The NX is a secret to almost everyone that isn’t a developer, but what isn’t a secret is that anytime new ‘details’ are leaked about it the gaming community proceeds to implode. While many gamers insist they don’t care about Nintendo, the past year has said otherwise. From simple patent filings, to leaks from large publications; if “NX” is in the headline, you can be sure that it will spread like wildfire. But why is there so much hysteria? Why is the new console from the company that “nobody cares about” getting so much attention? Because everyone loves details.
To be fair, anytime new hardware is confirmed it’s always a big deal. Because console gaming has always been divided by generations, new hardware comes once every few years. This is primarily why it’s so exciting, because gamers actually own the machines long enough to get genuinely tired of it. Just look at the PS3 and 360, they were practically grandparents by the time their successors were released. Nevertheless, the situation we have now is pretty different.
For starters, the Wii U isn’t old. In fact, it’s pretty much in what would be considered its middle-age era. Even so, we already know why Nintendo has began to shift focus over to the NX, so there’s no reason to repeat it. But the fact of the matter is that while the company has started making the shift, we still don’t know what we’re supposed to be shifting to. That’s why it’s always such a madhouse when new details emerge.
The late Satoru Iwata officially announced the NX last spring during an investor’s briefing. It was a complete bomb drop; there wasn’t any indication that a brand-new system would be announced, and certainly not there of all places. The initial reaction from the community was “Wii U is officially dead.” Many fans, myself included, stepped to the defense of the system. Considering how vague Mr. Iwata was, it didn’t seem totally logical to jump to that conclusion just yet, especially with such big projects, like Splatoon, still having been unreleased at that point. But, the hype had already began to boil. In one fell swoop, Nintendo had turned the industry’s attention over to its mysterious new system. This fiasco has only continued to grow.
The majority of the gaming community had it out for the Wii U well before the NX was announced, but the death cries grew ever so louder once the new system was first mentioned.
While Nintendo did a great job at dropping a completely unexpected nuke, its follow up to it was/is just plain strange. Usually when a new system is announced, the console’s parent company would tell consumers what to expect. Even if the actual system isn’t shown off, there would be tech demos and game announcements; a clear vision would be present. None of that has occurred with the NX, even now. Nintendo has taken an incredibly weird approach to the system’s announcement.
When Mr, Iwata first talked about the system, he didn’t even really talk about it. He gave an incredibly vague description, and that was it. With this having occurred a few months before E3, many thought that more details would be given there, but this turned out to not be the case. Nintendo remained tight-lipped throughout the year, especially after Mr. Iwata’s unfortunate death in the summer. Even after leadership transferred to current president Tatsumi Kimishima, the NX has continued to remain a hazy, rumor-filled thing. Nintendo has been adamant about keeping its cards close to its chest, the reason being because it doesn’t want Sony or Microsoft to try and imitate its new ‘secret formula’. That’s an understandable move, but look at the situation it has caused.
The community blows up any-and-every little rumbling about the NX because Nintendo has refused to speak about it. Even after announcing its release date, the company has still kept almost totally silent about it. Nintendo is pretty much stalling until the last possible second. Now mind you, it isn’t the first and only company to do this; mobile giants like Apple and Samsung tend to announce their new devices weeks, and sometimes even days before release. Things have obviously worked out fine for them, so why is it a problem that Nintendo is imitating this strategy? Because there’s nothing else to keep anyone occupied.
Nintendo pushed the Wii U’s major releases for this year out within the first few months, leaving the rest of the release calendar as dry as a desert. No distractions + mystery = agonizing torture.
This weird approach would be a little easier to tolerate if there was something else that was distracting the community. The comments about the NX killing the Wii U weren’t totally accurate when they were first being chanted, but that’s exactly what has happened. 2015 was still a pretty active year for the system, but 2016 has been the equivalent of the Sahara desert during summer. The console’s biggest releases were pushed out towards the beginning quarter of the year, leaving everything past spring a near-barren wasteland, only being partially kept alive by spotty releases of eShop titles and minor third-party games. The announcement of new hardware always signals the beginning of the ‘final scene’ for existing systems, but Nintendo has made this transition especially painful.
If there was still actual content being released on the Wii U, then this continued treatment of the NX as if it were the new Area 51 would be somewhat alright. While people would still be excited to know about the system, at least they wouldn’t be twiddling their thumbs and moping in the corner like they are now. Nintendo turned a mega surprise into what is now an agonizing period of torture which has long overstayed its welcome. Most of the time when we post a story about the NX, especially ones that are about rumors, there’s always a few commenters complaining about they’re pretty much tired of hearing about the system at this point. I can’t disagree with them, I basically feel the same way. Actually, I was sick of hearing about the NX since last year. Seeing that pretty much everyone expected Nintendo to actually reveal it properly at this year’s E3, I thought the fiasco would finally be over, but no. Say what you want about Nintendo, but credit should be given where credit is due—it knows how to stick to its guns and do whatever it pleases, regardless of how much flack erupts.
Thankfully, it is now the middle of August. Hats off to the CEO of Nintendo of Canada who finally answered everyone’s number 1 question during the E3 season: “When on earth are you guys going to finally talk about the NX?” His response was “in the Fall“. With September right around the corner, the new season is pretty much in sight. The Fall Equinox is officially on September 22nd. This means that if the recent rumors are to be believed, there is a good chance that the Big N actually will reveal the system next month. Of course, only time will tell. Regardless, one thing is for sure—stop screwing around, Nintendo. Just show the thing. Please…Just. Show. The. Bloody. Thing.