One of the great questions for gamers heading into the new year is whether Nintendo will launch its new Nintendo NX console in 2016 or 2017. A group of game industry analysts have shared their predictions for next year and the majority agree that the rumored hybrid console should wait another year before hitting retail shelves and entering consumer homes.
The analysts sharing their predictions with Games Industry include the always controversial Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, independent analyst Billy Pidgeon, David Cole of DFC Intelligence, and Patrick Walker of EEDAR. These four have made comments directed to Nintendo, with two of the analysts outright stating the company will wait until 2017 to release the Nintendo NX, while a third thinks it better for the company to wait.
Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities
“The NX won’t come out in 2016. Nintendo has a history of announcing consoles in one year and launching the next, and I don’t see the NX as deviating from that pattern.”
David Cole, DFC Intelligence
“In 2016, the headlines will be dominated with news about Nintendo with all kinds of unconfirmed reports about a new system. At the end of the day Nintendo will finally learn from past mistakes and reveal very little of its plans. DFC Intelligence predicts that a new Nintendo console system will not launch in 2016 as Nintendo learns from past mistakes and focuses on getting many developers on board with top-end content for a stellar launch.”
Billy Pidgeon, independent analyst
“While Nintendo is relatively late to fully embrace remote connected gaming and commerce, I believe Nintendo’s new network and hardware will deliver an evolved multiplayer gameplay experience. NX will rightly be positioned as a system and network separate from Wii U and 3DS.
“NX may be released this year, but Nintendo would be wise to delay launch until a number of quality launch titles are ready to ship.”
Meanwhile, EEDAR’s Patrick Walker makes no call as to when the Nintendo NX might launch, but agrees with current rumors of a hybrid that serves as a home console, but also supports multiple handheld devices.
Developer and publisher support for the Nintendo NX will be critical for Nintendo, as mentioned by the analysts. However, the company is undoubtedly weighing the costs of allowing the Wii U to flounder for another year versus getting the Nintendo NX launch right versus putting the device out in time for the holiday 2016 shopping season and possibly not having full support for the console. The one thing the company has on its side is the surprisingly its profitable Amiibo figures.
The toys-to-life category has turned into a money maker with profit margins on the sale of Amiibo figures estimated to be around 80 percent (via Venturebeat). Nintendo reported shipping 21.10 million Amiibo since launch in their quarterly earnings report for the quarter ending September 2015. The continued stellar sales of Amiibo offsets the Wii U doldrums and may give Nintendo the time it needs to ensure the Nintendo NX is fully prepped for launch.
Still, reports of suppliers gearing up for a 2016 production run still exist along with suggestions the Nintendo NX may be going digital-only. The success of a console is ultimately determined by the games it produces along with support from developers and producers.
Nintendo NX developer kits were delivered to various developers in October, as covered by Inquisitr. The kits are necessary for developers to begin bringing their games to consoles and the more time they have with the developer kits the more likely it is they will have games ready for launch.
Suspected titles for the Nintendo NX so far include the open-world The Legend of Zelda title that Nintendo delayed to a 2016 release. Dragon Quest XI is also a possibility though Square Enix was waiting for more information at the time the game was announced.
As mentioned by the analysts, expect plenty of rumors regarding the Nintendo NX to fly during the coming months. Nintendo has no plans to announce anything official until the annual E3 gaming convention in June, however.
[Photo by Shizuo Kambayashi/AP Images]