It has been reported that Nintendo’s new console that is under the name of the Nintendo NX will enter mass production at the end of the first quarter of 2016. Nintendo has stated that they expect the NX to ship around twenty million units in 2016, while the console’s suppliers have a more humble expectancy of shipping 10-13 million units in its place. They have also projected that their competitors the Xbox One and the PS4 will ship thirteen and eighteen million units, respectively, in the 2016 quarter. But what does all this have to do with the 3DS?
The major problem with all of this is that Nintendo has an extended history in saying newer hardware isn’t a substitute for previous hardware. Prior to the release of the original Nintendo DS back in 2004, Nintendo stated the “experimental” and “fundamentally” different hardware was planned to be nothing more than a “third pillar” to stand together with its home console commerce and the Game Boy Advance. Nevertheless, not soon after the DS hit, the market saw the new system rapidly replace the Game Boy Advance all together, rendering it obsolete and outdated. Its backwards compatibility with Game Boy Advance cartridges helped Game Boy Advance owners make the transition over to the newer model, but still wasn’t good news for the wallets of new owners. Therefore, Satoru Iwata’s claims that the NX will not be a replacement for the 3DS should most likely be taken with a bit of skepticism.
Furthermore, Nintendo had also stated that the NX will be an hybrid console after a source revealed that developers were issued with software kits for the Nintendo NX, “a mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use.” This would imply that the Nintendo’s NX will do what Nintendo has always been good at, making handheld systems. PlayStation had tried to enter the market with the PSP and PS Vita, but have failed to land on the same level as Nintendo who currently dominates the handheld market. If the NX was to be a hybrid of a home console and a mobile one, it could be entirely possible that you could start playing a game of the new Zelda installment at home and then continue playing it in your car. This could be a revolutionary movement that will put the PS4 and Xbox One behind the Nintendo as the two either don’t have a mobile unit or are struggling to find their mobile niche.
If the NX was to take this route, it would mostly likely anger a lot of Nintendo fans as this will not only replace the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, but also render them obsolete once they get their catalogs up and running. This is an issue because Nintendo had only just launched these new systems back in February of this year, meaning if they plan to release the NX in 2016 around a possible May or June launch, users will have only had the handheld for a year and a half before it was replaced and considered obsolete. Creating a handheld console hybrid that can be used at home or on the move is genius and if the replacement for the GamePad is similar to a 3DS model with some improvements, there’s no doubt that they won’t have any issues selling units.
Any way you slice it, it looks as if the NX will be a console to keep our eyes and ears on when more information on the product is revealed sometime in 2016, as supposedly Nintendo’s new console will be using “industry-leading chips,” implying that the console will be able to surpass Sony and Microsoft’s current-gen consoles, which also means that Nintendo will skip the whole catch up with current gen phase and leap right into next gen phase. It’s still way too early, however, to say how it will compare with this generation of consoles, as of right now everything that is being said about the NX is just hearsay and hoopla to get gamers talking about it, but it’s still a hopeful sign for Nintendo fans who have been left behind in the current generation of console gaming and thus have been missing on out on many third party games due to the Wii U’s lackluster and last gen processing power.