The Nintendo NX is a source of great speculation. We know almost nothing about it, but the troubles faced by the Wii U and the uncertainty around the NX’s upcoming launch mean it has a long way to go to prove itself.
Nintendo’s next console, codenamed the NX, was first announced a year ago in March 2015. Even though Nintendo wasn’t ready to reveal the console or any information about it, they announced it with the promise to give details in 2016, possibly to counter the growing rumors that they were leaving the console market.
NX rumors are wild and varied. While the majority of fans believe it will be a successor to the Wii U, there are theories of a console-handheld hybrid. So far, nothing has been revealed to substantiate these claims.
However, in a recent interview translated by NeoGAF user GSR, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said:
“The NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It’s a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don’t feel it’s a pure replacement for the Wii U.”
That’s an interesting statement to make. However, while it could suggest the NX is something entirely different from what people expect, it could be a statement made primarily to calm Wii U owners and not destroy the Wii U’s remaining lifespan.
Additionally, this wouldn’t be the first time Nintendo was cautious about dubbing a system the successor to the previous one. The Nintendo DS was originally considered a third system, rather than the Game Boy Advance’s replacement. However, the popularity of the DS quickly made it Nintendo’s primary handheld. If the NX proves successful, something similar could happen.
While many people thought the NX would be released in time for the holiday season, it is actually coming out in March 2017. It will not be shown at E3 2016. Instead, there will be an event later this year to unveil it.
So far, only one game has been confirmed for the Nintendo NX: The Legend of Zelda.
The new game in the Legend of Zelda series, which was originally intended to release later this year for the Wii U, has been delayed until 2017 and will be available for both the Wii U and the NX. It has not been specified if this means the game will be out in March as an NX launch title or not.
A few other games have been rumored to be NX titles. In particular, when Square Enix revealed Dragon Quest XI, they said it was for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo NX. Since then, Square Enix has clarified they’re only considering an NX release for Dragon Quest XI.
The same event suggested Dragon Quest X would be an NX title as well. Dragon Quest X is an MMORPG in the Dragon Quest series. None of its current versions are available outside of Japan.
Finally, there is a rumor about a game called Mech Super eXtended in development for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and NX. Mech Super eXtended itself has not even been announced, and its developer Byte4Games has said nothing about it.
Although the Nintendo NX will not be shown at E3, it’s still not entirely out of the question that new games for it might be. Nintendo has announced a focus on The Legend of Zelda Wii U, including a Zelda live stream that seems to be taking the place of their typical digital event.
However, they still haven’t directly said they aren’t going to announce anything else, so it’s possible.
Right now, the NX is only a codename with one confirmed game and a few rumors, and already it’s off to a rocky start. The Wii U’s problems, the March release date for the NX, and its lack of a presence at E3 don’t look good.
However, maybe Nintendo has a master plan no one knows about yet.
What the NX really needs is a solid launch line-up, good exclusives, and strong third-party support. (A name that clearly distinguishes it from the Wii and Wii U would also help.) These things together can give it the momentum the Wii U unfortunately lacked.
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