Tatsumi Kimishima's plans have found some support from retailers© Nintendo
Tatsumi Kimishima's plans have found some support from retailers

As is now increasingly common for debates around Nintendo, conversations have recently focused on what's not happening and on a system yet to be revealed. In confirming a March 2017 release window for the NX and an absence of the system at E3, Nintendo has shown that it's not in a hurry to usher in its next generation.

In stating that it only expects to ship 800,000 Wii U units this financial year, along with a rather limited games library, Nintendo has also drastically lowered expectations its current home console. UK trade publication MCV has been speaking to senior retail executives and analysts about the system, with one quoted as saying "Nintendo just switched off Wii U's life support." Games Centre MD Robert Lindsay has gone on the record, and outlined the Wii U's struggles but supported a delayed NX arrival in order to get the launch right.

While the Wii U has some fantastic games, it never enjoyed the third-party support necessary to draw in the masses.

The console itself didn't appeal to the mainstream fans the Wii captured, or the hardcode fanbase of Sony and Microsoft's machines.

Nintendo has to get it right this time [with NX], and if that means taking its time to launch the NX then so be it.

Steve Bailey, senior games analyst at IHS, has emphasized the need to focus on a strong launch, as opposed to one timed for the Holiday season; he's also supported the decision to announced the NX at the company's convenience, rather than rushing for E3.

There's no point in attempting to bring out innovative hardware, if software and messaging can't provide a convincing account of its value. With Nintendo's core business in decline, it may seem like a mistake to miss the Q4 sales period. But it would be an even bigger mistake to launch NX without proper support.

In terms of Nintendo not debuting NX at a highly-visible event as E3, it's worth noting Nintendo has been cultivating its own means of connecting with fans. So it has scope for communicating the NX in the lead-up to launch, outside of major traditional industry showings.

The argument that Nintendo has its own means of communicating key details - through online streams and Direct broadcasts - is certainly valid, though debates over the influence of E3 and its role will continue to be had.

Senior figures in the retail scene - including GameStop just recently - are making some positive noises about the NX and Nintendo's recent moves, emphasising the need for a strong launch. Arguably that's no surprise, but it's still a healthy state of affairs when major retail corporations, despite being burned by Wii U in particular, are showing enthusiasm to be on board with Nintendo's next system.

Hopefully we'll all know soon enough whether that optimism will be rewarded.

[source mcvuk.com]