A great big question mark.
Last week, Nintendo confirmed in an annual financial report that their newest console, codenamed “NX,” will be launching in March 2017.
Outside of speculation as to exactly what the console will be, one of the biggest questions surrounding the Nintendo NX is whether or not the system will garner the third party support that the Wii U has lacked since its launch in 2012.
According to industry analyst, Michael Pachter, the answer to that question may not be as positive as Nintendo fans are hoping for. In his recent Pachter Factor episode on Siftd, Pachter — who is known for being critical of Nintendo — said he expects to see “very low third-party support outside of Japan” for the NX. The full quote can be read below:
“When last I looked, which was in the last three months, Nintendo has something like $10 billion in cash. I think that the worst case if the NX is a bust, they will lose half a billion.
Every time I have ever criticised that company and its management, including its late president, it wasn’t because they were running the company into the ground and about to go bankrupt. It was because I didn’t think they were generating enough profit on the phenomenal assets that they have. I’m not critical of these guys in the way that you should be worried.
As long as they keep producing great content – and they have never wavered – they’ll be fine. I just don’t think they are going to maximise their profits without having a good hardware strategy and a good software strategy.
And, I frankly think that handhelds are challenged because mobile has become the way that most people play games, and console is challenged because they have been underpowered the last couple of generations and they are trying to be cute with these different kind of hybrid devices. Like, a GamePad instead of a controller, and nobody really liked it so the Wii U didn’t work. Their failure in hardware has cost them third-party support, because third-parties can’t afford to make a game for a 10 million install base Wii U that could be discontinued at any time.
[With] the NX, I think you are going to see very low third-party support outside of Japan unless the thing is a hit. And so, I mean my criticism of them is just that they have squandered a big lead that they had in hardware and gone from first-to-worst, quickly, on the console side.”
Of course, according to Pachter, third-party support from the west could be possible if the NX turns out to be a hit.
Little is known about the NX outside of the release window and that the new Legend of Zelda title is being developed for both the Wii U and the new hardware. We will keep you posted on any new developments.