Nintendo‘s Wii U console copped a fair bit of flack when it came out in 2013, thanks to a lack of quality launch titles, and the perception that the company had entered the HD era too late behind competitors Microsoft and Sony.
The delays surrounding the new open-world Legend Of Zelda game – scheduled for release in 2015 then taken off the table indefinitely – didn’t help things too much either.
While sales gradually improved, and Nintendo managed to incite a legit retail craze with its Amiibo toys, it seems they are already pushing ahead hard with a new console, the Nintendo NX, with a view to a July 2016 release.
Yes, just when we finally got around to mastering all three Rainbow Roads in Mario Kart 8. THANKS, NINTENDO.
While there has been no official announcement yet, a report in Digitimes indicates that Nintendo has “asked its supply chain partners to start pilot production in October, at the latest.”
Sources (gotta love ’em) say that orders for the console are “expected to be finalized in February or March 2016” and “mass production will start in May or June 2016,” with a view to a July release.
The exact nature of the Nintendo NX is not yet known, however, Nintendo have previously said that it will not be a simple “replacement” for the Wii U, or the wildly successful 3DS system.
A few months ago, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said:
“When it comes to how dedicated game systems are being played, the situations have become rather different, especially between Japan and overseas. Since we are always thinking about how to create a new platform that will be accepted by as many people around the world as possible, we would like to offer to them [a new concept] by taking into consideration various factors, including the playing environments that differ by country. This is all that I can confirm.”
Whatever happens, Nintendo are in a strong financial position – reports that surfaced a few years ago indicate that the company is sitting on a pile of cash and investments worth almost $US 16.5 billion.
Nintendo operated at a loss for the past four years, but with those kinds of reserves, they could lose hundreds of millions annually and stll have reserves for decades to come.
On top of that, first quarter reports from 2015 indicate that the company is currently back to operating at a profit, meaning that they won’t be going anywhere for a very long time.
Whatever the Nintendo NX turns out to be, TBH, as long as they chuck us a new Mario Kart, Smash Bros and Legend Of Zelda, we’re completely on board.