Nintendo is slowly but surely peeling back the curtain on its upcoming gaming hardware.
The game company on Wednesday announced that its mysterious Nintendo NX will be on sale in March 2017. However, the “system,” as Nintendo calls it, will not be on display at the E3 video gaming trade show in Los Angeles in June of this year. Instead, Nintendo plans to unveil the device at another event sometime later this year.
Speculation abounds over what Nintendo has up its sleeve with the NX. The company first announced the NX, a codename for whatever the device will eventually be called, last year. Nintendo (NTDOY) was coy about its future plans, saying that the device would be a “dedicated games platform with a brand new concept.”
In October, The Wall Street Journal cited sources, who said that the device would be one-part game console that would connect to a television and one-part mobile, allowing users to play titles when they’re away from their TVs. Nintendo also plans to bundle the latest and greatest components in the hardware in hopes of delivering better graphics than what’s offered in Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4 or Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox One.
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For its part, however, Nintendo hasn’t said exactly what it has planned and said very little about the device, other than to confirm its release date. The company didn’t provide an exact date or pricing details for the NX on Wednesday.
Nintendo also said on Wednesday that developers needed “more time to polish” the latest installment in the famed The Legend of Zelda franchise. Rather than launch the game this year, Nintendo says that it will instead push its launch to 2017. The game will launch both on the NX and Wii U simultaneously, suggesting that Nintendo’s current console won’t get the boot once the NX is available.
Regardless, the Wii U likely won’t be much of a factor next year, if recent performance is any indication.
Nintendo on Wednesday announced that it sold just 3.3 million Wii U units worldwide between April 2015 and March 2016, showing exceedingly weak demand in a market where Sony’s PlayStation 4 is leading the pack with approximately 35 million units sold. Since its launch in 2012—approximately a year before Sony launched the PlayStation 4—Nintendo has sold just under 13 million Wii U units.
While the company posted a profit during the fiscal year ended March 31, it was down 60.6% compared to the prior year to $148 million. Revenue, meanwhile, slipped 8.2%.
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The company’s desire to attract customers with new hardware is understandable, and could give shareholders the boost they’ve been seeking.
Nintendo seems bullish on its next fiscal year, arguing that the combination of its expanded efforts in smartphones, as well as the launch of the NX, could go a long way in improving its financial standing. The company said that while it expects revenue to fall by just 0.9% in the next fiscal year, it’s forecasting that profits will soar by 112.1% during the period.
But first, Nintendo will need to show off the NX—and perhaps prove to customers who weren’t so fond of the Wii U why they should buy the company’s latest hardware. Expect to hear that sales pitch sometime later this year.