Changes are afoot at Nintendo. Remember when they were stubbornly against mobile games? They recently changed that stance. Last week, Nintendo announced they plan to ship five mobile games by 2017.
When Nintendo finally announced they were embracing mobile, they also announced a new console codenamed NX.
We won’t be hearing about either at E3.
Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft translated a recent Nintendo investors meeting. Nintendo head Satoru Iwata reconfirmed Nintendo will not be announcing anything on the NX front until 2016.
“We do not plan on talking specifics about the NX until 2016,” said Iwata.
When Nintendo first announced the NX, they said they would not share further details until 2016. Looks like they are sticking with that 2016 date.
As for smartphone games and Nintendo’s “quality of life” products? Iwata says, “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.”
Iwata’s right. Marketing smartphone games is a lot different than games on ‘dedicated video game machines.’ Smartphone games are usually released right after their announcements.
On the other hand, this is Nintendo. Anything they do creates excitement around it.
But, we won’t be hearing about smartphone games at E3. It looks like it will be another Wii U/3DS show.
Iwata’s statement today will do little to dampen speculation about what the NX is. Iwata touched on the NX a little bit more saying, “Presently, we cannot talk about the time period when it [the NX] will go on sale or what it’s like,” Iwata said. “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.”
“New concept” has me a bit nervous. Nintendo’s past two consoles have been about new concepts. They hit a home run with the Wii but have fallen short with the Wii U.
But, Nintendo has shown a willingness to change this year. Maybe this “new concept” is an old one. Maybe Nintendo is going back to its roots of creating systems stronger than its competitors.
Nintendo lost all third party support with the Wii U. Imagine if the NX was a system stronger, or comparable to the Xbox One and PS4. Publishers would jump at getting games on a new system and in front of more people. Being able to play Nintendo’s best first party titles along with the best third-party titles? I know I would be interested.
Nintendo has shown it can change. Will that change make its way to hardware? I hope so, but I wouldn’t put money on it.