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Rumors are swirling thick and hard right now in the gaming sphere as Nintendo's new NX is being rumored to head into production for a potential summer, 2016 release. The news comes courtesy of a production order leak that indicates that Nintendo already has a production partner for the NX.
According to Digitimes, Nintendo is partnering with Foxconn to produce the Nintendo NX. The report indicates that Pegatron Technology is also fighting to get in on the bid. Both companies declined to comment to Digitimes about the production orders.
This news was followed up by transcripts from a meeting with investors last week where Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata explained to investors that the company plans on continuing their support for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Wii U Daily picked up the transcript from the meeting, where Iwata stated...
When NX is launched, there already will be a certain volume of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U hardware widely existing in the market, so from a software business perspective, it would be highly inefficient to stop releasing titles for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U right after the launch of NX.
It's interesting that Iwata is already talking about the launch of the Nintendo NX, but it shouldn't be too surprising given that the NX was probably the most talked about element that wasn't part of Nintendo's E3 showing.
There's a lot of mystery over what Nintendo is planning on doing with their new console and there's a lot of intrigue over the possibilities of the device being some sort of hybrid that plays both mobile games and can also double down as a home console. It sounds awfully ambitious but knowing Nintendo it could really end up being anything.
As for the release date of the console... it's a complete toss up.
One of the previous rumors about a console launching in the fall from Digitimes was rumored to be the PS4 but it actually turned out to be the Wii U.
In this case, it would seem unlikely that the new console would arrive in the middle of the year. Sega tried a similar stint with the Sega Saturn in the U.S., and it bombed... bad. Rumors of the console being ready to ship by July seem a bit misguided but being ready to ship isn't the same as actually shipping.
Another contentious issue is the software library. The Wii U just received major system-selling software, from Mario Kart 8 to Super Smash Bros. There's Super Mario Maker and Star Fox due out for the Wii U followed by The Legend of Zelda next year – the latter of which could end up being a cross-console release.
With all the heavy hitters already made available on the Wii U, Nintendo would need to have a variety of other IP ready for the launch of the NX next year to avoid it arriving on the market and bombing just like the Wii U did when it launched without proper software support.
Unless Nintendo has a super massive line-up of hidden AAA titles waiting in the wings, a 2016 release would be a disaster for the Nintendo NX as far as software is concerned. But we'll likely find out more as Nintendo preps to official unveil the new console next year.