Does Nintendo’s NX have what it takes to be a game changer?
For the most part when we think of Nintendo (NTDOY), handheld devices of almost all shapes and sizes pop up in our minds; from the classic Gameboy Color without a backlight, making the user strain their eyes and end up blinking abnormally, to the 3Ds today with the touch input screen and 3D face tracking capabilities. The glamor, that the Japanese video games giant achieved, boils down to the fact that Nintendo has remained in the handheld gaming device market for a long time now, catering to blockbuster titles such as Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros and practically every Pokemon version that comes out.
One can safely say that Nintendo knows its way around handheld devices and games that are dedicated to it. Keeping that tradition in mind, Nintendo now seeks to weld two different leagues in the gaming industry together.
Codenamed Nintendo NX, this rather anticipated gaming device is going to be a hybrid console and a handheld gaming device. The notion initially surfaced in the form of rumors back in early 2015 and was officially revealed in March of the same year. As time went by, more reports piled up, pointing towards the rather mysterious nature of the NX.
The NX was initially supposed to kick off shipping by June and July of 2016. Recently, however, to the disappointment of many fans, Nintendo announced that it will not be showcasing the NX at E3 2016. With the E3 scheduled to begin on June 12, 2016, it is highly unlikely that the previous promise of June and July shipping dates will not be kept. The updated launch date for the NX has been announced by Nintendo itself to be early 2017, mainly because the company wishes to add VR capabilities to its new gaming machine.
With Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) well ahead in the VR race, it makes sense that Nintendo would want a piece of that pie. If anything, the alleged inclusion of VR in the NX seems to highlight Nintendo’s commitment to satisfy demand and keep up with the evolving times. In addition to VR capabilities, Nintendo seems to be going rather high-tech with the NX.
According to reports, NX’s controller will consist of a screen that will project whatever is on the TV screen. This is perhaps the traditional touch that Nintendo seeks to retain. According to the company, the “…new way to play games” means enabling the user to make the gaming lounge more mobile.
Although it is a matter of pride for many, its viable to state that Sony’s PS4 outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One almost twofold with40.7 million and 21.1 million units sold worldwide, respectively. Nintendo’s Wii U stands at 13.1 million units to date. Statistics considered, Nintendo’s leap into the console market was a long time coming.
For the NX to stand a chance against the numbers currently under Sony’s and Microsoft’s belt, Nintendo needs to weave quite a bit of magical thread from somewhere. It is possible that Nintendo’s late President Satoru Iwata’s “brand new concept” with an evident touch of tradition, might be able to take up abundant space besides Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo had stated during the influx of NX reports, that the company will not be forsaking Wii U users and will continue to provide to that fan base. Considering that fact, Nintendo seems to occupy more battleground with the Wii U and the upcoming NX, while Sony and Microsoft cover a single space each. Food for thought.