Anyone who follows the gaming industry knows that the Wii U is struggling. The console simply never found its foothold, and the Gamepad controller didn't take off like the Wii Remote ever did.
It's not that the Wii U is an outright failure, but compared to Nintendo's last machine, it's a massive disappointment.
Even so, Nintendo's announcement earlier today came as a surprise to most: not only will Nintendo finally embrace smart phone tech, but it's developing an entirely new gaming console, codenamed 'NX.'
Originally, Nintendo's press conference was held to explain why the publisher was finally investing in the smart phone market. Nintendo, for whatever reason, has yet to embrace any sort of mobile technology outside of its 3DS handhelds - thankfully, that's finally about to change, and the publisher wanted to make that clear.
However, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata didn't want investors to think that the company was leaving video games behind - as such, the above infographic was shown, demonstrating how Nintendo would create an overarching system that brought its smartphone work together with its video game consoles. Most of the infographic is familiar, but one space sticks out in particular: the NX, or Nintendo's next "dedicated gaming system."
As to what exactly Nintendo's NX will be, that's anyone's guess. "Dedicated gaming system" is vague at best, but it's easy to imagine would the Big N could be referring to. There is a possibility that the NX could be the successor to the Nintendo 3DS line...but, considering that the New Nintendo 3DS just launched, it's unlikely that the NX will be a handheld device.
All things considered, the NX will likely be a successor to the struggling Wii U. Nintendo clearly had a vision when it was developing its latest console, but the Wii U's specialized hardware doesn't make it easy to develop games for. On top of that, it's nowhere near as powerful as its competition, meaning that developers looking for next-gen graphics have to look elsewhere. If Nintendo wants to work on third-party relationships and expand its library, it needs a machine that can handle multiplatform games and is easy to work with - without a major hardware upgrade, that's just not going to happen.
There's a lot that's great about the Wii U - but it's also been a huge disappointment for Nintendo, especially coming off the astronomical success of the original Wii. All things considered, working on a new console makes sense: it doesn't mean that Nintendo is abandoning the Wii U, it's just giving itself more options.
This early in development, it's impossible to predict when Nintendo's NX will be released, though Iwata stated that gamers won't see much more about it until 2016.
Photo: Farley Santos | Flickr