While Sony and Microsoft have been happily touting strong holiday sales for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, respectively, Nintendo has been struggling to keep up. The three-year old Wii U is barely reaching 15 million units sold (less than half of PS4’s despite having an extra year). The Wii U’s predecessor, the original Wii, sold 67 million units in the same time span and over 100 million overall and Nintendo is desperate need for something new. Their plan is to launch a hybrid platform that delivers both home console and 3DS-like handheld experiences. This system is codenamed the NX.
Nintendo has not shared much information on the new system outside of promising information this year and many perceive it to be the final chance for the historic console maker to compete with Microsoft and Sony after the failure of the Wii U. A report last summer suggested that the Mario creators were planning to manufacture the consoles this past autumn while aiming to ship 20 million units in its first year. And now we’re hearing that the NX will be revealed within the next few months.
The latest news comes from Japanese analyst Junko Yamamura of Nomura Securities, via a Barrons report, who suggests Nintendo will unveil the concept of the console in the months leading up to June (sometime between March and May) before the big reveal at E3 2016, and that the console will launch in either October or November of this year. The timelines are crucial to Nintendo as the financial group highlights the NX’s potential impact on Wii U and 3DS sales:
“We had previously thought that the NX launch would have only a limited impact on 3DS and Wii U sales as it is not being positioned as a successor to either console, but we have now altered our view because 3DS sales have been weakening a little recently, particularly in terms of software, as the machine enters its sixth year, and to factor in a harsher competitive climate and what happened to other existing consoles when new machines were launched in the past.”
The NX dates seem to be corroborated by the late Satoro Iwata’s words in March of 2015 when the console was first announced with the chief executive saying, “It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.”
Nintendo has also been quiet on the relationship the NX will have with its mobile efforts as the company partnered with Japanese-based DeNA to develop mobile games, with the first being a free-to-play title akin to Tomodachi Life called Miitomo. The company recently clarified its stance on what types of content fans will see on mobile platforms promising “new compelling experiences” and sadly not ports of old school console and handheld games. In other less favorable news, Nintendo’s stock dropped 5% in Tokyo after the company delayed its mobile games launch from late 2015 to sometime in 2016 and therefore delaying any revenue it would have made for the 2015 year.