Nintendo shared its plans for the Nintendo NX on Wednesday and left some fans disappointed with the new console's March 2017 release date. The game company also gave some details on how it plans to unveil the follow-up to the Wii U, and it won't be at the E3 gaming convention in June.
In a press release put out following the investor's meeting, Nintendo revealed the following for the NX console.
"Nintendo previously announced that it would release more information about its next system, code-named NX, this year. As the first announcement of any NX information, Nintendo confirmed that NX is scheduled to launch in March 2017. NX will not make an appearance at the upcoming E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June and will be unveiled later this year."
This backtracks on the company's previous plans to unveil the Nintendo NX at E3. The importance of E3 has been diminishing over recent years, as Nintendo has gone with showcasing its games in Nintendo Broadcasts. Meanwhile, publishers like Electronic Arts have begun following the same model this year and will host their own showcase for their games outside of the convention.
The impact of Nintendo completely skipping an E3 for the Nintendo NX is still huge, though. Both Sony and Microsoft will still have a heavy presence between planned press conferences and floor presences with a bevy of games, the PS VR headset for the PS4, and potentially new console revisions for both the Xbox One and PS4. Nintendo plans to show the next entry in The Legend of Zelda series and that is all.
When will the Nintendo NX be officially unveiled? The Tokyo Game Show starts on September 15 this year and seems the most likely candidate from the conventions. It is on the company's home turf, will play in front of a relatively friendlier audience, and is approximately six months from the console's launch. That's the perfect time to start rolling the hype train out of station for the new hardware.
Alternatively, Nintendo may opt for a company hosted showcase where it is not competing for the attention of journalists. Both Microsoft and Sony threw their own private reveals for the Xbox One and PS4 prior to E3 2013.
The reasoning behind the delayed announcement for the Nintendo NX is unclear. Nintendo could have simply made the decision to wait until closer to release. There is concern that the decision to skip E3 could be because the new console and games for it are not ready to show. Some combination of both seems likely, but it's disappointing for Nintendo fans and investors who can look at an extremely bleak release schedule for the rest of 2016. The Nintendo NX will have to release in March 2017 to keep the company's predictions to investors on target.
Details on the Nintendo NX are understandably light at the time. Rumors have suggested a home console/handheld hybrid along with much powerful hardware. Meanwhile, patents suggested a unique controller and even possibly no disk drive included. This would mean a completely digital console if this pans out, which would set up an interesting relationship with retailers.
The little official information on the console that we do have comes from new Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima in an interview with Time this past December.
"I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It's something unique and different. It's something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base."
What do you think of the Nintendo not revealing the Nintendo NX at E3 and releasing the console in 2017? Sound off in the comments below.
[Photo by Shizuo Kambayashi, File/AP Images]