The launch of the Nintendo NX games platform may be closer than originally thought. A new report Thursday claims that electronic suppliers are already gearing up for the release of the new console.
The report comes from Taiwan-based Digitimes, who claims to have inside sources familiar with Nintendo's manufacturing plans. The NX console will be manufactured by Foxconn Electronics, which is a major player in the electronics industry and has been involved with the iPhone, iPad, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Wii U.
Additional component suppliers will also be involved in the manufacture of parts for the Nintendo NX. Digitimes lists Macronix, PixArt Imaging, Coxon Precise Industrial, Nishoku Technology, Delta Electronics, Lingsen Precision Industries, and Jentech as those being involved.
Orders for the Nintendo NX are expected to be finalized in February or March, 2016, with mass production starting as early as May. The launch date for the console is reportedly July, 2016, with Nintendo targeting 20 million units shipped in the first year.
Nintendo has already stated that it will begin sharing details on the NX console in 2016 after declining to share information during E3 2015. The company has become known for not following the normal beats of industry shows and presentations, so announcing the console well before E3 in June, 2016, would not be out of the ordinary.
A non-holiday launch for the Nintendo NX would be out of the ordinary for home consoles, as they are heavily dependent on holiday sales. A summer launch, in particular, is eyebrow-raising since it is considered a dead period for games. It's also rare to see any product launch from Nintendo during this time.
In fact, Nintendo's Senior Director of Corporate Communications Charlie Scibetta told Nintendo World Report at E3 why the company avoids summer releases.
"We do the bulk of our business in the holiday season, probably about 60 [percent] in October, November, and December," he said.
The rush to get the Nintendo NX launch is understandable on the company's part. The Wii U is currently the worst selling home console in Nintendo's history, with only 9.5 million units shipped since its 2012 launch. The tablet-like controller has turned out to be too expensive to produce, and prevented any price drop opportunities to make the console more competitive.
The line-up for the Wii U for 2015 is by no means thin for 2015, however. Titles like Super Mario Maker, Star Fox Zero, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash are all coming, but plans beyond the year are unclear beyond a new Zelda title. This does raise the question of whether the next The Legend of Zelda game was delayed in part to be a Nintendo NX launch title. Twilight Princess was released to the Gamecube and Wii, so there is a precedent with the maneuver.
Little is known about the Nintendo NX except that Nintendo is promising a "brand new concept." The company recently partnered with mobile game maker DeNA to build a new membership service that will run across consoles, handhelds, mobile devices, and PCs.
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[Images via Nintendo]