Hello, Master Malstrom!
In a recent blog post you gave your thoughts on an EA news story. At one point you said EA isn’t complaining about the 3DS because it greatly outsold the Vita. The thing is that EA doesn’t make games for handhelds anymore. They are all about smartphones and tablets now.
In the same blog post you also assumed that NX is a handheld device, which is true, but that’s not the whole picture. NX is going to be a family of devices, so there will be at least a home console and a handheld. Iwata didn’t rule out additional form factors for the hardware because going forward the operating system and development environment is going to be the same for each of them, but let’s stick with the basics. The fact aside that EA currently has no interest in handhelds, the entire context of the EA news story points towards a home console as well. But like I said, NX is going to encompass both a home console and a handheld, so one doesn’t rule out the other. Both devices should be expected to launch this holiday season because Kimishima named NX as one of the contributors for the return to Nintendo-like profits in the fiscal year that ends on March 31, 2017.
The release schedules for both the 3DS and Wii U make a 2016 launch of NX plausible as well. The 3DS is mostly getting late localisations of Japanese third party games this year, plus one or the other smaller Nintendo game. The Wii U has some delayed games and minor projects left before its swan song Zelda arrives. The latter is unsurprisingly speculated to get the Twilight Princess treatment and therefore also serve as launch title for NX. Several of Nintendo’s EAD teams have had enough time to create launch window software for hardware that arrives this year. Since the NX devices should be able to share a good amount of Nintendo software between them, the old rule is no longer valid that Nintendo needs some space between the launch of a handheld and a home console to provide each one of them with games.
Oh, and cartridges:
By the way, registration for the new “My Nintendo” accounts is open now. The service will launch in March. What’s known for now is that it is going to include an elaborate rewards program that obviously includes Nintendo’s smartphone applications. Whether or not digital games will be tied to accounts instead of hardware, that I can’t answer. The same goes for the question how digital content will be moved from the Wii U and 3DS to future hardware. I don’t expect either question to be answered before NX is unveiled. Just a heads up that Nintendo’s new account system is rolling out.
For Generation Nine, we will be forced to study corporate finance and exchange rates. Mark my words. That will be the biggest *thing* for Generation 9’s shaping of the marketplace. More on the post following this.