Nintendo is typically very silent. There will be weeks on end where nothing truly special is uttered by the company, leaving fans to wait attentively to any news related to specific titles. But then there are moments when that silence is broken out of scenic nowhere.
Nintendo has a tendency to just pop up, make a declaration, and then return to its former silent state. That’s exactly what happened yesterday with Reggie Fils-Aime, the CEO of Nintendo of America, making a special appearance in a short video to announced the galaxy-themed New Nintendo 3DS. Wait, what? Not only was the announcement itself random, but the fact that Reggie was actually the one to make the announcement left more feelings of obscurity. But then I started thinking—did Nintendo just stealthily troll all of us?
Being the CEO of a massive company like Nintendo of America is certainly not an easy job. With that said, Mr. Fils-Aime no doubt has a very busy schedule. Even so, it looked like he was able to make an opening to through the process of recording that announcement video. But, why? It really isn’t that big of a deal in itself. The ‘3DS family, and every other Nintendo handheld before it, has received multiple of color schemes and special liveries. It’s exciting when a new design is announced, no doubt, but it really doesn’t warrant the need of a whole video announcement by the company’s CEO. It’s just a new paint scheme. Goodness, you can even get a similar design right now by means of applying a decal/case to your current 3DS. All-in-all, this announcement was pretty much a waste of time. But, is there a deeper meaning?
It’s a secret to no one that the Nintendo NX is a thing, but it is a secret to everyone that isn’t Nintendo or a developer. We know it exists, and as far as official details go, that’s about it. The late Satoru Iwata was the first to formally announce the system’s identity, dating back to an investor’s meeting which was held last Spring. It was incredibly shocking for him to announce a whole new console at an event like that, but what’s even more shocking is how silent Nintendo has been since. Vague details have been given every now and again since Iwata’s initial statements, thus leading to an incredibly hazy idea of what the system is. An idea that’s been further manipulated by the many leaks and rumors that have erupted over the past few months. Nintendo’s continued silence, along with all of the rumors and speculation, combined with the barren release schedule of the Wii U (and to a lesser extent, 3DS), has led to an unhealthy thirst and obsession for official NX news. Nintendo is very much aware of the desperation that’s hanging over the community, and boy do they seem to be enjoying it.
The company revealed earlier this year that the new system will be coming in March of 2017. Now then, usually by the time a console’s release is formally announced, we know what it is. Not this time.
The NX is probably the only console in history where the release date has been announced before the actual system has been revealed.
Nintendo seems to be trying its hardest to prolong the formal reveal of the NX until the last possible moment. The company even went ahead and skipped a reveal at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), something that’s never really happened before. Seriously, this can be considered to be sadistic behavior (not that bad, but still).
Every single the time “NX” pops up in a headline, it draws a crowd. Everyone wants to know what it really is, even those who don’t game on Nintendo systems. That’s deep. So, why is Nintendo staying so silent? It doesn’t want Sony or Microsoft stealing its unique ideas—that was the official reason that was given. This is understandable, but, it’s been long enough. The console is now six months away. People need to know what they’re investing in. Again, Nintendo is aware of this—and is pretty much teasing us.
Last month, Nintendo announced the NES: Classic Edition from deep left field. While that was an exciting reveal, a few fans were disgruntled because a lot of headlines wrote “Nintendo Announces New Console”, or something similar. Not Nintendo’s fault, but it’s pretty much still guilty by default due to announcing the system in the first place. (Petty excuse, I know). But this, the “exciting news” of a new ‘3DS paint scheme—that’s the real tease. If Nintendo really wanted to, it could have gotten Bill Trinen or someone else to star in that announcement video. It didn’t have to be Reggie; not for something so basic. But, he was used anyway. That is a legitimate tease. Nintendo is trying its hardest to keep the community rolling around in agonizing speculation and banter for as long as possible. Fear of your ideas being stolen is one thing, but stealthily getting free advertising is another—and that’s what this is.
Nintendo is very much aware of all the discussion that has erupted over the system. At this point, the community is basically getting the consoles name all over place for Nintendo.
I must say, bravo Nintendo. You basically have your whole fan-base wrapped around your finger now. You evil, little (huge) corporation. An NX reveal is coming soon, that is for sure. But until then, we’ll just have to keep dealing with the agony of trying to imagine what Nintendo has up it sleeves. Well played, Big N. Well. Played. Indeed.