Skip to main content

Nintendo NX will be ‘unique and different,’ says CEO

nintendo vr nx mobile earnings tease tatsumi kimishima
Nintendo
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima wants his company’s fanbase to know that Nintendo is playing the long game. Kimishima was named chief executive in September, shortly after the death of the company’s longtime president and CEO, Satoru Iwata. In an interview with Time, Kimishima introduced himself to the U.S. with broad insights into many of the company’s current and upcoming endeavors.

First and foremost, Kimishima said that Nintendo’s “NX,” —the upcoming console rumored to hit stores in 2016— will be “something unique and different.”

“As far as NX goes, I’ve said it’s different and obviously a new experience,” Kimishima said. “If you look back to the beginning of our conversation today, we talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It’s difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform.”

The NX will not evolve out of the Wii U hardware, and will “appeal to our [Nintendo’s] consumer base.”

At the same time, Kimishima said he hasn’t given up on the Wii U. Despite the console’s low sales and a new console on the way, he said Nintendo will continue developing games for their current home hardware. Based on internal projections, Kimishima said Nintendo expects to sell 10 million Wii U consoles within the product’s “lifespan.” (To give you a sense of scale, Sony announced last week that it has sold 30 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide.) Rather than pushing to grow the hardware’s install base, Kimishima said the company’s goal should be to make games that make good on the promise that convinced Wii U owners to buy the console in the first place.

“Of course we are working on NX and looking at the experiences we can bring to that platform,” he said. “But first our job at this point is to support the consumers who have purchase Wii U and make sure that they have software experiences available to them.”

Kimishima also maintained that he was personally committed to Nintendo in the long term. Contrary to a rumor reported in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Kimishima said he does not intend to leave his position after a single year.

“What that was, is the board of directors, as a member of the board, the term is for one year,” he explained. “And at the next shareholders meeting we have to be reconfirmed as board members. That happens on a yearly basis, but there was never any meaning that I would only be president for one year in that conversation.”

Oh, and in case you were wondering, even Kimishima doesn’t know where the codename “NX” came from.

“I don’t believe that there’s any real meaning behind it, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know where it came from,” He said. “Or perhaps Mr. Iwata had meant to tell me and then never got the chance.”

Mike Epstein
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael is a New York-based tech and culture reporter, and a graduate of Northwestwern University’s Medill School of…
Nintendo’s eShop closures are a necessary, but messy move
A Nintendo Wii U gamepad flat on a table.

Nintendo last week announced its intentions to shut down the Wii U and 3DS eShops, the systems' digital storefronts, in March 2023. This decision was disappointing for hardcore fans who stuck with Nintendo during that rocky era and extremely worrying as many of the games available on the platforms won't be preserved.
More significant Wii U games and a handful of 3DS titles were ported to Switch, but many titles are still stuck on those systems and can’t be ported. Once the digital storefront shutdowns, digital-only titles will be gone forever, and physical copies of these titles will get more expensive and harder to experience. Fans and game preservationists have not been pleased by this decision, with the Video Game History Foundation giving the most candid response.
https://twitter.com/GameHistoryOrg/status/1494398068346654720
Following this announcement, Digital Trends spoke to an industry analyst and game preservationists to get a better idea of what exactly caused Nintendo to shut down these stores and to learn how it could do a better job at preserving its legacy.
Why is Nintendo shutting down the 3DS and Wii eShops?
Officially, Nintendo’s FAQ on the eShop closures says “this is part of the natural life cycle for any product line as it becomes less used by consumers over time." The answer doesn’t get into specifics and might confuse those still playing games on the system or fans of games only available on Wii U or 3DS. Omdia Principal Analyst Matthew Bailey explains Nintendo’s user base argument in more detail, highlighting the massive gap between the number of people playing the Switch as opposed to the Wii U.
“While Omdia expects the number of Switch consoles in active use to exceed 90 million on a global basis this year, the Wii U’s global active installed base will drop under one million in 2022,” he explains. “Even when you include the more enduring 3DS family of consoles into the equation, the Switch still comfortably accounts for over 90% of Nintendo’s total active console install base.”
If one is going off just the numbers, it’s sensible that Nintendo would want to focus on the majority of its players. Bailey admits that “Switch users are already reaping the benefits of Nintendo’s singular first-party development focus on one platform.” Still, one might argue that Nintendo should just let the eShops remain up even if it isn’t actively updating or maintaining them.

Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t see that as possible due to cost and security issues. Game Over Thrity, a Twitter user with over 20 years of experience working on IT projects and infrastructure, shed some light on what might have influenced Nintendo’s decision-making in a thread.
“As these systems age, they require patches, security, special contracts, updates, and personnel that know how they were built (and maintained),” his Twitter thread explains. “As time goes on, there are security holes, servers, code, infrastructure, etc., that can’t be brought up to modern standards. It becomes a constant struggle between maintaining legacy systems, paying people to do so, and trying to keep up with global regulations. It’s not cheap by any means. They can’t just ‘leave the lights on’ and stop supporting them. What if someone hacked the payment processor?”
With every passing year, the Wii U and 3DS eShops likely became more expensive to maintain and an increased security risk for the video game publisher. Instead of investing the time and resources into pleasing a smaller amount of players, the easier option is to turn everything off entirely. While he isn’t affiliated with Nintendo, Game Over Thirty’s assessment aligns with what we’ve heard from Nintendo and Omdia.
"The Wii U’s global active installed base will drop under one million in 2022."

Read more
Nintendo is ending Wii U and 3DS eShop service
Photos of the 3DS eShops

Nintendo has announced the end of its eShop service for the Wii U console and 3DS handheld. The eShop will stay live on those devices until late March 2023, after which players will no longer be able to purchase games or download eShop apps and services for those devices.

After the closure, players will still be able to redownload games and DLC that they already own, use online play, and download software updates.

Read more
Nintendo Switch Sports is more of a gamble than it seems
A Mii hits a tennis ball in Nintendo Switch Sports.

For February’s Nintendo Direct, I watched the show while chatting on Discord with Digital Trends’ gaming writers. Of all the new games announced, there was one in particular that elicited gleeful squeals from the crowd: Nintendo Switch Sports.

Nintendo Switch Sports – Announcement Trailer – Nintendo Switch

Read more