Why The NX Won't Be Launching This Holiday Season, According To Nintendo

Last week, it was announced that Nintendo does not plan to launch its next home console, the NX, until March of 2017. That left quite a few people scratching their head, as it was widely assumed that the NX would arrive this winter and, more importantly, just in time for the holiday shopping window. According to Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, however, The Big N has very good reasons for choosing its launch window.

When Nintendo announced that the NX, along with the new Legend of Zelda game, would not arrive until March of next year, you wouldn't be blamed for feeling like the Nintendo higher-ups simply threw a dart at a calendar as part of the decision-making process. It's very unusual timing for a console launch, after all, and leaves Nintendo with about a year of dead air with very few new games slated to hit the Wii U between now and then.

Nintendo recently posted a financial results Q&A session with Kimishima, though, in which he was asked about the timing of the NX launch. It seems like Nintendo has learned from past mistakes, however, as the reasoning revolves around both games and financials. According to Kimishima, Nintendo is thinking about sustainability this time around, not just having a fantastic launch.

You are correct about needing a solid lineup of software. One of the reasons for choosing the launch timing that we did is so that the software lineup will be ready in time for the hardware launch. Not only at launch, but we also need to be able to continuously release titles after launch. We are planning for this to be a platform that consumers can enjoy for a long time.

Some would argue that both the Wii and Wii U had solid launch lineups, followed by very little support, especially from third parties, following the first several months on the market. Nintendo brought out a few gems for both consoles here and there but, on the whole, neither platform saw nearly the consistency in content as Nintendo's home console competition. So along with giving the new Zelda game enough time in the oven to be as fantastic as we're all hoping, Nintendo looks to be using the next year to line up projects for the NX following March 2017.

The second major reason for the NX launch timing is the fact that Nintendo does not wish to offer up hardware at a loss this time around.

Next, about how we are looking at cost, we are not thinking of launching the hardware at a loss. When Wii U launched, the yen was very strong. I am assuming that situation will not repeat itself. Selling at a loss at launch would not support the business, so we are keeping that [in] mind developing NX.

While some would argue that the console is the handle (should be basically given away) and the games are the razors (where the real money comes from), it sounds like Nintendo is being especially cautious about making money on its hardware right out of the gate.

Nintendo is known for taking risks and pulling of surprise successes due to thinking outside of the box. Those types of moves have also backfired in the past. Here's hoping we're seeing a case of the former, rather than the latter.

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.