As far as gaming news goes this week, Thursday will see the arrival of the yearly Tokyo Game Show. But before that is the GameStop Expo, which will occur the day prior. Nobody was expecting anything momentous to come from that, but then former Attack of the Show! host Kevin Pereira decided to use Snapchat and casually reveal that Nintendo would be taking part in it. At that point, minds went berserk, with many people coming to the conclusion that this could be the place where the Nintendo NX finally gets revealed.
Ever since the initial rumor mill began to chug, people have been chomping at the bit for the possibility of the new Nintendo system. All that’s known about the NX is that the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be releasing on it, it’ll have some third party support at launch in Dragon Quest XI and Just Dance, and that it’ll more than likely have cartridges. By September 2017, they also expect the NX to have a new Mario and Pokemon on the system. The Nintendo NX has the power to draw people into a frenzy with any and every rumor surrounding it, so it’s no surprise that even just a screenshot of Nintendo characters on a projector has people frothing at the mouth. On one hand, there’s not enough concrete proof yet to say that the new system will get its debut there, but on the other hand, if the reveal was there? Yeah, that’d be a pretty smart move on Nintendo’s part.
By now, it’s well known that the Wii U isn’t exactly the golden ticket they were hoping for, and certainly not helping is that several of their big titles keep getting ported over to the 3DS. With GameStop still being one of the biggest places to sell games (I mean, they’ve got their own expo, for crying out loud), it makes sense to have it there. The GameStop Expo is much more lowkey than E3, Gamescom, and even TGS. Where those events last entire weekends, this Expo is only a single day over the course of about seven hours.
This also shows the biggest gaming retailer that Nintendo still consider them valuable in their business, whereas the distinguished competition have largely been slowly veering towards digital for quite some time now. Microsoft and Sony have had those events on lockdown, but with this, it’d be easy for Nintendo to keep the conversation on them and only them. Even with TGS just a day afterwards, giving people their first real glimpse of the NX – the look of the console and controller, a price point, launch games, and most importantly, a release date – would dominate pretty much the entire weekend.
It also doesn’t hurt that this would actually put them over on Sony in terms of big console announcements for the month. Turns out, not a lot of people really cared for the PS4 Pro reveal, and it’s easy to see why. Just over the course of a couple of days, the messaging surrounding the new Sony system got incredibly muddled regarding having to pay for patches, along with the lack of 4K Blu-Ray. Microsoft took the time to deliver some admittedly well placed shade, but Nintendo was pretty much silent during the whole thing. Much like Sony did at E3 back in 2013, it’s possible that the Big N saw the PS Event and took pointers on what and what not to do. If they nail the messaging – and from all accounts, they have to nail the messaging for this thing – it’ll draw hesitant Sony players to their side, along with the exclusives they’ve got on hand.
There is one downside to such an announcement, and that’s the fact that it’d be at the GameStop Expo, ironically. Because of its relatively small nature (in the general gaming convention sense), announcing the Nintendo NX there and not at one of the bigger events (or even a Nintendo Direct), may be seen as a sign of weakness. You can almost imagine people wondering if Nintendo even has faith in the system if they’re going to announce it at a venue such as that. Or, they run the risk of people worrying about having GameStop exclusive content from future games, and GS isn’t a company that a lot of people fully care for. Even if that worry ends up being nipped in the bud pretty quickly, it’s still something to think about, what with how fast news can travel. People already still have a bone to pick with Nintendo over the treatment of the Metroid franchise, and it’s something that they’re all too eager to bring up.
That aside, this really would be the perfect moment for the Nintendo NX to be revealed. The news would be good for them, it’d continue their big news streak for the month after last week’s Super Mario Run reveal, and more importantly, it’s just about dang time that we finally see this thing. We’ve got six months left before it gets put out to the masses, so why not begin the hype train right now? Choo choo…