It’s no secret that Nintendo didn’t have the best E3 event this year. The company retired from appearing in person on stage at the annual event a few years back, but usually there are at least a few exciting announcements via the supplemental Direct presentations. Although Wii U fans were excited to finally see a closer look at Star Fox, the rest of the presentation left a lot to be desired and has put the company on the defensive in the weeks following the event.
As promised, the Nintendo E3 Direct made no references to the upcoming Zelda Wii U game or to the recently announced new console, the Nintendo NX. Instead, the presentation revealed a lineup of holiday games for the 3DS and a handful for the Wii U. Although it’s great that there will be some new Nintendo software for the holiday season, many fans are frustrated with the company for announcing the NX and then immediately refusing to talk about it. In response to criticisms of the Direct, Nintendo is now ready to explain the unorthodox announcement.
Usually when a new console is announced, there is some kind of teaser demo to go along with it and more details arrive in the following months. Nintendo strayed from that announcement formula this time around and apparently it had everything to do with reminding gamers that the company isn’t ready to retire from hardware development yet. President Satoru Iwata offered some more insight into the announcement decision during a recent investor meeting…
“NX was announced as a new platform alongside the DeNA venture. The NX was announced then to indicate that we are not retreating from game platforms and will continue the hardware business… Normally, the announcement would’ve been made later. It was like revealing a magic trick ahead of time.”
Iwata went on to explain that the company still doesn’t plan to share any details about the NX until 2016. He explains that revealing details about the console too early would ruin the surprises that the company has planned and would also give competitors more of a chance to steal Nintendo’s ideas. The DeNA mobile venture that he mentions was confirmed earlier this year.
Although there will be a shift in focus towards the NX in the next year, Iwata also made it a point to explain that the company isn’t done developing software for the Wii U and the 3DS yet. This was a major concern after the lack of new announcements at E3, so Nintendo is doing some damage control in this department…
“The NX is new hardware, and will start from zero… However, the 3DS and Wii U have install bases. Immediately cutting off software for previous hardware upon the release of a new machine is inefficient. We will continue making 3DS and Wii U software while preparing for the NX. We are prioritizing satisfying customers who purchased the Wii U.”
Although it definitely sounds like Nintendo is trying to talk its way out of a corner, the company has always embraced its unorthodox announcements and style. Many loyal fans were likely to give the company the benefit of the doubt, especially after the Wii U picked up a few smash hits in the last year with Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, but the promise of no console Metroid game until the NX is really hard to hear.
What do you think Nintendo is up to? Are you losing faith in the Wii U? Let us know in the comments.
The Nintendo NX has no official release window yet.