NX speculation has mostly died down due to the implosion from a few months ago. Since then we’ve gotten a few new details so I wanted to write a small piece on my thoughts on NX and the near future for Nintendo.
Shouldn’t they announce it already? THEY’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!
The Playstation 4 and the Xbox One both had about a 6 month hype cycle before launch, with the NX being delayed till March they can have the same amount of time from reveal to release as the Xbox One if they wait till September. I feel that September is when we’ll finally hear more about it.
Why is Zelda still “2017”?
While it might somewhat be cause for alarm, I imagine it’s more of a safety net. If the NX can’t make its March release it would be considerably worse for Nintendo to announce that Zelda U is getting its 3rd delay alongside the NX being delayed. Based on the quality of what was shown, it seems like it’s mostly finished, mostly coming down to the polishing stages and likely building the NX port.
Will Nintendo ever release a new handheld? When?
Nintendo has mentioned releasing several form factors for their hardware and supporting them all using a shared library so I’d imagine they’ll release a handheld as well. The 3DS, despite underperforming in comparison to the DS, has still sold around 60 million units. It’s a worthy investment that’s very important for Japanese markets especially with the Vita likely not getting a successor.
As for “when”, I think a November 2017 release seems likely. While the 3DS still has a few months of life left into it, I don’t see it surviving into late 2017 with a healthy lineup and the NX needs a handheld component to make the shared library work.
As far as confirmed games for NX, we only have 2: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and…Just Dance 2017. There are other likely titles that have not been 100% confirmed as well. Miyamoto said that they’re working on a Mario title and they hope to show it off next e3. Mario game also usually release within the year that they’re announced like 3D Land and 3D World so I think we can expect the next mainline Mario title to be released holiday 2017. I think the next Mario is a good candidate for a potential shared library title, releasing around the time the handheld could release. Additionally, there are titles that have been teased by Square Enix like Dragon Quest X and XI among others.
As I’ve mentioned previously, there are a few titles that are likely on NX just by looking at dev time. For example, RETRO has said that they take 3 years to release a game and by the end of 2016 it will have been 3 years so I think it’s safe to say that by the end of the NX’s first year we will be able to play RETRO’s latest title. While already slightly confirmed, the new Mario game should also be releasing in around a year and a half. They also take 3 years per game and they haven’t released anything since 3D World and Captain Toad (a budget title that I imagine didn’t take the whole team). Holiday 2017 is likely. Pikmin 4 was revealed by Miyamoto to be almost finished which makes it sound like a launch title to me, or at least something before the holiday season.
How much $$$?
Nintendo has gone on record that they want to release an affordable machine and a profitable one as well. They’ll receive some help from the weaker yen in comparison to 2012 and no gamepad which added a considerable amount to the Wii U’s final cost.
I’m expecting $300 for the NX console and $200 for the NX handheld. That’s the the average price for both their current handheld and console so I’d assume it would be very attractive to consumers if there’s a notable power increase. I think $250 is probably the ideal price, but they can hold off until for a few months to lower the price if necessary. Might be best to wait till a later event to show the price in order to judge the reception of the system. They need to make sure the price and specs provide a good enough value, the Xbox One is currently $300 so any higher would likely not end well.
As stated by Nintendo, they’re trying to go for an iOS, PC, or Android approach to their new hardware allowing them to support multiple devices with a lot of software instead of barely being able to support one. High end handhelds and console could be nice complimentary systems released at a later date. Like the concept Microsoft and Sony are going for with the Scorpio and the NEO, it’s providing more options to the consumer allowing them to go after different markets with a low end/low cost system for those that don’t care as much for specs and a high end/high cost system for those that want the best experience possible. This could provide Nintendo with the opportunity to make a system with the best ports or at least really high quality ports that are more than comparable to the competition without pricing out the family market.