Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Nintendo’s upcoming console at E3 earlier this month walked away severely disappointed. The console – codenamed the “NX” – was nowhere in sight despite an expected launch date sometime in March 2017, months before the next E3, and thus months before one of the best opportunities to show the hardware to the world. It turns out there’s a reason for the absence of the NX, and it may not be what you think it is.
According to Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto at a recent investors meeting, the reason the NX wasn’t on display at E3 was due to the fact that Nintendo was concerned about copycats. “Normally we would’ve shown the NX at E3, but we didn’t,” Miyamoto said. “We’re worried about imitators if we release info too early.” So, it would seem that the NX isn’t just a new machine, but it has some kind of feature that’s meant to differentiate it from its competitors, namely the Xbox One and the PS4.
Obviously, Nintendo has employed these tactics in the past, as in recent years it’s been trying to give each of its consoles a stand out feature that the other machines on the scene don’t have. This has worked with varying degrees of success – the Wii’s motion controller was a huge hit with consumers, while those very same Nintendo customers seemed to shun the bulky tablet controller for the Wii U.
Miyamoto also pointed out that the company has been researching VR, and has the “core technology.” It doesn’t sound like VR will be a cornerstone of the NX, though, as Miyamoto says that the VR he tried out at E3 wasn’t what he was expecting, and went on to say that Nintendo’s main concern with the budding technology is figuring out how to make it comfortable to play for extended periods of time. Regardless of Nintendo’s concerns, it’s still very interesting to hear that the company is researching VR – having buy-in from a company as large as Nintendo could do big things for the platform.
What Nintendo considers to be the competitive edge of the NX is anyone’s guess, but hopefully we’ll get to find out what it is before long. In many ways, Nintendo really seems like it’s winding down on the Wii U, so a lot of Nintendo fans are eager to see where the company will head with its next flagship system. Here’s to hoping that Nintendo starts dishing details soon – if the NX really is launching in March 2017, Nintendo will want to start putting the system on display quickly.