With Star Fox Zero now out, generally within a maelstrom of conflicting viewpoints and opinions on its merits, Nintendo's heading into a rather different phase of the year. There are certainly notable releases still on the way for Wii U and 3DS, but eyes are turning inexorably to the mysterious future of the company and its big plans for the rest of 2016.
On 27th April Nintendo will be sharing its annual financial reports, but far more importantly for fans company President Tatsumi Kimishima and colleagues will be giving presentations to the media and investors with outlines on plans for the next financial year. Wording may be careful and avoid major reveals that are being reserved for the weeks to come, but we should have a clearer view of the big-hitting moves and priorities for the company.
Two areas will likely dominate this - the NX and the next Mobile releases from the company. It may be weeks or even E3 before we see NX, but Kimishima-san's comments around it - potentially including a 'reveal' window - will be looked at closely. In terms of Mobile, much interest will be on whether the app to follow Miitomo is an actual game, and whether it will utilise a major company IP - Pokémon GO may also come up. When considering the company's future, these are vital areas.
As we'll cover in an editorial soon, this year is vital for Nintendo in regaining momentum and prominence in the market. After ruling the gaming industry with Wii and DS, Nintendo has successfully held the lead in portable gaming (outside of iOS and Android) with the 3DS, but fallen behind in the home console space. Depending on its form the NX has a lot of responsibility in bringing Nintendo 'back into the game'. As for Mobile, whether fans like it or not it's an important part of Nintendo's business, in terms of rebuilding brand power and attracting a new audience to its products.
It's an exciting period, then. Following the financial results and those briefings - hopefully containing some interesting information - the countdown to E3 will be well and truly underway. Will Nintendo host a major event ahead of E3 to reveal NX so that the LA event focuses on games, as some suspect? Or will the wait to see NX take us into Summer? The overall picture of Nintendo's plans can't be far from greater clarity, which is an enticing thought.
We'll be writing about all this in the coming days, but for now we want your thoughts. At the start of the year we wrote about making this a year of Nintendo optimism, and polled you on the topic - that's still the hope, even if it's not been easy.
Share your votes and thoughts in the comments below. Are you excited about what the coming weeks and months will bring, or filled with trepidation?