According to a new report today from The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has started to send out software development kits for its upcoming gaming platform, NX. These kits are being sent to unspecified third-party developers so they can modify their existing games or create new ones to run on the upcoming platform.
Nintendo declined to comment, reiterating the company line that the Japanese game giant will talk in a more official capacity about NX in 2016. However, analyst David Gibson told WSJ that it looks likely that Nintendo will launch the NX in 2016 "because of the softness of 3DS and Wii U."
One prominent third-party game company that might already have a NX software development kit is Square Enix. During a broadcast in July, Square Enix announced Dragon Quest X and Dragon Quest XI for the NX. However, the company later tempered its comments by saying these projects were only "under consideration." It's possible Square Enix initially spoke too soon.
Exactly what form the NX will take remains unclear. WSJ's sources say the NX, which is still a working title, will come with 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." The NX will also reportedly use "industry-leading chips" in the devices that will presumably allow for better graphics and deeper functionality.
The marquee feature of Nintendo's latest console, the Wii U, is arguably its tablet-like controller. Among other things, it allows users to play full games on the device, though only if they stay relatively close to the main console. If the WSJ's report is accurate, it seems like Nintendo is taking this idea further with the NX.
The Wii U has underperformed, selling only 10 million units since its launch in November 2012.
Nintendo officially announced the NX in March 2015, alongside the news that the company was bringing its franchises to smartphones and tablets through a partnership with mobile gaming giant DeNA.
Earlier this year, a report claimed Nintendo could begin pilot assembly of the NX in October with mass production scheduled to kick off in May or June 2016. The NX, according to the report, would then be released commercially "around July." None of this has been confirmed as of yet.
Nintendo will hold its next earnings briefing on October 28 where it may have more information to share. Former president Satoru Iwata passed away in July, though new president Tatsumi Kimishima has vowed to keep Nintendo on the path that Iwata originally charted as it relates to the NX and mobile gaming.
What are you hoping to see from the NX? Let us know in the comments below.