The long-awaited Nintendo's NX console will feature the "old-school" cartridges familiar to the 80's and 90's kids. Today's WSJ report citing an anonymous source confirmed the previous rumours on Nintendo's plans to launch a cartridge console.
The NX console that is expected to be out in March 2017 has been rumoured to be a hybrid device that works on a TV and as a portable console, reports The Verge. Nintendo (TYO: 7974) has not been sharing that many news on the features of the upcoming console this year. The only company's announcement stated that the customers can expect the upcoming NX console to be something very different from all previous Nintendo models.
"I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It's something unique and different. It's something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base," Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said to Times.
Wii U didn't manage to win the market back in 2012 when it was released and showed the lowest sales of all Nintendo consoles ever produced. 10.73 million hardware units of Wii U were sold as compared to the 101.59 million sold consoles of its 2006's predecessor Wii. As Huffington Post reported, Nintendo admitted Wii U to be a "failure" in 2014, as the company was going through 3 consecutive years of annual losses.
As the NX console is expected to be a hybrid, the idea to use cartridges makes perfect sense. According to the WSJ report, despite the fact that the cartridges passed their days of popularity decades ago, there are several technical advantages that they can offer today. The "old-school" cartridges allow for high speed and capacity of the flash memory, cheaper production, protection against pirate copying and safety for children, which sounds pretty promising.
After the phenomenal success of Nintendo's Pokémon Go in the last 2 months, the release of the NX console could have a very good timing to grab the attention of new audiences from some of Pokémon Go's 30+ million users. Nintendo has been relatively quiet the past years before its stocks skyrocketed following the release of the Pokémon Go, making the company more valuable than Sony (NYSE: Sony Corp Ord [SNE]). Nintendo's market cap grew by 2.5 trillion yen to 4.6 trillion yen ($42.5 billion) as compared to Sony's current market cap of 4.1 trillion yen.
Similarly, Nintendo's shares have jumped from this year's April levels of $12s to $38.25 in July. We will soon see if Pokémon Go manages to breathe new life in Nintendo in the long run and support the next year's release of the NX console.