The first software development kits for Nintendo's new NX console have been sent out to development partners.
That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter” and says that the news means the console is indeed on track for a 2016 launch.
The site adds that Nintendo will likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use” and that the company doesn't want it to be as underpowered as Wii U and Wii were relative to their competition.
Nintendo has repeatedly said that it would not begin discussing its new machine until 2016, despite announcing it way back in March in an effort to quell fears that its smartphone partnership with DeNA represented a move away from the console business.
A July release has previously been rumoured, and analyst David Gibson told WSJ that he's increasingly of the idea that Nintendo might launch the NX in 2016 because of the softness of 3DS and Wii U”.
What form the console will take largely remains a mystery. It looks like it won't run Android, but rumours persist that it will be more than simply an under-the-TV box. A recent patent suggested that the NX will not use optical media and will, like the Wii U (or a smartphone) have a screen on its controller.