Nintendo’s Calm Before the Storm

Nintendo’s Calm Before the Storm

Every morning I’ll wake up for about 5 minutes to say goodbye to my wife who has to go to work about an hour before I do, and then I’ll go back to sleep for an hour. Sometimes I’ll take a quick glance at my phone before I fall back asleep, and earlier this week I was jolted awake by two news breaks, both of which said something about Nintendo revealing the release date of its NX. It turns out that we got a few enormous breaks (perhaps strategically) second-hand from Nintendo’s financial earnings report, and though there’s some encouraging news here, there are some disappointing bits as well. What I’m going to do is take you through all three major news breaks, from best to worst, and then give you my takes on them. We’ll start with some good news and end with some bad news, but as I give you my take on each bit I’ll piece together your shattered confidence in Nintendo and its short-term plans. So three breaks, three takes, and a roller-coaster ride on a pendulum swinging from optimism to pessimism and back again. Are you ready? Let’s begin:

Break 1: On mobile

Nintendo is planning on releasing two more mobile games this year following the enormously successful Miitomo . These two games will actually be games (not weird social apps), and they’ll be based on two of our favorite franchises: Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. Nintendo plans to release both games this spring.

Break 2: On the NX

The NX won’t be launching this year after all. Nintendo never said it would be, we were just fools to hop on the hype train before we knew any solid details (I was a fool, anyway). Instead we can expect a global launch in March of 2017, with an exciting reveal some time this year – but not at E3.

Break 3: On the new Legend of Zelda

Remember that new Legend of Zelda game we were supposed to be playing on the Wii U by December 2015, and then by holiday 2016? Right, well it turns out that Nintendo needs more time to polish this one up, so it will be launching alongside the NX in March 2017. It will also be released for the Wii U, and both versions have been developed in tandem. We’ll get a great look at it during E3, though! Actually we’ll likely have an excess of Legend of Zelda footage after E3 because it’s the only game that Nintendo will have playable during the expo.

Nintendo’s Calm Before the Storm

Take 1: On the new Legend of Zelda

There’s no talking around this one; we’re all disappointed in the delay. This was going to be the biggest Wii U (and we were hoping NX) game this holiday season, and now we’re left wondering what to get excited about. Have heart, though. If Nintendo says the game needs more polish, then it probably does. Star Fox Zero turned out great for all of its delays, and I don’t know about you, but I want this next LoZ to be perfect. Plus, there’s still Paper Mario: Color Splash to look forward to. Let’s just hope it’s not a Sticker Star clone.

Take 2: On the NX

It is what it is, guys. We thought a holiday 2016 NX would make sense, but would it really? This is going to be a crowded holiday season with a lot of new hardware: Sony may be releasing the PS4 Neo, we’re expecting Microsoft to produce a new Xbox One model, and PlayStation VR will be the most affordable virtual reality solution for over 40 million of you. If Nintendo’s new console is powerful and innovative, it won’t want to share the platform with anyone else. Plus, this gives third-party developers more time with NX development kits, and that means a beefier launch lineup. I can see it now: The Legend of Zelda, Mario Galaxy 3, Luigi’s Mansion NX, Final Fantasy XV: Golden Chocobo Edition, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Dragon Quest XI … I could go on. I’m not saying to expect all of those games, but I do think it’s safe to expect a stellar offering at launch.

Take 3: On mobile

Some of you are saying that Nintendo won’t be making any more money from today until March 2017, but that’s simply not true. You’re forgetting about the two golden elephants in the room here: Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing mobile games. These two titles alone are more than capable of carrying Nintendo financially until March. Miitomo is an anemic offering in comparison, and Nintendo is celebrating over 10 million unique users just a month after its release – it’s even making some decent money from Miitomo . If you understand how huge Animal Crossing and mobile gaming is in Japan, you should have nothing to worry about. Both of these games are going to kill it, and both of them are going to make Nintendo a fortune.

Sure, it’s going to be a quiet holiday season, but we still have much to look forward to on all of our Nintendo platforms. Planet Robobot, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, and Paper Mario should be more than enough to keep you occupied until March, and I’m willing to bet that Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing will both surprise us in a great way. What do you think, are you still clinging to your optimism, or was this the final nail in Nintendo’s coffin? Sound off, you fans and haters.

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