Nintendo has again stressed that the NX is not to be thought of as a system that will simply replace the Wii U, even if its release will negatively impact sales of that system. Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima said in a new interview with Asahi Shimbun that the NX is “neither a successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS.”
Instead, “It’s a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U,” he added, according to a translation by NeoGAF’s GSR. “But I don’t feel it’s a pure replacement for the Wii U.”
The NX, which is only its codename, is rumored to be a console/mobile hybrid that uses “industry-leading” technology. Nintendo will release the system in March 2017; it is not expected to show up at E3 next month.
It was also recently confirmed that the new Legend of Zelda game that was previously only announced for Wii U is also coming to the NX. Both versions of the game are scheduled to launch in 2017. Nintendo took a similar approach with the GameCube and Wii, releasing marquee RPG Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess for both systems.
This isn’t the first time that a Nintendo executive talked about the potential for the NX and the company’s existing systems to live on alongside each another. A year ago this month, then-Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata also said the NX was not a mere “replacement” for the Wii U.
Also in the interview, Kimishima talked about why the NX is launching next spring instead of coming out in time for the busy holiday shopping season this year. He reiterated that it is important to have a strong launch lineup of games, and it can take time to build that out.
The Wii U was criticized by some in 2012 for not having a big enough lineup of compelling launch titles. Kimishima said that platform’s release was overall a “learning experience,” also noting that the currency exchange rates at the time were not very favorable.
Kimishima was also asked about how the NX’s release next year may affect Wii U sales. The executive explained that Wii U sales are likely to take a hit, which is something that Nintendo has factored into its earnings projections. Nintendo is only expecting to sell 800,000 Wii U systems in its current fiscal year, which runs April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. By comparison, Nintendo sold 3.2 million Wii U systems during its previous financial year.
As for what Nintendo will have at E3 next month, the new Legend of Zelda game is the only title the company plans to show off. It also looks like there will not be a Nintendo Direct E3 briefing this year, though fans can look forward to a livestream event where more details on the new Zelda title will be divulged.
In other news about Nintendo, Kimishima also has revealed plans to bring the company’s franchises to the big screen. The first movie from Nintendo since 1993’s poorly received Super Mario Bros. could come out in the next few years.