The Nintendo NX is set to release in the first quarter of 2017 and it appears that Nintendo wants the machine to hit the ground running when it launches. Sources are saying that in its first six months, those who purchase an NX will be treated to new Pokémon, Mario, and Zelda titles.
With the success of Pokémon Go, one would think that an NX game featuring the famous pocket monsters was inevitable. However, this would mark the first time that Game Freak, the main developers of Pokémon, will bring the franchise to consoles. Given that the NX is supposedly a console/handheld hybrid, then Nintendo’s rule of keeping Pokémon strictly on handhelds can be circumvented due to the NX not technically being a traditional console.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was already announced as being a launch title for the NX (along with a simultaneous release on the Wii U). As for the new Mario game, the report doesn’t say anything about it other than it is coming out within the launch window of the NX.
One of the main reasons for the Wii U’s failure was due to the lack of third party support. This is something Nintendo wants to fix with the NX. As such, the company has secured deals with publishers like Sega, Square-Enix, Ubisoft, and Activision. Graphically, games will be “somewhere between a PS4 and PS3.” While this does put the NX at a disadvantage compared to the PS4 Neo and Xbox Scorpio, this should be enough horsepower to allow for more third party games to run on the system.
Having three huge franchises like these at launch will certainly make the NX a more enticing console for consumers, but it will still be facing an uphill battle. Nintendo is supposedly targeting both smartphone and core gamers with the NX. This is good in theory, but given how these two sides have wildly different tastes, it will be hard to make a system that ends up pleasing both.
We should be hearing more about the NX in September during the Tokyo Game Show. Hopefully, we’ll finally get some straight answers about the console and Nintendo’s plan for it.