nintendo has a lot on its plate from now until next year’s E3. First and foremost, the company is working on smartphone games that will improve their bottom line and potentially shift more 3DS and Wii U units too; the first of these smartphones titles is expected later this year.
Furthermore, showing off the NX now could seriously hinder the sales of the 3DS and the Wii U as people save up for Nintendo’s next console. Despite their missed sales targets, Nintendo is hoping that new Wii U games such as Splatoon and Yoshi’s Woolly World will help improve sales, and new 3DS consoles have just been released too. Both of these strategies could get the consoles back on track and help Nintendo build on its profits from the last fiscal year, which were their first recorded profits for the company in four years.
In the meantime, however, we can speculate about what the NX will offer players. Although the NX will be game-focused, Nintendo does have a 10-year plan to improve their players’ quality of life and so we could see them release several fitness games and add-ons such as Wii Fit and its balance board. Additionally, when Nintendo announced their smartphone game partnership with DeNA, they also said that they are working on some sort of membership service that will work across several platforms including the 3DS, Wii U, PC and mobile. There’s not much information about this service either but judging by DeNA’s background, it could make games on the NX a lot more social.
Which features would you like to see in the Nintendo NX? Do you think Nintendo should stick to the Wii U and 3DS instead of working on the NX? Let us know what you think in the comments.