Nintendo has quietly announced, in Japan, their next console and a partnership to bring mobile apps to both iOS and Android platforms. The next console is codenamed NX and the mobile apps will be coming with a publishing and development arrangement with DeNA.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata had this to say:
“As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename “NX.” It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.

Also, until now, when we said, “platform,” it meant a specific video game platform. Now that we are going to release games on smart devices and make use of globally widespread PCs and smart devices for our new membership service, we would like to offer more consumers with software that is suited to their tastes. In other words, we are challenging ourselves to redefine what “Nintendo platforms” mean.”

So first, what about this Nintendo NX? The exciting thing is we learn that Nintendo is not planning on exiting the dedicated gaming hardware business. While we can’t be sure if this is going to be a handheld console or a home TV console, lets speculate for a moment. Iwata says that this new hardware is a brand new concept. What could this mean? If we go off what I have been thinking about the last several years, I feel Nintendo is making a hybrid handheld and home console. There would probably be a dock the system plugs into or links to and the user would play games with a handheld. Perhaps all users would have their own independent handheld device they would control games with.

Why do I think this? This is mainly because several years ago Nintendo combined their handheld and home console development teams into one unit. The next console Nintendo releases would be the first new platform under the direction of this new group. Nintendo also has a history of releasing handhelds that sell well but only the Wii has done well as a home console. Why not bring the best of your handheld division to the home market and let people take games on the go with them? This thinking is what leads me to believe this is the “brand-new concept” Nintendo is working on.

For mobile, users within America may not be familiar with DeNA. This is a Japanese giant in the industry that makes Free To Play mobile games. Nintendo has laid out plans that DeNA will get to work with the established Nintendo characters but hasn’t yet commented on if the games would be for purchase or Free To Play. My guess is it will be a combination of the two. Nintendo has said that they will not do remakes of already created games. So no New Super Mario Bros on the iPhone but the mobile games will be new experiences.

While this may disappoint some, it should excite you. New mobile experiences with Nintendo characters has the potential to be some of the greatest games on mobile ever imagined. The possibility is just limitless. No word when the first of these games will come out. Hopefully we will hear some more about it during E3 2015.

This is Kaleb Rutherford and these are My Morning Musings.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 03/17/15

Screenshots for M3: My Morning Musings – Nintendo NX & Mobile Games