Nintendo made two potentially game-changing announcements at a press conference in Tokyo Tuesday.
The purpose of the conference was to announce that Nintendo has made a deal with DeNA Co., which owns one of the most popular cell phone gaming platforms worldwide. Nintendo’s games are going to smartphones.
But, according to the press release published today, “only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.”
For many who might view this partnership as an unwanted detour on Nintendo’s part, the company’s chief executive, Satoru Iwata announced unexpectedly that Nintendo has a new “dedicated game platform” in the works called the NX, calming the fears of many that they might move away from gaming consoles.
“As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename ‘NX,’ ” were Iwata’s exact words. “It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.”
As you can imagine, there has already been much speculation as to what this platform with a “brand-new concept” might be.
Many have speculated that Nintendo will develop a combination of the Wii U and the 3DS handheld device. Something like a gamepad controller you can use in tandem with the Wii U, but also as a portable handheld. Considering Nintendo merged its console and handheld development teams in 2013, this speculation could have some merit.
But considering the 3DS has sold and still is selling well, many wonder whether the “NX” might be a new at-home console as the Wii U has been one of the slowest-selling Nintendo consoles ever. While Nintendo should be admired for its consistent introduction of “brand-new concepts,” they’ve also walled themselves in. The introduction of the gamepad made it even more difficult to gain support from third party franchises that are so popular with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.
As much as a “brand-new concept” could see Nintendo redefining itself once again through new hardware, imagine how crazy it would be if Nintendo stepped out from behind the wall and made it easier to develop games for their platform, allowing users to play third party games like Destiny or Skyrim as well as the always beloved Nintendo games like Super Mario World and Zelda? Nintendo would be unstoppable!
Either way, this announcement has Nintendo supporters’ imaginations soaring, and it’ll have to stay that way since Iwata said no more information could be shared about the mysterious “NX” until next year, not for at least another nine months.