I love my 3DS and Wii U. Right now, they’re the consoles I play most of this generation’s games on. However, with the slow burn of the Wii U and the delayed ignition of the 3DS, all signs are pointing to Nintendo working hard on its next generation of consoles. While we haven’t heard anything official yet, it looks like the NX could be well on its way to release.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “people familiar with the matter” are saying that Nintendo has started distributing software development kits to third party developers. The timing seems appropriate, since Nintendo’s Development Portal website has been just recently updated. The information on the site isn’t public, but the inclusion of the NX wouldn’t be surprising.
This doesn’t mean that the console’s physical design is finalized yet. The software development kit mainly involves how the operating system will access information and what functions and commands can be called by the software.
The only things we do know about what Nintendo plans hardware-wise are some vague details provided by the Wall Street Journal. Quoting people “familiar with the development plans”, it looks like Nintendo intends to produce a console with at least one mobile unit as a handheld console and/or supplementary device.
What’s interesting is that Nintendo intends to put industry-leading chips in the NX device, likely to remedy criticisms of the Wii U’s lack of power. While the specifics aren’t there, it looks like Nintendo is trying to push for more power again. They probably realized that the underpowered gimmick console won’t work a third time.
As for the timing of its release, some are predicting it to be in Holiday 2016. Current industry trends have seen hardware like this being released the same year as its reveal. Nintendo has already stated that we’ll see the NX at E3 2016, so that’s puts it in the running for a Holiday release.
That would also make sense for one currently-developed title, Dragon Quest XI by Square Enix. The game is coming to the 3DS and PS4, but Square Enix has also said that the NX is a tentative release. The game is currently scheduled for a 2016 release to coincide with the series’ 30th anniversary, so it could be pretty likely for Dragon Quest XI to be an NX launch title.
Again, Nintendo has yet to say anything official with regards to the NX. With the passing of Iwata and the temporary appointment of Tatsumi Kimishima as President, Nintendo’s been pretty quiet aside from its remaining 2015 releases. Hopefully with get some good news soon, even if it doesn’t have to do with the NX.