Nintendo recently announced that, alongside the delay of Zelda for Wii U, the Nintendo NX will launch in March 2017. It will see the new Zelda, too, as that game has been confirmed to release on both the NX and Wii U.
In a recent investor Q & A, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima explained why the NX will launch next year instead of this holiday. He also touches on whether or not the system will be sold at a loss, though that comes later. First, here’s the question asked.
Question: I understand that details of NX will not be announced today. However, I would like to ask about the effect of NX in terms of performance in the fiscal year ending in March 2017. There were times in the past when sale of hardware at launch suffered due to the lack of a sufficient number of titles. Can you promise that the launch of NX will be accompanied by a solid lineup of games? We also have the case of Wii U hardware, which was sold at a loss at launch. I would like to know what you are thinking about the cost of NX in terms of analyzing performance for the fiscal year in which NX is launched.
Pretty direct, right? Read that as, “the 3DS and Wii U had weak launch lineups, will the NX be better?” Here’s how Kinishima responded to that bit.
You are correct about needing a solid lineup of software. One of the reasons for choosing the launch timing that we did is so that the software lineup will be ready in time for the hardware launch. Not only at launch, but we also need to be able to continuously release titles after launch. We are planning for this to be a platform that consumers can enjoy for a long time.
Nintendo’s had a history of releasing platforms without selling them at a loss. That means, essentially, that it costs them less to manufacture than the amount they’re charging at retail. Hardware manufacturers tend to sell their platforms at a loss to keep the consumer price down, and they depend on selling games to make money.
Nintendo’s not aiming to sell the NX at a loss. Here’s Kinishima.
Next, about how we are looking at cost, we are not thinking of launching the hardware at a loss. When Wii U was launched, the yen was very strong. I am assuming that situation will not repeat itself. Selling at a loss at launch would not support the business, so we are keeping that mind in developing NX.
We’ll have more on the NX, including its price, release date and launch lineup, as it comes.