The internet is abuzz with this morning’s Nintendo news. Another Zelda delay and the lack of content at e3 is a big blow for many. We try to analyze the situation, what went wrong, why they’d delay the NX, and why it’s not the end of the world.
We at CartridgeGames believe that the NX was truly meant to release this year. Last year’s Zelda delay and the news that the NX existed was enough for people to put 1+1 together and see that Zelda Wii U was meant to come to the NX as well. In the last Nintendo Direct of 2015 we got a trailer for Twilight Princess HD that finished with a teaser for Zelda U which ended with a “2016” in the middle of the screen. I doubt they wanted to disappoint fans with another delay.
So, why the delay? There’s no way to say exactly, maybe the hardware isn’t finished. If they’re creating an iOS-like environment I imagine they want to get that right or be stuck with certain issues for several hardware upgrades down the line. Or maybe there’s not enough software ready for a November 2016 release like many speculated. There have been very few verified, genuine leaks and none of them are from the hardware side, that likely means that there’s not a lot of dev kits out there and it’s kind of hard to finish games when the hardware you’re making games for isn’t finished itself.
NX is very important for Nintendo’s future, and their willingness to delay the release instead of releasing it as is during the holidays shows some promise. I was a strong believer that the Wii U should have been released in March of the following year instead of its initial November 2012 release date. A lot of the software from 3rd party developers weren’t finished with poor performance across the board. The OS was slow and unfinished requiring a massive day one patch in order to access a lot of important features and even still it was slow and prone to crashes. On top of that, the release window wouldn’t of looked so dire if there was more software between the launch and the holiday season of the Wii U which could have altered its fate. Hopefully they’ve learned from their mistakes in this regard and this will lead to a much smoother launch than the 3DS and Wii U in the past.
“Why skip e3 if it’s releasing this year?” …This one has me puzzled as well. E3 is definitely declining in relevance, especially to Nintendo with their Nintendo Directs giving them a proper outlet to announce various new projects at once, but it still seems odd to skip the show. There are set expectations that one must meet when at e3 that aren’t necessarily applicable to other broadcasts. If last year’s Digital Event was an average Nintendo Direct a lot of people would’ve been pleased with it or at least not as devastated as they were last year. Avoiding a poor showing by revealing what they have when it’s ready might be the best course of action for Nintendo and if they didn’t have enough ready to show off it would be better than ending the show with another Nintendo Land fireworks show.
So their willingness to delay the system until it’s ready makes it sound better than it just being delayed till 2017. I might not understand everything they’re doing with some questionable decisions, though I do believe that it could very well be for the best. NX’s reveal and launch window must be pulled off excellently if Nintendo wishes to continue in the hardware market. That being said, Nintendo MUST reveal more info on the system as soon as possible. It’s releasing within a year and people’s thirst for news will lead to leaks ruining the messaging that is so important to get right this time around.
Extra hot takes:
This means Wii U technically lived for 4.5 years which is more than most would’ve expected.
March 2017 isn’t a massive delay. It’s 4 months from when NX was supposed to launch
Holiday 2016 is probably going to be rather rough if you don’t own a 3DS. Hang in there.