Hoping to hear something about Nintendo’s mysterious “NX” console at this year’s E3? You may be out of luck. According to an investor’s meeting translated by Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said that they’re getting to that next year, saying, “we do not plan on discussing specifics about the NX until 2016.” That’s about all we’re getting for right now, but it’s clear that the NX is going to be an entirely different beast than the problematic Wii U.
“Presently, we cannot talk about the time period when it [the NX] will go on sale or what it’s like,” Iwata said. “Because we are calling it a ‘new concept,’ we are not thinking of this as a ‘simple replacement’ for the 3DS or the Wii U.”
Iwata wants E3 to focus on dedicated video game devices, and so we won’t be hearing anything about either “quality of life” projects or smartphone games. It’s an interesting tidbit about what’s coming for Nintendo: clearly, Iwata sees these next steps as such a radical departure from the company’s historical focus that it doesn’t even belong at the primary showcase for the video game industry. Radical departures are nothing new for Nintendo, of course, and while they’ve been successful with some of them (the Wii U), other attempts at experimentation have been much less successful (the Wii U).
The Wii succeeded in a much more constrained video game market: just the concept of “casual gamers” was a new notion back then. But things are a whole lot more difficult more, and Nintendo is planning on entering the most crowded sectors in a competitive market. Conventional wisdom is to “never discount Nintendo,” but any quality of life products will be going up against Titans like Apple and Google. Let’s hope that Nintendo can find it’s place in this brave new world.