We were gifted this week with a worldwide March 2017 release date for the NX, contained within an annual earnings report. For those who don’t know, Nintendo NX is the code name for the Japanese companies next console release to succeed the Wii U and it’s a device that Nintendo needs to do well if they are to remain a major player in the hardware space.
It is important to note that while we can have a discussion about the NX, we don’t know anything for certain, so everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Hopefully we will find out more and more as the year goes on, although Nintendo also confirmed that they will not be showing anything to do with the console at this year’s E3 conference in LA, meaning we will have to wait until the end of the year to start finding out the juicy facts.
With that in mind, what could go against Nintendo, and what factors could contribute to a failure for the NX?
First off, we need to address the poor performance of the Wii U. With a confusing launch and some seriously low sales figures, the Wii U hasn’t had a popular time. While there are some outstandingly good games for the Wii U, the majority of the gaming world see the console as an afterthought, behind the juggernauts of the PS4 and Xbox One. The Wii U hasn’t attracted much support from third party developers and some of its biggest IPs, such as Mario and Pokemon, haven’t been enough to sell the units you would think, and that they would have hoped. With that in mind, Nintendo is going to have to really pull their trousers up and market the hell out of the NX to make sure gamers know that this isn’t another Wii U. On top of that, they need to ensure that they have a wealth of third party support, as this generation showed that their original IPs are no longer capable of selling a system on their own.
That being said there is still a huge audience for those games amongst those who grew up playing them. The second problem is that the audience has just moved on to other consoles, and would be very reluctant to go back now that the PS4 and Xbox cater to a more grown up entertainment system that is capable of being more than just a games console. If you can only buy one system, you are more likely going to grab the one that can play amazing games, watch Netflix, listen to music and browse the internet, even though you may have to sacrifice playing the latest Zelda.
And with money being a consideration, there’s also a lot on the horizon that gamers will have to get their wallets out for. With the huge surge in VR in 2016, we have the Vive, Oculus and PS VR all debuting this year competing for the same pool of cash. Add in the possibility of new Xbox and Playstation versions and people may be less willing to splash the cash on Nintendo’s new console, especially when the Wii U performed so poorly.
Finally with a March release data, Nintendo have not chosen a date in which the gaming world will be spending a lot of money. Consoles usually come out at the end of the year to target the Christmas rush. Nintendo will miss that surge in March, and could hurt the initial release, especially if kids have already begged their parents to get them a console over the festive period, only a few months before.
That all said, to tick all the boxes, Nintendo will have to come out the gate with a system that can run the same types of third party games that draw people to the other consoles, while launching with an incredible line up of first party games to draw in those who love Nintendo’s IPs. On top of that, it will most likely need to accommodate for the living room set up of supporting Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc, all while being at a competitive price.
Of course, at this point, I can only give my opinion – as we know very little about what Nintendo has up it’s sleeve. The console is also said to combine handheld and console gaming, so that could turn out to be the trump card that makes this a must have console. Regardless, I am not confident that Nintendo can bring something out that can change their fortunes, restoring them to their once great place on top of the console ladder. We will have to wait and find out what Nintendo has planned towards the end of the year, and fingers crossed that it is the greatest thing that we have ever seen!
But what do you think about the NX? Do you think that Nintendo are going to do a great job, or do you think that this may be the last time we see a piece of hardware from the Japanese company? Leave your comments or questions in the comment section below!