Nintendo is reportedly in the process of sending out software development kits for its new video game platform, which has been codenamed the NX. The move suggests that Nintendo may be gearing up to release the NX as early as next year.
The Wall Street Journal cites "people familiar with the matter" claiming the kit has been sent out to third parties to aid in the modification of existing games for the new platform. Nintendo also appears to have a new web portal for developers to sign up to.
Analyst Dave Gibson of Macquarie Capital Securities told WSJ: "We are increasingly of the idea that Nintendo might launch the NX in 2016 because of the softness of 3DS and Wii U." A Nintendo spokesperson wouldn't comment on the matter, only reiterating the Kyoto company's line that more information will be announced next year.
Interestingly the WSJ article also says the following about the NX: "The exact shape of the NX hardware isn't yet clear. People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use. They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U's capabilities didn't match those of competitors."
The NX was revealed to be in development earlier this year when Nintendo announced plans to enter the mobile games market. At the time the company's former president, the sadly departed Satoru Iwata, said more would be revealed in 2016, and the company has since kept to that plan.
A lot rides of the success of the NX after the poor sales of the Wii U, which was the follow-up to the wildly successful Wii. Third party support has been a problem for Nintendo since the SNES days and better support is one of the main ways they can turn their fortunes around.
As well as the Wii U, Nintendo's other current device is the handheld 3DS – which has sold well. Both systems have enjoyed a stellar array of third party titles despite – in the Wii U's case – commercial failure.
After the announcement of the NX in March we offered up five ways the console could be a success.