Recently, Nintendo has presented itself as a company that’s willing to make big changes. As the sales of their Wii U and 3DS games consoles fail to reach sales expectations, Nintendo has aimed to remedy this with a move to smartphones. Although the company was once against smartphone gaming, the idea now is that mobile gamers will be introduced to some of Nintendo’s iconic characters and will buy Nintendo consoles because of it. It’s a risk, but if it pays off it could provide them with a steady stream of console purchases.
As they announced their mobile games partnership with Japanese company DeNA, Nintendo also revealed that they are working on a brand new games console, which has been codenamed ‘NX’. Very little is known about the device but Nintendo is describing it as a “dedicated game system”. It’s also unlikely that the NX is another handheld as the Wii U is struggling far more than the 3DS.
In an interview with Japanese publication Nikkei, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has detailed Nintendo’s high expectations for the NX. Iwata says that:
“If you only expand upon existing hardware, it’s dull. In some shape or form, we’re always thinking about how we want to surprise players as well as our desire to change each person’s video gaming life.”
That’s incredibly vague from Nintendo – even if the NX is already taking pre-orders.
Although Nintendo is staying quiet, it’s possible that the NX will have a focus on health. Last year, the company said that it would try and capitalize on the health market by releasing a ‘non-wearable’ device and that it would be a “Quality of Life-improving platform“, and Nintendo’s desire to change people’s lives with the NX seems to be in line with that.
There is also plenty of room on the market for health technology that users don’t wear. For example, the Apple Watch has a heartrate sensor and there are also devices like the Fitbit, but these gadgets have limited capabilities because they are worn on the body and are very small. Nintendo also has health experience with games like Wii Fit, which was massively popular.
The NX may also offer many services; that suggestion comes from Nintendo’s alliance with DeNA. The two companies are working on mobile games together but they are also working on an “online membership service” that will be “built on DeNA’s extensive experience and capabilities in online membership services.” If the service is released on the NX too, perhaps players could gain access to a massive library of games and health software too.
Recently, several high profile figures in gaming have said that the next console life cycle will need to be shorter and consoles will need to offer more services in order to be successful, so this would definitely be in line with that.
What would you like to see from the Nintendo NX? Do you think it’s too early for Nintendo to be working on a new console?