Nintendo’s next home console, codenamed NX, has now been officially given a release window worldwide, and that is March 2017. Previously rumored to be coming out later this year, the NX release window has now been confirmed by both the official Nintendo of America Twitter account and through the company’s 2016 fiscal year earnings report that was released today. Here’s the Tweet from Nintendo:https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/725221813081522176
The first mention of the NX by Nintendo was way back in March of 2015, and since then, Nintendo has been very hush-hush about it. However, the internet has not been. There have been seemingly endless rumors concerning the console, especially over the past couple of months. The latest of these was a little over a month ago when an unknown source leaked photos and blueprints for the NX’s controller that turned out to be completely false. It has also been rumored that the Nintendo NX may match the power of other current generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in terms of graphical capabilities, but this has not yet been confirmed. Other than a release window for the NX, Nintendo did not say much else concerning the console. In fact, according to a translation from a Wall Street Journal reporter, the NX will not be shown off at E3 this year at all, so it might be even longer until we learn anything substantial about the console itself. The spotlight for Nintendo this E3 will instead be going to The Legend of Zelda for WiiU, although it might be time to stop calling it that.
Nintendo has just announced that The Legend of Zelda for WiiU will be launching alongside the Nintendo NX, on both the NX and WiiU. For this to happen, however, the game had to be delayed to 2017. The Nintendo of America Twitter page stressed that the newest installment in the Legend of Zelda franchise will be the main focus of E3 this year for Nintendo.https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/725224978984083456
Nintendo didn’t stop there. As part of a string of Tweets from Nintendo, the company also announced that two more beloved Nintendo IPs would be coming to smart devices. Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing will be making their way to phones and tablets, but there’s no word yet on how soon and in what form. Their financial report also outlined a couple of other things. Nintendo's first mobile app, Miitomo, has now reached over 10 million users. Nintendo is celebrating the accomplishment with a 10 day promotion starting on April 29th. In slightly less joyful news, Nintendo profits are down 61 percent. The silver lining? Well, digital sales are up for the company, and a lot of this could be attributed to their early success in the smart devices market with Miitomo.
I think the most surprising thing from all of this is the fact that Nintendo will not be showing off the Nintendo NX at E3 this year. Although we originally expected a 2016 release date for the console, it would still make sense for them to show the console off this summer, even if it is coming out a little later than expected. Nintendo has a lot of ground to make up after the WiiU’s poor sales, and I’m not convinced skipping E3 is the best way to win back lapsed fans.