Miyamoto: Nintendo's not talking NX yet because 'there's an idea we're working on'

The prolific designer expounded by saying that if developing NX was a matter of copycatting existing technology, the console would be out already.

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Speaking with members of the Associated Press (via GameSpot) acclaimed producer and director Shigeru Miyamoto dispelled some of the mystery surrounding Nintendo's forthcoming NX console... by stirring up more mystery.

Codename NX has been the talk of the industry for a couple of years, since Nintendo's Wii U was deemed a commercial failure. The company announced that NX would ship in March 2017 alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both Wii U and NX. Given the timeline, it made sense for Nintendo to pull back the curtain on NX at this year's E3. But it didn't, and Miyamoto attempted to clarify why.

"In terms of NX, there's an idea that we're working on," Miyamoto told the AP, speaking through a translator. "That's why we can't share anything at this point, and I don't want to comment on the other companies. If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker."

Nintendo has taken a shellacking over the past two generations for turning out underpowered hardware. In the Wii's case, that lack of horsepower translated into tens of millions of sales. For the Wii U, it didn't. New rumors suggest that NX may clock in under Sony's PS4 Neo upgrade and Microsoft's Xbox Scorpio. Even so, the company never fails to generate buzz around its experiments, for that very reason: it experiments.

Whatever the NX ends up being—a console/handheld hybrid; a platform that lets you play Nintendo's remarkable back catalog as well as new games on a wide range of hardware; an AR- or VR-friendly machine—the idea Miyamoto-san alluded to will be something bold and new, and decisively different than the norm. That's reason enough to get excited.

Long Reads Editor

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From The Chatty

    • reply
      June 27, 2016 4:38 PM

      "In terms of NX, there's an idea that we're working on," Miyamoto told the AP, speaking through a translator. "That's why we can't share anything at this point, and I don't want to comment on the other companies. If it was just a matter of following advancements in technology, things would be coming out a lot quicker."

      Sounds like they are working with a super secretive partner on disruptive technology...

      *cough* *cough*

      Apple Inc.

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        June 27, 2016 4:40 PM

        Has it been rumored that they might partner? That would be pretty interesting.

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          June 27, 2016 4:41 PM

          Just in my head.

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            June 27, 2016 4:50 PM

            At the 2010 Apple Annual Shareholders Meeting, I asked Steve Jobs about acquiring or partnering with Nintendo.

            Khan said that Jobs initially used his token line about how Apple "can only do a few things really well."

            "But he did say a strategic partnership -- if profitable -- makes a lot of sense," said Khan.

            Two years later, Khan gave the same suggestion to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

            "Tim Cook kind of deflected the whole thing," Khan recalled. "He turned it into, 'Apple has plenty of cash.'"


            From -

            http://www.benzinga.com/news/15/03/5337716/steve-jobs-was-not-opposed-to-an-apple-nintendo-partnership

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              June 27, 2016 5:27 PM

              it would be very strange for Apple to suddenly care about games to that degree, especially when they're already making oodles of money from them through other means

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                June 27, 2016 5:28 PM

                They need to enter new categories to increase revenue. Gaming is a multibillion dollar industry.

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                  June 27, 2016 5:40 PM

                  And there really aren't that many players, considering how big the industry is. Only 3 big players for the console market and only 2 players in the handheld market.

                  It would be a smart move for Apple to at least consider it.

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                  June 27, 2016 5:49 PM

                  Apple's net income in the most recent (down) quarter was ~$10bn. Nintendo's best recent result (2009) was a *yearly* net income of $2.8bn from a historic success in consoles (Wii) and great success from a unit under severe threat (handhelds). Nintendo doesn't appear to me to offer a huge opportunity at Apple scale. Apple is arguably a more valuable gaming company than Nintendo at this point. Apple made ~$6.5bn in revenue from the app store last year. The vast majority of that would've been gaming revenue. Nintendo hasn't made more than ~$6.5bn in revenue since 2012 and it's not clear they can reverse that trend. Plus Nintendo's core properties are increasingly moving onto iOS and iOS has a larger reach than Nintendo ever will by orders of magnitude. I mean, they could start selling controllers in Apple stores or shipping Apple TV with a controller and get a Nintendo exclusive game or something but I don't think it'd move the needle as far as investors are concerned.

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                    June 27, 2016 6:03 PM

                    Solid analysis, but you are underestimating the size of Apple's ecosystem in my opinion. Nintendo, even with the huge success of DS/Wii never have had an addressable market the size of Apple's. There is also the goodwill created by Apple having exclusive rights to Nintendo content. I think Nintendo could make more money than they are now with Apple behind them.

                    The secondary benefits of increases iPhone/iPad/Apple TV/Mac sales driven by Nintendo exclusivity would make the deal worth it, in my opinion.

                    My point is and has always been that Apple is better off acquiring companies than they are buying back stock and paying dividends.

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                      June 27, 2016 6:13 PM

                      right, Apple has a much larger scale, but so what happens if they get Nintendo content? Does that actually add significant revenue or just replace existing gaming dollars spent on iOS with different content? Let's say Nintendo put Pokemon with microtransactions on iOS (imagine a world where they haven't already done this). How much revenue does that add to iOS vs how it exists today? Is it really that much? Or does it just shift the mix of money Clash of Clans makes towards Nintendo (which is good for Nintendo, but neutral for Apple)?

                      The secondary benefits of increases iPhone/iPad/Apple TV/Mac sales driven by Nintendo exclusivity would make the deal worth it, in my opinion.

                      I question how many net new sales this would drive. Apple is needing to target new markets because they've saturated their previous markets. Smartphone penetration has nearly peaked in many of those markets too. So who is this strategy really going to get? What's the number of Android users who are Nintendo fans who chose Android instead of iOS previously for some reason (price, quality, etc) but now make Nintendo content the high order bit in their smartphone decision?

                      My point is and has always been that Apple is better off acquiring companies than they are buying back stock and paying dividends.

                      On that I completely agree. I just don't see much evidence to suggest that a) Apple suddenly cares about gaming any more than they have in the past b) it offers a material increase to their bottom line. If they actually want to add to their bottom line there's a handy 80%+ of the world who isn't going to buy Apple hardware but might use Apple services that one day entice them to use Apple hardware. But Apple isn't really a services company, much as they want to claim they are.

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                        June 27, 2016 6:21 PM

                        I believe that Apple is working on a new disruptive living room product that would lend nicely to exclusive Nintendo content.

                        Believe is the keyword. There is very little evidence outside of patents and acquisitions that lead me to this conclusion.

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                          June 27, 2016 6:25 PM

                          I'd be surprised. The living room increasingly looks like a battleground that the past thought would be the future but isn't. Consoles and STBs have shown their limits. Apple TV has had all kinds of time to do something innovative but is just another streaming box (and consumers may increasingly ask why they even need one of these instead of just using the TV as a big screen for their phone). The actual disruptive living room device that exists right now is the Echo, which seems like the antithesis of what Apple will/can do (a device with no UI and a service oriented architecture). A bet on VR/AR is certainly plausible though.

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                  June 27, 2016 6:28 PM

                  It also seems very high risk. A lot of the medium to large sized publishers fell off or got gobbled up the past decade.

                  There's defiantly seems to be money there, and it's growing, it just doesn't seem to be doing it in ways outside of mobile.

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            June 27, 2016 6:31 PM

            I don't think Nintendo would do it given their history with Sony co-developing hardware and how that worked out.

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              June 27, 2016 6:32 PM

              I think that is a great point. Both companies tend to want to do something by themselves. Kinda why I would like to see them collaborate...

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        June 27, 2016 4:44 PM

        I betting on it being a New Mobile Device, a Tablet or New 3ds, that's Super powerful and portable.

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          June 27, 2016 4:51 PM

          It will be a merger of the console and portable into one device.

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            June 27, 2016 6:32 PM

            I still think it is 2 devices that share a library. And the handheld can be used as a controller for the console in addition to being taken on the go.

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          June 28, 2016 6:25 AM

          The speculation of system in two parts seem to fit what we know. Part of it will be a replacement for the DS line, a portal system and screen; which is why it needs the SD card technology for games. But it will dock into the main console to get augmented GPU power, but probably not CPU power. The dock will allow for more multiplayer and probably some additional peripherals.

          I'm not sure I buy that, but it does seem to fit. However, making sure that has enough power to compete in the marketplace, and by that I mean enough visual update over the Wii U, not direct competition against Neo and Scorpio, seems like it would be kinda expensive on the hardware front.

          OH, unless the graphics chip is totally scalar. I mean, the dock isn't access to a more powerful GPU. But, maybe the dock allows the chip to run at full speed. Undocked it runs at portable (mGPU) speed, so has less graphic fidelity. That would be new, but still trying to put in a beefy enough gpu like that would me higher cost.

          Hmm. having said all that, I wonder if they had some kind of multi-dock concept. Everyone brings their portable unit to one console and everyone can "dock" with it. That would be interesting.




          Take all of this with huge salt shaker. I'm just rammbling.

      • reply
        June 27, 2016 4:56 PM

        Piss inc

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      June 27, 2016 4:49 PM

      Hopefully they are working on a price drop on the Wii-U

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        June 27, 2016 4:54 PM

        Damn man, its 250 bundled, 100 Used, how cheap do you want it?

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          June 27, 2016 4:57 PM

          Still 300.00 here.

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          June 27, 2016 7:04 PM

          Less than the $500 it is now, and in quantities that make it feasible to actually find one to purchase.

          Nintendo might say they haven't ended production of the Wii U, but it certainly feels like they have.

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      June 27, 2016 5:03 PM

      Maybe they are going to roll their own VR solution.

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        June 27, 2016 5:09 PM

        Nah. They are a children facing company. Kiddos can't VR. AR on the other hand...

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          June 27, 2016 5:11 PM

          Ah shoot, I forgot about that, yeah VR is a no go unless they find a way to do it that can pass regulations and parents

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        June 27, 2016 5:28 PM

        It's totally this. They can't help but bring out a "me too" VR headset to "compete" with PSVR and whatever MS is cooking up especially with their history with the Virtual Boy.

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          June 27, 2016 5:35 PM

          They are not a "me too" company.

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            June 27, 2016 5:38 PM

            Right, and that's why it'll be geared to work really well with the one game Nintendo bundles with it and nothing else. It will be strange enough that porting VR games from other platforms impossible, again making it frustrating for fans who buy into it.

            I say this not as some asshole who hates Nintendo, but as a guy who loves their original titles, but gets frustrated that they don't either release more games every hardware generation, or stop making hardware. :/

            I own Donkey Konga bongos. ;)

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              June 27, 2016 5:44 PM

              I just don't think Nintendo sees VR as the next large market for them. AR has a broader appeal and kids can use it.

              Wii U is viewed as a failure and it has sold over 10 million units.

              Imagine what they think of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive which appear to have only shipped a few 100 thousand units. Neither company has provided sales data, which is a terrible signal.

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                June 27, 2016 7:16 PM

                I think it's clear they both knew that the market was going to be extremely limited for the first gen, so the lack of sales data doesn't really strike me as a "terrible signal" so much as managing expectations and not wanting to give someone a free headline claiming "lol VR only sold 500k in the first year, clearly it's dead" or whatever. I think the first thing we'll hear about headset numbers is when it breaks a major milestone ("X million units in the wild!" etc.) .

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                  June 27, 2016 7:19 PM

                  Sadly the one unit to probably have shipped over a million units (Gear VR) has been giving them away with smartphones. Hardly anything to brag about.

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                    June 27, 2016 7:26 PM

                    Nothing to brag about in terms of "yo we made a bunch of money off of this", sure. In terms of getting people interested in VR, though, it's huge.

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                      June 27, 2016 7:28 PM

                      For sure. I am not poo pooing VR. I love VR. I just think the market is going to take about 2-5 years to reach a broad enough market to warrant competition from larger companies. Facebook is huge and they will definitely be a player for awhile, but HTC is not long for this world :(

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                        June 27, 2016 7:40 PM

                        I think HTC knew what they were getting into and are ready to play the long game with VR. Which is probably part of why they're spinning off Vive into its own thing, to keep it from drowning with the rest of the company.

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                          June 27, 2016 8:04 PM

                          I would love to see Google buy Vive and make it their baby.

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                            June 27, 2016 8:48 PM

                            Google would abandon that project as soon as it turned 18 just like all their other children :D

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                              June 27, 2016 8:49 PM

                              Sometimes they don't even make it to 18!

                              RIP Boston Dynamics :(

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                                June 28, 2016 11:51 AM

                                I had no idea that was Google. Their stuff looked pretty cool, and was certainly a glimpse at what robots in your house could be like....beyond a vacuum cleaner anyway.

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                        June 27, 2016 9:54 PM

                        :(

                        I really like the Vive. Shack's coverage on the touch is very encouraging though. So think they split off the VR stuff so it doesn't sink with the rest of the ship?

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                          June 27, 2016 9:56 PM

                          I don't think Vive is their biggest problem, but they really needed it to ship 500k to 1 million units to help them stay afloat.

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                            June 27, 2016 10:28 PM

                            They can't have expected to be able to do that in the first year, though. Even if the $800 price tag wasn't limiting the market and the demand was there to sell that many, I'm not sure manufacturing would be able to keep up right now.

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                June 27, 2016 7:19 PM

                AR seems sooo much harder than VR from a gaming perspective. Instead of a blank canvas you have an enormous set of limitations.

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                  June 28, 2016 6:27 AM

                  On the flip side it is the only thing I have interest in. I really do not want the "cut off from the world" feeling of VR.

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                June 28, 2016 6:46 AM

                Yep. The Wii only did 480p because their market research indicated the sell through rate of HDTV's was insufficient. I highly doubt they view the extremely small VR market as being something to focus on.

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        June 27, 2016 5:44 PM

        Super doubtful

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        June 27, 2016 6:31 PM

        VR? nah they tried that 20 years ago with the Virtual Boy.

        • reply
          June 27, 2016 6:58 PM

          Virtual Boy is closer to a monochrome 3D display.

          I'd say they did 3D 20 years ago. VR is a bit of a stretch.

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      June 27, 2016 5:28 PM

      this sounds like what they said when they were refusing to show the Wii controllers on a normal console release timeline

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      June 27, 2016 7:10 PM

      In the Wii's case, that lack of horsepowera motion control scheme with fad appeal to Aunt Jody translated into tens of millions of sales.

    • reply
      June 27, 2016 7:19 PM

      NINTENDO HORSE BAG!

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      June 27, 2016 7:31 PM

      Probably working on making it not becoming a flop and economic drain for the company.

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      June 27, 2016 7:32 PM

      Smell-o-vision!

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      June 28, 2016 6:40 AM

      In all seriousness, I wonder if their goal is to repeat the Wii's broad appeal. If that's the case, then the entire system has to be very approachable; which is what the Wiimote did well. The way you interact with the system has to be dead simple. I wonder if this might be way they're going back to cartridges. Faster access times than disc, less chance of damage, and nowadays more storage than DVD and even Blu-Ray unless they go multi-layer. The controller will also have to be non-intimidating, which is what they learned with the Wii. They Wii U's display wasn't the right merge between a traditional controller and a tablet. I expect they'll need a new direction to achieve the same goal; more functions within the controller, but more accessible.

      I can't think of what that would end up being. But, I assume Nintendo has done a ton of research on this. How do they make the next system as accessible as the Wii while pushing what a game system can do? That has to be what they're shooting for.