Nintendo CEO: NX is 'neither a successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS'

In a new interview, Nintendo's CEO promised that NX will leave a bigger mark than the Wii U, and introduce a new style of play.


Per an interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun and translated by NeoGaf user GSR, Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima announced that Nintendo will try its hand at creating movies—a move from which the company has steered far, far clear following 1993's disastrous live-action Super Mario Bros. film—and spoke in riddles regarding the codenamed NX console.

"It's a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U," he said. "But I don't feel it's a pure replacement for the Wii U," nor will it replace 3DS.

Kimishima refrained from divulging new information that could quench the thirst of players thirsty for more information (read as: any information at all) on the NX. Popular opinion says that it will be a console/handheld hybrid, able to be connected to TVs and played on the go. Another rumor making the rounds indicates that the system might use cartridges.

When asked why NX will launch next spring instead of this holiday, Kimishima explained that Nintendo wants to make sure the NX has a strong line-up out of the gate. With Nintendo choosing to focus solely on the next Legend of Zelda at this year's E3, consumers will have to wait a little while longer for concrete details.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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  • reply
    May 16, 2016 1:16 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Nintendo CEO: NX is 'neither a successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS'

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      May 16, 2016 2:21 PM

      Waiting for launch title is a pretty good reason to miss the holiday window. While having a killer app is usually a good way to win sales, we seen what a weak lineup can do launch sales too. This is the right move.

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        May 16, 2016 2:29 PM

        If they really wanted to sell units they need to have a Super Mario Make 2.

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          May 16, 2016 4:25 PM

          Good one.

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            May 16, 2016 4:40 PM

            Why? The game was a critical and sales hit. That and Splatoon are the clearest new IPs that will help move units.

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              May 16, 2016 4:47 PM

              That was only 50% snark. Maker is a very good niche title. But it would never in a million years move units at launch or make the right statement about the new console. The big launch title has to be a classic Mario or Zelda. And it has to be technologically IMPRESSIVE. Not a piece of retro nostalgia.

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                May 16, 2016 4:57 PM

                I wouldn't consider 4 million units on a console with only 12 million units sold as a niche title, but ok. Splatoon did about 5 million units, that's a straight up hit considering that's about what Smash sold, except Splatoon did it in even less time.

                We know Zelda is gonna ship for launch, but based on how the other 3D versions sold it won't be as massive as you think. Super Mario 3D World was an absolutely superb game, IMHO the best of the 3D Marios, but the New Super Mario Bros series (which I never cared for) has always sold much better.

                You're basically incorrect. Technologically impressive isn't the most important factor given that the more retro style games are always the ones that sell better. I'd much rather see a new 3D Mario but I know without a doubt that "New Super Mario NX" or whatever they call it would sell more.

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                May 16, 2016 5:04 PM

                Dude, the ONLY reason I bought a Wii U was for SMM. If they announced a SMM2 as a launch title then I'd buy an NX. Otherwise I have zero interest.

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                  May 16, 2016 5:18 PM

                  You're not the only one, that game moved systems.

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                May 16, 2016 6:00 PM

                Ok so I'm wrong. But tell me, what the hell would make SMM 2 a killer app? The first game was: here, make 8-bit Mario levels. What is the second game? That's all there is to do! It's a dead-end road.

                It's like Super Mario All Stars for the SNES. That was a GREAT game. But how do you make a sequel to it?

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                  May 16, 2016 6:10 PM

                  Nintendo has many of the best game developers in the world, that's for them to figure out and surprise us with.

                  Your analogy is also terrible. SMAS was basically an HD remake of prior Mario games, not an entirely new series.

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                    May 16, 2016 6:12 PM

                    I consider SMM to be well-within the same "remake" realm.

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                      May 16, 2016 6:16 PM

                      You don't see the difference between a content creation/sharing platform as well as a way for Nintendo themselves to regularly ship new original content, and an HD remaster of existing static single player games?


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                      May 16, 2016 6:17 PM

                      Calling SMM am HD remake is completely wrong. The graphical quality of the game is among the last important features of that game.

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                      May 16, 2016 6:18 PM

                      whaaa. it's an entire content creation platform, and also includes some amazing levels in and of itself.

                      besides, you've been beating your faux-concern about nintendo for a long time now. they aren't going to release a powerhouse PS4 competitor with a standard controller. they're going to keep nintendo'ing.

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                        May 16, 2016 7:04 PM

                        Right, because the "faux-concern" about Nintendo's decision-making is isolated to me on the Shack. To say nothing of the rest of the gaming world / Wall Street.

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                          May 16, 2016 7:49 PM

                          Nobody is asking you to agree with everything Nintendo does, just to come to the discussion with good reasons and well thought out points.

                          There's a way to make logical, cogent, well thought out points, and then there's consistent pants-on-head stupid with a healthy side of doom and gloom.

                          People say go third party without consideration that Nintendo's profit margins on software are much higher when selling on their own hardware. People say Nintendo is financially doomed when they have consistently outperformed both Sony and Microsoft's game divisions (well, always outperformed in Microsoft's case).

                          People say make generic hardware with a normal controller without considering that there isn't room for three generic boxes, let alone two, and that this would be suicide against an entrenched PS4. Nintendo easily blew away the PS2 with the Gamecube, all the third party ports were better on the GCN, and they still got killed when the GCN was two years late to the party.

                          This is before we talk about what is good for the industry, which is having at least one company that puts energy into innovating with human interfaces.

                          This reminds me of talking with people 10+ ago who argued that Apple should just license OS X. Its such a base, one-dimensional argument.

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                            May 17, 2016 6:27 AM

                            Frankly I'm impressed he hasn't insisted everything Nintendo does is a gimmick and that they need to just Xbox clone the shit out of it now.

                            Well he kind of did the second part...

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      May 16, 2016 2:26 PM

      Ya know, he said this:

      "I suppose it can be seen that way. However, the NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It's a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don't feel it's a pure replacement for the Wii U."

      But, isn't that exactly what Nintendo said about the Wii U? That it wasn't a direct successor to the Wii U, and didn't they say the same about the 3dxl? Which I guess there it wasn't since there was also the 2ds, but still. ;)

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        May 16, 2016 2:29 PM

        No U.

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        May 16, 2016 2:48 PM

        which could basically just mean 'isn't backwards compatible' and nothing more

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          May 16, 2016 3:29 PM

          Speculation among the Shack staff is that he might have phrased it that way to distance Nintendo from Wii U as much as possible. I dunno, it's weird. The NX is the successor to the Wii U, no matter how Kimishima wants to phrase it.

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            May 16, 2016 3:34 PM

            yeah, they're in this weird spot where they keep talking about a system they haven't technically announced yet and so all they can do is say weird non statements

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        May 16, 2016 4:26 PM

        If he's not being weird, and we take this at face value, that's a really bad sign. Nintendo needs a replacement for the Wii u - that is, a new home console - STAT.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          May 16, 2016 4:30 PM

          He doesn't want to say explicitly that the Wii U is about to be killed off. But there's no doubt that that's what is going to happen. So it's not a successor, it's just about to be the only console they're working in.

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            May 16, 2016 5:21 PM

            Kinda like how they said the DS isn't a successor to the Gameboy.

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        May 16, 2016 4:55 PM

        Oh wow guys, it's going to have a bigger impact than Wii U. We should all get second mortgages and snap up all the nintendo stock we can find.

        My nephew loves "cat mario" and "super mario MAKER!" so my Wii U gets more use than anything else for gaming right now

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        May 16, 2016 5:32 PM

        Let's get real. It's just marketing spin bullshit.

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      May 16, 2016 2:50 PM

      They should really step up their communication game. Badly managed expectations have bitten their ass frequently

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      May 16, 2016 3:27 PM

      maybe it's just the service or system to connect the 2 platforms and give a single marketplace and ties purchases to an account. that'd be hilarious

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      May 16, 2016 3:36 PM

      Translation: "We don't know what the fuck it is either."

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      May 16, 2016 3:40 PM

      I'm interested to see what they show. The iPhone generation doesn't have a need for a portable gaming system when they already have one that does more. I'm just about nostalgia'd out I want to see them advance their IP more and more frequently. There's zero reason for Nintendo to be launching systems with weak lineups with the IP they have under their control yet they do it over and over again.

      I honestly don't believe the world is going to care for another gimmick that is under utilized and ostracizes 3rd party developers. Just make a video game system Nintendo, your strengths are with your characters not in trying to reinvent the wheel along the way.

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      May 16, 2016 4:12 PM

      They said the exact same thing about the DS when it came out in regard to the GBA. It's just their way of trying to not piss off existing owners as well as pre-deflect things in case it proves to be a failure.

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      May 16, 2016 4:36 PM

      Is this like when they said the DS wasn't going to replace the GBA and then it decimated the GBA in sales?

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      May 16, 2016 5:19 PM

      The NX will be Nintendo's new 3rd pillar.

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        May 16, 2016 5:36 PM

        Not impossible. But doubtful.

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          May 16, 2016 5:37 PM

          Ugh. Misreply for the VR post below.

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      May 16, 2016 5:26 PM

      It'd be crazy if it was a full on VR experience

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      May 16, 2016 5:31 PM

      "Its a new way of playing games" aka, Its gonna have yet another fucked up controller.

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        May 16, 2016 5:37 PM

        by refusing to compete on specs they leave themselves no choice but to try something to differentiate, and it usually ends up being in weird hardware changes since that's their core competency more so than software/services differentiation

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        May 16, 2016 6:46 PM

        Nintendo has set so many standards in gaming controllers that I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to experimenting in humans interface devices.

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          May 16, 2016 6:57 PM

          the problem as I see it is that by refusing to compete on hardware power they are forced to ship their best idea for a new controller, even if it's not actually that revolutionary or even resonant. It's probably not reasonable to expect a revolution in input devices every 5-7 years (and even less reasonable to expect the same company to always deliver them), but that's the strategy Nintendo appears to be set on.

          What you'd prefer is to experiment with ideas each generation but if you don't hit on something big you say 'that's fine, let's go with a regular controller.' But without a controller change they don't have sufficient differentiation to justify their hardware. I think this is how you end up with Wii U type hardware that's interesting but doesn't have sufficient design space to justify an entire console design. Nintendo may even have known that themselves. But if that's the best idea they had what else do they do? Shipping a below average spec console with a standard controller? Who's going to get excited about that?

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          May 16, 2016 7:52 PM

          The only other real innovation is coming out of Valve with the Vive and the Steam Controller. They're not 1000% polished but they're at least trying to push past what current interfaces allow for. Its also a very different thing from what a company like Nintendo or Apple does, which is to ship out something tweaked to its intended designed use case. Valve is shipping hardware that is expressly intended to be bashed away at by third parties.

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          May 16, 2016 8:26 PM

          Yeah but the 2nd screen on the Wii U controller was a flop. That particular innovation didn't translate at all to increased sales or functionality.

          What do you think will happen to them if the NX gimmick (whatever it may be) turns out to be a dud? What happens then? They double down on mobile stuff and become a mobile development company?

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            May 16, 2016 9:11 PM

            I vote for a traditional console with an optional remote play vita-like controller. So everybody that wants a tradional vonsole gets it, and people who want to be able to play/continue on a portable get it too. That's my vote.

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