The Wii U, Nintendo’s followup to its revolutionary motion-sensing video game console, the Wii, never quite lived up to its potential. The giant, lackluster GamePad and the system’s inferior specs ultimately drove third-party developers away and the Wii U never gained steam in the console wars against powerhouses Xbox and PlayStation. Ninty is gearing up to turn a new leaf, announcing a broader push into mobile and even a launch window for its next home console.
Last March, Nintendo partnered with Tokyo-based developer DeNA to develop games for smartphones and its first foray became a smash-hit practically overnight. A couple months ago, Nintendo dropped Miitomo into the App Store and today the company’s celebrating over 10 million users. The “social experience” app invites users to create a Mii (or on-screen avatar) and interact with other Miis over the Internet by taking photos and hanging out. This fall, Ninty’s increasing its app count by two with fresh games based on the popular Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises. According to Nintendo, “compared to Miitomo, [these apps] have more prominent game elements, and the game content will tie closely into Nintendo’s dedicated games business.”
Wii U’s successor, codenamed NX, now has an official launch window: March 2017. It will be unveiled sometime later this year, Mario’s maker promises.
Lastly, Nintendo opened up about its plans for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This June, the NX will not make an appearance at the annual convention, but the next-gen Legend of Zelda will. In fact, Zelda will be the only playable game at Nintendo’s booth this year. It’s a strange move since Nintendo is typically known to have many of its beloved franchises on-site to demo at the show. The new Zelda is currently in development and will be released simultaneously on the Wii U and NX consoles in 2017.
See you at E3!