Although details about the system remains sparse, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has stated that the new NX should not simply be considered as a replacement for its current machines.
Though I cannot confirm when it will be launched or any other details of the system, since I have confirmed that it will be ‘a dedicated video game platform with a brand new concept' [as stated during the initial announcement] it should mean that we do not intend it to become a simple ‘replacement' for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U,” he told investors in a now translated Japanese Q&A.
When it comes to how dedicated game systems are being played, the situations have become rather different, especially between Japan and overseas.
Since we are always thinking about how to create a new platform that will be accepted by as many people around the world as possible, we would like to offer to them ‘a dedicated video game platform with a brand new concept' by taking into consideration various factors, including the playing environments that differ by country. This is all that I can confirm today.”
What all of this means is of course open to debate. Does Iwata intend for the NX to exist on the market alongside 3DS and Wii U? Some have predicted that the new machine will serve both as a home console and handheld – which by definition would see it replace both existing machines.
Or does Iwata instead mean that the NX's brand new concept” is so different to the existing hardware that it will not compete in the same space?
And what of the comment When it comes to how dedicated game systems are being played, the situations have become rather different, especially between Japan and overseas”? This presumably references the growing mobile sector – which in Japan has had a far bigger impact on the struggling console market. Does this mean Nintendo's new machine will be more mobile than console focused.
With no new details expected at E3 next month, don't expect any answers in the immediate future.