The Always Nintendo NX FAQ

After disappointing at retail over the last few years, Nintendo is preparing to succeed the Wii U with the mysterious NX. There’s been a lot of rumors and ideas in the last few months about the mystery box. To help you remember it all, or take it all in, Always Nintendo has prepared an FAQ about Nintendo’s mystery platform.

So what is the NX?

It’s Nintendo’s next, in their words, “dedicated game platform”. Announced the same day as Nintendo’s unprecedented partnership with mobile company DeNA, Nintendo confirmed the platform to assure everyone that they’re not abandoning hardware.

Is it a console or a handheld?

Nobody knows, and Nintendo’s not telling. We also don’t know if it’s a hybrid of console and handheld.

DeNA logo

Does NX have any ties to Nintendo’s mobile plans?

Absolutely it does. The NX would use the account-based system that will tie Nintendo users across mobile and Nintendo devices.

What kind of games will we see on NX?

There’s a guarantee we’ll see Mario and Zelda, but in what form is unconfirmed. The EAD Tokyo team, the guys behind Super Mario 3D World, have been working on a new project since last year, but haven’t said for what it’s for.

Metroid Prime producer Tanabe has hinted that it’s too late for a Metroid on Wii U, but it is possible that Samus Aran could rise again on NX. Beyond those, expect the usual Nintendo franchises to appear on NX, along with some new ideas.

Zelda U Open World

And The Legend of Zelda?

Zelda Wii U was delayed earlier this year into 2016, and Nintendo still has it listed at ‘TBD’. Could we see a repeat of Twilight Princess, where it was delayed and released on both Wii and GameCube? There’s precedent for this, but Nintendo is adamant that the next Zelda will launch on Wii U.

EA Logo

Will there be third party support? It’s been miserable on Wii U.

Unless the NX is more powerful or easier to develop for than Wii U, we will never see a return of publishers like EA or major support from Ubisoft, Namco Bandai, Activision, and Warner Bros. See below for more on Square Enix, however.

What’s this I hear about a July 2016 release?

There’s a doozy of a rumor that manufacturer Foxconn is ramping up production on Nintendo’s next-gen console this October, in time for a July release next year. The same rumor says Nintendo wants to sell 20 million units of NX in the first year.

That’s pretty preposterous!

So it it. Nintendo doesn’t usually put out major systems during the summer. They prefer the fall and holiday seasons, saying that people are in the shopping mood during those periods.


Has Nintendo launched any hardware in the summer before?

Very rarely. The Virtual Boy launched in July/August 1995 in Japan and America, respectively. More recently, the Nintendo 3DS XL (the o.g.) launched in July/August 2012 in Japan/Europe/Australia and North America respectively. But the big one is the Nintendo 64, which launched in Japan in June 1996. This was months before its September ’96 release in North America.

When is the NX likely to actually be released?

Let’s look at Nintendo’s recent history. The Wii launched in North America first back in 2006, then Europe/Australia, and finally Japan. This repeated itself with the Wii U in 2012. If NX is a home console, we should expect a North American release in late-2016/2017. Probably on the week before Black Friday. Got to take advantage of those Black Friday sales, after all.


So Square Enix announced Dragon Quest X and XI as the first NX games.

When Square Enix announced Dragon Quest XI for PS4 and 3DS, they also named dropped the NX as one of the systems it would arrive on.

But wait, that’d make it the first NX game!

Don’t read too deep into it. Square later backpedaled and told IGN that they were “considering” those games
for NX.

Did they say something about NX before they were supposed too?

Maybe. Who knows? Nintendo keeps their licensees under tight lips just as much as they are.

Will the NX offer virtual reality like Oculus Rift?

To keep the rumor train rolling, an analyst firm is putting together evidence that the NX could offer a social VR experience. It is purely speculation at this point, but the analysis thinks that the console could communicate with smart phones and use user-friendly goggles to unleash “social VR”. So, this could be VR where people could play together in the living room, but who knows what that looks like?

Is it plausible?

Well, the idea of low-fi VR goggles in combination with a smart device and “non-gamer” controller sounds very Nintendo. They want to disrupt the industry again, like the Wii did with the help of motion controls.

When will we first see the NX?

If all goes according to Nintendo’s plans, it won’t be until 2016. Likely at E3 in June.

Basic Wii U

Where will the Wii U stand with the NX approaching?

Nintnedo’s Wii U announcements were thin at E3 this year, weren’t they? No Metroid, no real Animal Crossing, and not much else. The Wii U might wind down right before the NX, at which point Zelda could be its last hurrah. But then again, that same Zelda could appear on NX, so…

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About The Author

Editor-in-Chief (Former)

A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.