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Nintendo: new 'NX' console & mobile games in the works

Jonathan Lester

Nintendo: new 'NX' console & mobile games in the works

Big news from Nintendo today, who've just dropped a couple of massive announcements.

New console. Mobile games.

Ooh. Erm. Wha? Don't panic. Let's unpack this thing.

First off, let's talk hardware. "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"," Ninty boss Satoru Iwata revealed during a Japanese press conference. "It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year."

So that's happening. Bear in mind that the NX will be deep in the development skunkworks and we likely won't see a new console in 2016, and quite right too. The Wii U deserves proper support and a proper lifespan if Nintendo expects fans to make another jump. Interestingly, Nintendo plans to roll out a new account service that can be logged into on multiple platforms, and that will replace Club Nintendo. Chances are that it will also replace NNIDs too.

Nintendo: new 'NX' console & mobile games in the works

This leaked picture of the NX console suggests a Starfleet Collaboration (you're fired, Jon - Ed)

"Nintendo, together with [mobile developer] DeNA, will jointly develop a new membership service which encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems, the new hardware system with a brand-new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs, and Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service," Iwata explains.


"Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses. This membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform that I just mentioned."

But wait, "smart devices"? Yes, Nintendo finally plans to jump into the murky mobile games domain after years of heated arguments for and against the move.

“Both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices,” said Nintendo in a statement. “To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimised 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.”

This is good news. Instead of ports, Nintendo plans to collaborate on a small number of titles designed specifically for the mobile market in terms of input and play time. Hopefully they'll think about some sort of NES Remix collection rather than more Pokemon Shuffle-esque cash grabs though.

But has Nintendo decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices because they have lost their passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems?
"Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices, but it is not because we have lost our passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems,” says Iwata. " Oh good.

"On the contrary, because now we have decided on how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than before."

Discuss. Sound off in the comments!

Add a comment8 comments
stevenjameshyde  Mar. 17, 2015 at 11:28

Oh, Nintendo. Dropping some of the most significant gaming news of the year so far on a random unheralded Monday night? Where's the fanfare? Couldn't it have waited for E3?

As for the new hardware - difficult to say at the moment, we don't even know if it's a handheld or home console yet. If it's a home console, will it compete directly with PS4/XB1? What will 3rd party support be like? Will it be a cut-price 'second console' offering, and if it is, how large will the audience be? Does this mean that Zelda and Xenoblade X are pretty much the last big WiiU exclusives?

One thing I will say - NX is actually a decent name. Identifiably different from anything else they've already got on the market, with no danger of anyone confusing it with a hardware revision or add-on. Of course they'll change it to Wii-X soon enough, but it's nice for now

JonLester  Mar. 17, 2015 at 11:33

"One thing I will say - NX is actually a decent name. Identifiably different from anything else they've already got on the market, with no danger of anyone confusing it with a hardware revision or add-on."

Anyone with half a brain will agree with you, because you're absolutely right and making patently obvious common sense.

And as you say, watch Nintendo have precisely none of it. I think that Pliis Understand would be quite a good one, pesonally.

Zeipher  Mar. 17, 2015 at 12:53

First I heard about this! Man, wish Nintendo kept their developers a bit more updated!

Strange company...

JonLester  Mar. 17, 2015 at 13:03

@Zeipher: You've got to remember that this is Nintendo we're talking about, not Nintendo Of America or Nintendo Of Europe. Ninty is a bit like a hydra, only one head makes all the decisions and does anything it wants without bothering to consult the others. I bet that plenty of NoA and NoE staffers were totally blindsided too.

bggriffiths  Mar. 17, 2015 at 13:37

There's something not quite right with the wording of their statements. I get the feeling we're not going to see new 'hardware' per se. There's talk of a new 'platform' and 'membership services' across multiple devices. Sounds like a cross between PS+ and Netflix to me. Or not, what do I know.

JonLester  Mar. 17, 2015 at 13:45

@Brendan: I like the way you think, but they do describe NX as a "new hardware system."

But yeah, that new membership thing is kinda the big news here. Hope it ties everything together and replaces the current cumbersome situation.

SSPanther  Mar. 17, 2015 at 14:24

Just flick reading through that article and it wouldn't surprise me to find an OUYA-similar console hitting the market...if Nintendo are looking to branch into the mobile market, what an easy cheap way of having a compatible device you can use to play those games in your living room.

I think the Wii U showed that Ninty can't compete with Sony & Microsoft any more so they're looking for big bucks from the mobile market instead. Sadly, it wouldn't surprise me to see a bunch of Pokemon Shuffle-esque cash grabs...

roberttaylor8273  Mar. 17, 2015 at 14:34

A bit worried that I've just gotten a wii u and they could be dropping support for it soon or brining out a improved version of the wii u like they have with the 3ds. Glad there getting rid of the old Nintendo club service for something else. Seemed a complete pain if something happens to your console

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