What is Nintendo up to now?

With the announcement of Nintendo NX releasing in March 2017 there has been a mixed-reaction among gamers both Nintendo fans and non-Nintendo fans alike. Surprisingly a lot of people aren’t so much surprised about the release in 2017 as most felt 2016 was too early.  That being said, the news that surrounded that announcement is what has caused more of a stir.


Nintendo announced a few things that I find a bit puzzling,

  • Nintendo NX will not be shown or talked about at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles.


  • The new Legend of Zelda for the Wii U will be the only playable game on the show-floor at E3.


  • The Wii U will continue production until 2018.



Now Nintendo still maintains that they will unveil NX this year at a later date, however at this point I don’t trust them to deliver.  This is a company that operates inside of their own bubble.  What makes sense to them usually does not coincide with what the public at large is thinking makes sense.  While they claim a March 2017 worldwide release I will not at ALL depend on that as a truth.  If they feel the need to delay NX until Holiday 2017, I would not at ALL be surprised.  


REMEMBER.  The Wii U will be in production until 2018.
 

As a side-point, I hope Nintendo just sticks with the name “NX.”  No need to change it to something else.  Everyone knows what it is and what it refers to which is the idea to attract consumers.  
 

So that begs the question.  Why the March 2017 date?  Why skip out on the Holiday revenue?   There are several theories that suggest themselves.

  • This Holiday season will have a lot of console hardware being released and NX could get lost in the shuffle, not to mention that consumer dollars will be stretched and divided.  Releasing alone in March 2017 will allow consumers to focus solely on the NX


  • The new Legend Of Zelda game may not be ready for the NX and Nintendo does not want to have anymore gaming droughts (which nerfed the early momentum of the Wii U launch) nor to have NX launch without a major blockbuster title. 


  • The announcement of PlayStation NEO and the specs there-in may have caught Nintendo off-guard.  The NX may be more powerful than the PS4, but the NEO specs may be far more impressive than that of the NX and since Nintendo cannot bank on having the most powerful system as a selling-point anymore, they want to make sure that they have enough games to show why NX is a more viable purchase than PS NEO.


  • It is also possible that Nintendo may want to wait to finalize the specs of the NX to include both the AMD ‘Zen’ CPU and AMD ‘Polaris’ GPU.  Dev kits and SDKs are not always indicative of the final specs of a console. That is probably a wild stab-in-the-dark suggestion.

Whatever the reason is, I think that it will be a long time before we find out the true answer.  Personally, I don’t have a problem necessarily of Nintendo waiting until 2017 to release NX.  I hope that they stick with the March 2017 time-frame.  I also have no problem with Zelda being pushed back until 2017.  I would rather they take their time with a Zelda game. 

What I don’t understand is what exactly is Nintendo trying to do with the Wii U in the meantime?  We have not heard ANYTHING about future Wii U titles outside of Paper Mario: Color Splash which is more of a niche’ game not really for everybody.  With Zelda being pushed to 2017 you can take that away from the 2016 Holiday line-up.  There are a few possibilities.

  • Pikmin 4 has been rumored to be in development for quite some time.  Supposedly Miyamoto’s “swan-song” game in terms of major AAA 1st party titles. 


  • We know that Retro Studios has been working on “something” for several years now.  My guess is that it will be Diddy Kong Racing 2.  As much as we all want a REAL Metroid game, I have a sinking-feeling that it will be yet another iteration of Donkey Kong despite the lack of success of the latest title Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.  Nintendo is in full controll of that operation and they will not stop until they prove what they “think” is right is right.  Today’s events is a microcosm of that. 


  • There was a rumor a few days ago that Monster Games was developing a title which would have a “championship” and “series” mode to it.  It is not said what this game is or what console it would be for.  Monster Games has worked with Nintendo for many years and has helped develop Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for 3DS, and DKC:TF for the Wii U.  Most notably they are the developers for Excite Truck, Excitebots: Trick Racing, and Excitebike: World Rally for WiiWare.  Again, it is a reach but perhaps they are developing a brand-new Excitebike for the Wii U.  If that is happening I personally would prefer that it would be for NX, but they could always port it later.   There has been some Excitebike foreshadowing in 1st-party Nintendo games. Most notably Mario Kart 8.  

To be honest, that’s all I can think of that is remotely tangible.  Whatever Nintendo is planning to do it damn well better be pretty impressive.  It seems ridiculous to me that Nintendo would stand in front of investors with nothing more than the information we have been handed and think that was “okay.”   If I was an investor I would be highly upset. 

Explain to me why ANYONE with at least one synapse firing in their brain would choose to purchase a Wii U this Holiday season based squarely on just what we know for sure?  Even the most jaded Nintendo fanboy is sitting their right now saying, “C’mon.  Really Nintendo?”  A lot of people were mad at Adam Sessler when he made the comments about Nintendo a few years back of…

(paraphrasing)

“Nintendo reminds you of a child that was an honor student all through school, graduates with honors, and then goes into the porn industry.” 

His point was that you see so much potential being wasted with Nintendo.  They are so inward-looking that after awhile they started believing their own nonsense.  If the failure of the Wii U (which it has become crystal clear Nintendo has NOT accepted that) was not enough to humble Nintendo, I fear that NX could be that ultimate downfall for them.  We’ll see what happens, but right now it doesn’t seem like Nintendo is making the right moves.  






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