British superstore Tesco posts a listing for the Nintendo NX with a release date much earlier than expected and a price tag that seems a bit high for a Nintendo console.
Nintendo confirmed that it was working on a new console many months ago, but since then the company has rarely spoken about the mysterious NX. The company has kept the focus on new 3DS and Wii U releases over the summer and leading up to the holiday shopping season and many industry insiders suggest that the new piece of hardware won't hit shelves until March 2017 at the earliest. That said, a short-lived listing on Tesco's website seems to contradict that prediction.
The website temporarily posted an item called the Nintendo NX Wii U with a release date and a price. For non-British readers, Tesco isn't just a random retailer, the company is a superstore that has a history of working closely with Nintendo to move hardware and software.
The item was listed with a release date of December 31, 2016 and a price of £349.99, which is actually quite expensive for a Nintendo product. The conversion to USD comes out to around $450, which is more expensive than both the standard Wii U launch edition and the premium Wii U launch edition. This price would possibly be justified if the product is, as predicted, both a new console and a new handheld bundle.
There are a quite a few possible explanations for the listing and its details. The most obvious explanation is that the name is a mistake and this is actually a Wii U holiday bundle. If that is the case, the price seems far too high, although it could be reasonable if it's a special limited edition Zelda Wii U. That would mean Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arriving earlier than expected as well though, which also seems unlikely...
Instead, let's assume this actually is a listing for the NX. If that is the case, it's very likely that the release date is just a place holder, but it is strange that the store is using a 2016 date. Usually it would be more logical to put a placeholder at the end of the year that the console is expected to ship, so December 31, 2017 in this case.
If Nintendo is aiming for a holiday 2016 release, which seems incredibly unlikely despite this listing, the company really needs to start advertising soon. At this point, no consumers have had a chance to see the mystery console and all information is based on rumors, leaks, and speculation. The holiday shopping marketing machine starts early in the fall and runs straight through the new year and a product launch as big as a new console definitely wants to use as much of that time as possible to build up hype.
As much as we would love to play some new Nintendo games on a shiny new console Christmas morning, we aren't getting our hopes up based solely on this listing. If Nintendo or Tesco confirm the product, we'll provide an update.
Nintendo NX currently has no confirmed release date.