We've had multiple trusted colleagues and acquaintances advise (since initial publication) that the 'this week' angle is getting increasingly strong for some sort of NX-related details. As we outline below this is logical and feasible, though the nature of any announcement will also be interesting.
To borrow a phrase I've seen in recent discourse around politics, we're at peak Nintendo NX madness. Nothing is too crazy for an NX rumour. Today I saw a thread on a hugely popular forum (which I'll spare the embarrassment of naming) briefly get excited about an 'NX announcement' before realising it was a tweet from a parody account - if you see anyone reporting on this tweet, then they've been fooled. This is what we've become.
I've written this little editorial because we're getting a lot of emails and tips about chatter that NX will be revealed this week. I was baffled as to where the rumour was coming from, and then realised that it seems to be based (for the most part) on an investor report from last week by Macquarie Capital Securities. That's fair enough, it's a widely respected investment and analysis firm, though a little context is most definitely due to manage expectations, hence this impromptu editorial.
For starters, I'm aware it's easy to miss it, but we actually covered this on 14th October, right here; we covered the full bullet-point details of the Macquarie report that actually downgraded its recommendation on Nintendo shares. Initially the source said NX 'coming next week', though was stealth-edited to say NX 'reveal coming next week', which is fine. As we said at the time, it's best not to take report comments like these as 100% gospel truth, but as an educated and logical guess by a respected firm.
In any case, that article and another 'Random' post the day before was our way of giving perspective on the likely and wacky NX rumours that we don't want to run on their own, simply because they're too thin on interesting details or are particular longshots. But, as so many are asking us as a site and me as person about the 'this week' NX rumour, I thought I'd just share some views on why it's certainly possible and reasonable to think something will be said this week, but also why it might not quite be the time.
First of all, with each passing day we're getting closer, so that's a pleasing reality for all of us. Consistently over the past few months multiple sources and people I respect have shared a belief that NX would be revealed in September or October, though naturally we're now into the latter. Unless Nintendo is truly going for a smartphone-style reveal, with a ridiculously quick turnaround from unveiling to release, that October estimate still makes sense. As I said in this pros and cons article on Nintendo's continued silence and delays to showing the system, the longer the company waits the more likely substantial and real leaks will happen. I happen to think a number of the leaks we've seen may be accurate or close to it, so Nintendo is likely getting to the point where it's ready to take the plunge.
So, about 'this week'. As I've said, Macquarie is a well-known company and there's logic to it. I think one key date is relevant above all else, however - 26th October. It's on this date that Nintendo will reveal its Q2 financial results and - if it maintains its policy from past years - provide a briefing and Q & A session to investors; these naturally get posted online for the world to see.
Nintendo has a history of giving key dates, if not full details, on vital projects on such occasions. Investor briefings and related press conferences have brought us initial reveals such as the following over the past few years - that Smash Bros. and Mario Kart for Wii U would feature at E3, amiibo was unveiled (before it was called 'amiibo'), and it was in corporate announcements where the NX was first mentioned, and then where it was given the March 2017 release window. Those are just big ticket announcements, there have been many others, so NX seems a good bet to be mentioned.
Another factor is that Nintendo needs to appease its shareholders, so not only will a status update on NX be likely, but possibly also a final release date for Super Mario Run in December, and perhaps an update on when we'll see that on Android in addition to Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem on smart devices. There's been chatter around shareholders being jittery, so Nintendo will try to demonstrate that it has a plan and that it's going to make profits.
With that in mind, what we're likely waiting for - first of all - is the announcement of the reveal; in other words, a date when the full reveal is happening. Rumours placing Shigeru Miyamoto in North America a couple of weeks ago give hope that some Direct-style recording took place, but that's only wishful thinking right now. What does seem likely is that either before or on 26th October, Nintendo will give a status update. Logic does suggest that update could be something like this - "We will be unveiling NX and our launch plans on x date".
It's not off the table, of course, that Nintendo could forego the pre-reveal announcement (with the related hype) and go for the jugular with a sudden drop of a video presentation sharing the NX with the world. It'd arguably be a mistake to skip the hype of a build-up, but nothing about the big N's approach to NX has been conventional. Either way, while Nintendo can annoy fans and keep them waiting, it's the looming investors and financial report that may bring us the update we've been craving. After all, money talks.
In conclusion, it would not be surprising if there's some kind of NX update this week, but it's also possible it could slip into next week with the financial briefings / shareholder Q & A. Much depends on whether Nintendo would want to have its big reveal prior to its Q2 report, or alternatively announce the unveiling at that point and host it in late October or November. Both approaches have logic to them, and either could be the outcome we get.
Or Nintendo could be really bold and maintain its silence, but that's feeling less tenable as the weeks pass. Not only are fans increasingly vocal in their frustration, and shareholders would likely be unimpressed, but surely more third-parties (developers, retailers, manufacturing) are now involved with the system. Assuming a delay isn't coming, and there have been few serious vibes to suggest that, then the window for moving forward with a reveal must be near closure.
I hope so anyway. It feels like it's time to stop wondering about the NX, and time to start getting exciting about what it actually is. Only Nintendo has all of the answers.