DigiTimes is reporting that Nintendo’s new system, codenamed NX, won’t enter mass production until early 2017. This is about 6 months later than originally planned (back when the NX was presumably targeting a November 2016 release date). Of course, the question then quickly becomes, how realistic is the March 2017 window given recently by Mr. Kimishima? I’m no expert in producing goods, but it seems like a two-month window to produce, box, and ship a product in time for release is extremely unlikely. This may be the first warning that the March 2017 date for NX will be missed.
According to DigiTimes sources, the NX will combine the home video game experience with the mobile one and the device will feature a 5 to 7 inch display, controller, and joystick to play on the go, and the ability to connect to a TV when at home. Apparently Nintendo has delayed the machine to incorporate VR functionality to stay relevant in the gaming market.
I’m not buying this source, as I don’t think Nintendo is too worried about the virtual reality market as it’s still yet to be proven that it will see success. Plus, Nintendo has traditionally been all about couch multiplayer, and I can’t see them embracing the solitary experience that VR brings. Plus, although the technology was completely different, they did try and fail with the Virtual Boy back in the 1990s, and I don’t believe they’d be eager to push into that market until there was a clear path to success.
According to the article, Nintendo has reduced its order volume for the NX down from 20 million to 10 million for the first year. This could be for several reasons, but the biggest is probably Nintendo missing Christmas and supposedly launching in the off-season.
One other thing that raises a slight red flag with this article is that the headline clearly states that “mass production postpones to early 2017”, but in the article itself the statement is: “Nintendo has recently given them a new mass production schedule and asked them to start mass producing some key components at the end of 2016”. So, which is it, late 2016 or early 2017?
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the NX pushed out of March for the release window. However, it’s hard to say whether this article has all of the facts correct or not. The same site stated that NX would be in mass production right now and that it could launch as early as late summer of this year. Obviously this didn’t happen, and of course plans do change, so it’s always difficult to assess the legitimacy of these types of articles. Unfortunately, we will have to wait and see what Nintendo announces, whenever that may be.