Nintendo held its annual investors briefing yesterday, which in turn gave fans some much anticipated news about the company’s next console, codenamed NX, and the next installment in the Legend of Zelda series. That news, however, caught most off-guard, as Nintendo announced that the NX would be releasing in March of next year– missing the traditional holiday season launch– and that the next Zelda title would be delayed once more and will launch simultaneously on Wii U and NX.
Now that we’ve had a full day to mull the news over, what do the staff think of yesterday’s revelations? Read on to find out!
The last thing I expected to wake up to this morning was NX news, let me tell you. Interesting timing, but it makes sense given the investor’s meeting.
I’m intrigued. I’ve been pretty confident that the system wouldn’t release in 2016, but March 2017? Who could have predicted that? After taking a little time to digest it, it makes sense though. March means the holidays will be over, people will have tax refunds to spend, and there will be far less competition. It also means that Nintendo should have plenty of systems in stock by Christmas 2017, and, hopefully, a robust lineup of games.
The Zelda delay doesn’t bother me. I’d rather Nintendo took their time to make sure it’s perfect. It does bother me that Wii U won’t have an original Zelda game, but this is a minor complaint, and not one that will really matter in the long run. Of course, I do hate the perception that the Wii U is a failure; it’s a console with a really impressive lineup, and some of my favorite Nintendo games of all-time. Better marketing, more power, and a less confusing name should help the next Nintendo system avoid the mistakes that plagued my beloved Wii U.
I am concerned about what this will mean for the rest of 2016, however. 3DS still has a pretty significant lineup for the rest of the year, but Wii U only has Paper Mario: Color Splash and the oft-rumored Mother 3. While my ridiculous backlog will keep me more than busy, I do hope this holiday season won’t be ignored.
I have quite a different view on this to Marc.
I think that a Christmas 2016 release date for the NX was going to be cutting it pretty fine in the first place– it would have meant roughly six months from reveal to release! In any case though, pushing it back to March means that they will be missing out on the Christmas 2016 shopping season (hopefully Xmas 2017 will be a completely different story!). It also means that the NX is coming much, much later than the wave of VR headsets this year, including PlayStation VR– a piece of hardware that could be (or could have been) in direct competition with the NX in the mind of many consumers.
Again, given how little we have heard about Zelda Wi U, a(nother) delay isn’t really much of a surprise. The more telling point here is that it seems to have been delayed to coincide directly with the launch of the NX (and has even been confirmed as a separate NX title). While I’m sure improvements will still be made, it makes it seem like that is the reason behind the delay. Given that the Wii release of Twilight Princess was adapted to make use of the console’s unique features, though, I’ll be interested to see how the NX version does as well.
Perhaps more of a concern from my point of view is the now absence of the NX from E3 and the sole focus on a playable form of Zelda Wii U. As great a game as that is, it will take a lot to convince people that more is coming if they don’t show their next console or many playable games– what have they got up their sleeve, I wonder?! Personally, I don’t think that this will impact Nintendo’s fortunes for its new platform much, but it will certainly impact the hype and build-up surrounding it for now.
Am I the only person sick of Nintendo having a “shtick”? Seriously, all this mystery around NX is becoming annoying to me. Wii did something different and it revolutionized the industry. Cool. Got it. But it was, frankly, a stroke of luck that Wii made the splash that it did. The system could have stunk, but thankfully it didn’t and instead took the world by storm.
Since Wii, however, Nintendo has taken to being gimmicky, and I don’t know if that will pay off in the long run. The touch screen on Wii U is cool, but it isn’t the amazing thing that Nintendo made the thing out to be back when it was unveiled at E3. Flash forward to now, and we’re being sold that yet another “revolution” is coming… but honestly, at this point, it would have to be pretty darn out there to do anything we haven’t ever seen before.
If anyone can do it, it’s Nintendo, but I’m honestly at a point where I just want a game system that’s more in line with PS4 and Xbox One. Things like Miiverse and other, similar Nintendo “touches” can go a long way toward separating the console from the crowd without needing a controller that velcros to my forehead or something. Make it powerful, keep the concept simple, produce the games fans love, and make it a safe place for third parties to develop, and hopefully NX can thrive. Try to play it too whacky and fail… and things could go very, very badly.
I don’t think anything NX does will be as gimmicky as a $500 virtual reality headset…
If there’s anything yesterday’s news reaffirms, it’s that Nintendo will not be trying to compete directly against Sony and Microsoft with NX, which is honestly probably the best position for the company to be in. Try as Nintendo might, it has always had trouble courting Western developers to its systems, and I’m skeptical that will change with NX. As much as some people might wish, Nintendo’s consoles will probably never receive the same array of games as Sony’s or Microsoft’s, so they have to be different in order to stand out.
Still, as long as NX can amass a respectable amount of third-party support– the complete opposite of Wii U, which was barely kept afloat by first-party and indie titles– and is priced lower than Xbox One or PlayStation 4, it should be a healthy platform….whatever it turns out to be. It’s exciting (and a little unnerving) to realize we still don’t have any idea what shape the console will actually take. One interesting thing to keep in mind, however, is that Nintendo has historically launched many of its handhelds during March: Game Boy Advance debuted in Japan in March 2001; its revision GBA SP launched here March 2003; the original DS went on sale in Europe in March 2005; and of course 3DS launched March 2011. That may very well all just be a coincidence, but considering the persistent rumors that NX will be some type of hybrid handheld-home console, it might lend them some credence.
As for Zelda’s delay, I’m not particularly disappointed. I had decided long ago that I would be getting the game on NX, so it doesn’t bother me to wait a few more months. It does, however, seem a little unusual that it will be the only playable game at Nintendo’s E3 booth, but for one reason or another it seems a lot of companies are pulling out of the expo this year– Activision, Disney, and EA have all said they won’t have any presence at the show this year. One can only guess as to the reason behind this, but it makes Nintendo’s decision a little more understandable.
I, for one, am looking forward to velcroing a controller to my forehead, or any other part of my body. If Nintendo wills it, then it shall be done.
In all seriousness though, I think the importance being placed on E3 and the holiday season has been blown out of proportion. Yes, everybody loves E3 for the excitement and the spectacle, but we live in an age where big news finds its way to gamers regardless of when it’s unveiled. Look at Call of Duty– while it’s always shown at E3, Activision usually makes a point of actually unveiling it before the show. Also, there might be the added benefit of NX not having to share the headlines during the busiest news time of the year. It might be harder to build buzz with Sony revealing their PS4K or whatever it’ll be called and Microsoft launching Kinect 3: Kinect Hard with a Vengeance.
As for the holiday season, I guess there could be an issue if Sony and Microsoft do in fact release updated consoles, which tragically won’t actually include a new Kinect. Gamers who can only afford one new console might rather spend their money on an updated PS4 for Christmas rather than wait for March for NX. Beside that, though, the last few years show that quality software has no problem selling well in the early months of the year, and one could make the argument that it often benefits from not getting lost in the crowded holiday months. Also, let’s not forget how the extra months could help in terms of available inventory.
Oh, and when it comes to Zelda getting delayed and also being released on NX, well, I guess all is right with the world. Zelda fans are used to delays and moves like this, so I’m hardly shocked or worried.
What do you think of yesterday’s news? Share your thoughts in the comments!