Nintendo is keen to avoid another Wii U scenario.
At E3 of 2011, Nintendo made a strategic choice to show a controller but not a console, even though it was really the console that it was announcing. And although core games and specialty games media understood that the Wii U was a new console, many mass-market consumers and mainstream media publications were confused and thought Nintendo had simply announced a new controller for the Wii.
Flash forward more than five years later, and here Nintendo, which never fully recovered from its botched Wii U unveiling, is preparing to once again announce a new games console. With the Nintendo NX, says Reggie Fils-Aime, things have to be different. The Nintendo of America President says one of the keys to getting the rumored September NX unveiling right is properly conveying the console’s value proposition.
“One of the things that we have to do better when we launch the NX — we have to do a better job communicating the positioning for the product,” Fils-Aime told alistdaily. “We have to do a better job helping people to understand its uniqueness and what that means for the game-playing experience. And we have to do a better job from a software-planning standpoint to have that continuous beat of great new games that are motivating more and more people to pick up the hardware and more and more people to pick up the software. Those are the critical lessons. And as I verbalize them, they’re really traditional lessons within the industry. You have to make sure people understand the concept, you have to make sure you’ve got a great library of games, and when you do that, you tend to do well.”
To date, Nintendo has said almost nothing about NX other than that it exists and that it has a March 2017 target launch. Rumors about the console’s modular controller and possible status as a hybrid home/portable games console have proliferated. But other than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario and Pokemon games that have been rumored but not announced, we really don’t know of many NX games to look forward to. Meanwhile, there’s not much Wii U software to hold Nintendo fans over with prior to the NX’s launch.
For his part, Fils-Aime told alistdaily he has faith in Nintendo’s holiday lineup and that the company is going to start talking about NX very soon. The executive said that Nintendo is “going to start moving forward communicating more and more about NX as appropriate. For us, it’s all about the right communication at the right time. We believe we’ve got some games that are going to continue to drive our momentum this holiday, and we believe we’ve got a strong concept for NX that we’ll unveil in the future.”