NX is expected to launch next year, but we still know very little about the new console - although rumours are circulating that it will combine Nintendo's domestic and portable hardware interests.
In an interview with Time, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stopped short of giving away any solid details about the platform, but did admit that it won't be a continuation of previous hardware ideas and will instead be something totally unique.
Describing the platform as the core focus of Nintendo's business, Kimishima said:
We talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It's difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform. That being said, I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It's something unique and different. It's something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.
He added that the moniker NX is little more than a codename:
As for the codename NX, I don't believe that there's any real meaning behind it, and to be perfectly honest, I don't know where it came from. Or perhaps Mr. Iwata had meant to tell me and then never got the chance.
Regarding Nintendo's current system, the president was recently quoted as saying that he said the Wii U was a failure, but he says he was misreported:
The Nikkei reporter's question to me was 'The Wii U is not selling at this point in its lifetime as well as the Wii was at the same time. Why is that?' And my answer was that the Wii at this point has sold over 100 million units worldwide, and even through there are people saying 'Hey, since the Wii was so successful, Wii U is also going to be successful and it's also going to sell like wildfire as well,' I looked at that global install base and said that it might not sell as well. That was my response. Not that it wouldn't sell, but that it would be more difficult because of the install base of the Wii itself.
The point that I was trying to get across was that Wii has sold so much and is being played by so many people, it's not going to be easy to make them leave that and come to the next system. That was my only point, that it was a difficult task for us to bring those consumers from Wii to Wii U. But unfortunately it doesn't look like my message got across clearly.
He also addressed the Wii U's future more directly, and stated that the company does not plan to simply abandon the people who have supported the machine so far:
As you know within the game business momentum is key. When you have momentum, whether it's a platform or software, sales increase. At this point in the Wii U lifespan, we're looking at 10 million sell-through for the hardware itself, which is just about a tenth of what we sold overall for Wii.
What I want to do, I think our first job right now is to make sure that the customers, those 10 million customers who have a Wii U at home have software to play. And we need to make sure that they are satisfied with their purchase and continue to enjoy playing on this platform. So we can't just abandon them and say 'Hey, it's time to move on to the next thing.' Of course we are working on NX and looking at the experiences we can bring to that platform. But first our job at this point is to support the consumers who have purchase Wii U and make sure that they have software experiences available to them.
We'll no doubt hear more about NX - or whatever official name it will have - in 2016.