The Wall Street Journal reported today that Nintendo has begun shipping out developer kits for its upcoming mystery console, codenamed the NX. Dev kits are what allow developers to start making games for a product, so this means that at the very least, third-party titles for the NX may be starting production very soon. It’s still pretty unclear what this actually tells us about Nintendo’s upcoming console, so get ready for speculation!
According to the article, “People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use. They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U’s capabilities didn’t match those of competitors.”
Considering that nobody is named or quoted directly, feel free to consider this a rumor (albeit from a credible publication).
If you track the history of Nintendo consoles, you can try to piece together a timeline. Nintendo announced “Project Café” (what would later become the Wii U) in April 2011 and unveiled the actual console just two months later at E3 (June 2011). The Wii U hit shelves in November 2012 (19 months after the initial announcement).
The NX was first announced in March, so we’ve already had seven whole months to sit and speculate about it while Nintendo has remained completely mum. If you use the timeline of the Wii U as a template, then the NX is absolutely a candidate for a holiday 2016 release. That’s also what the Wall Street Journal is speculating in their piece.
That said, the gap between Nintendo consoles is usually a little wider than four years. So, reminder: We don’t really know anything.
On the same day that the NX was announced, Nintendo also announced a partnership with mobile game company DeNA, leading many to believe that the NX will have heavy mobile integration. There’s also the question of these two patents (one for a second screen device and one for a console with no optical disc drive) filed by Nintendo earlier in the year, though of course tech companies will often file patents for products that never wind up being developed.
Basically, we won’t know anything solid until next year, when Nintendo has promised to finally start talking about the NX. In the meantime, I still don’t believe that the Wii U is a bad investment, especially if you don’t own a Wii or other older Nintendo consoles, because of the access it gives you to older games through the Virtual Console. But…you might want to wait for it to go on sale.
Watch Simone and I talk about the NX: