Question Block.jpg

Nothing has been conventional about Nintendo's approach to unveiling the NX system. Initially announced in early 2015 by former President Satoru Iwata - in a bid to calm nervous fans after announcing Nintendo's plans for smart devices - it's always been expected as a 2016 reveal. Yet Nintendo has been remarkably silent this year, not only keeping the system away from E3 but saying very little about when it would be shown. All that was known for certain is that it would be by the end of 2016, with the hardware due for release in March 2017.

In recent times we wrote about the pros and cons of this approach, and about how it was testing the patience of fans, but thankfully now the narrative can change. In a short time we'll have an idea of what the NX is and what it could potentially bring to the gaming world.

Yet let's not get carried away - first off, let's break down the key facts about what Nintendo's doing today.

  • A 'Preview Trailer', also described as a 'first glimpse', is being shared at 7am Pacific / 10am Eastern / 3pm UK / 4pm CET.
  • The Japanese Twitter account describes NX as a 'totally new gaming concept', and advises that the initial unveiling will be about three minutes long.
  • The official Nintendo of America website describes it as 'Nintendo's next home gaming system'.

Today, then, is a taster. There have been some suggestions (sparked by sources and the teaser image shown in the reveal messages) that if a game's going to feature it could be the new Mario title, though right now those are rumours. Nintendo's wording is clear though - it's a 'preview trailer', a 'first glimpse', and just a few minutes long.

When we heard all of that our minds naturally drifted to concept showcases that were embedded in full unveilings in the past, an idea neatly represented by the New Nintendo 3DS reveal trailer (Western version below).

Today may have an introduction by Shigeru Miyamoto, or perhaps Reggie Fils-Aime, to make a broad statement about the concept; we'd actually quite like a reference to the late Satoru Iwata, too, as the NX has been described in the past as being his vision. Ultimately, though, that New 3DS trailer template is solid for a one minute showreel of features - it's slick, visually clear and promptly demonstrates key features of the device. With a couple of extra minutes expected for NX there could also be a very short demonstration of a 'real-world scenario', too, showing how the concept affects the way we play games.

The challenge with NX is significant as it's an unknown quantity, beyond rumours and potential leaks, so those three minutes will need to finely honed and precise. Clarity will be everything, and because of that and the 'first glimpse' nature of the video today, don't expect news on loads of games or smaller features. We're likely looking at a high-level, basic summary of what the NX is and why we should be excited; Nintendo needs to demonstrate why it's a 'new gaming concept'.

At this stage though, that should be enough. One of the benefits of Nintendo waiting so long to reveal NX is that it can load up the next few months with consistent reveals and details. With March 2017 still being the release window (at the moment, anyway) we could see an approach similar to that taken by The Pokémon Company with its main series games, with frequent updates every few weeks to reveal more information, both big and small.

Away from that sort of speculation, it'd be a surprise if Nintendo doesn't end today's preview with an announcement on when more details can be expected. Once the concept sinks in, we're sure Nintendo will want to then see hype build for a more detailed, thorough unveiling; that's the point when launch games and extra features could start to emerge.

Today, then, is about sensible expectations to go with our excitement. At the end of the video we'll hopefully have a clear picture of what the NX is, and know key selling points of its concept. Specifics and details beyond that will likely need to wait.

As always, we'll be running a live blog for the reveal and then sharing plenty of analysis here on Nintendo Life; those three minutes should give us plenty to think about.

Let us know what you hope to see in the comments, and gauge your hype levels in the poll.

How excited are you about the Nintendo NX Preview Trailer?