The Nintendo console currently code-named NX is, according to Digitimes, ready for pilot production and set to start that process in October of this year. Mass production, say their sources, will begin in May or June with a July 2016 release.
Pilot production is the first step to mass production of a new product. The product has been finalized, and now the manufacturer – in this case Foxconn, manufacturer of a huge portion of your personal and home gadgetry – will figure out how to go about making it, designing the processes to build the product.
Orders for the NX will be finalized by March 2016, and the sources indicate that Nintendo intends to ship 20 million units during the first year. Now that’s confidence.
The Wii U has been a tough console for Nintendo, not selling nearly as briskly as its predecessor or its competitors, so it makes sense that they’re already pretty far along planning a new console; but, if these reports are true, then their timetable is much sooner than we’d previously guessed, pegging the system for a 2017 release at the earliest.
Nintendo already acknowledged the development of the console, initially to assuage fan fears when they announced their decision to get into mobile gaming, and at E3 this year when they showed little other than Star Fox Zero. If the system is, indeed, set for a 2016 release, then it’s safe to assume the new Zelda game will be released as a launch title for the system. But for now, these are just rumors and should be taken with the necessary grains of salt until more information is available.