According to a new report from Digitimes, Nintendo has delayed the mass production of its upcoming consoles, codenamed the NX, to add VR support.
The report claims that sources from the related upstream supply divulged that Nintendo NX was originally scheduled to enter mass production in the mid-2016 range, but then was delayed to early 2017 for the addition of VR features.
The sources point out that Nintendo is looking to enhance the capabilities of its upcoming console, and that VR is one of the ways they are doing it. The PlayStation 4 will soon be accompanied by PlayStation VR, while Xbox is teaming up with Facebook for Oculus Rift support, and therefore, it’s plausible Nintendo wants the NX to compete in this space as well.
Digitimes does not cite exactly what this VR function entails, but they do say the move is being made so that Nintendo can “gain advantages in the upcoming video games and mobile game competitions.”
Further the report divulges that production of console molds began back in 2015, with Nintendo notifying its suppliers that the system would enter mass production launch mid-2016. However, Nintendo has since changed the NX’s production schedule, and now has asked its manufacturers to start mass producing some key components at the end of 2016, with the rest being produced in early 2017. Originally Nintendo was also expecting to order 20 million units for the first year of release, but has since shrunk that shipment target to 10 million units. Digitime’s sources chalk this up to Nintendo being concerned about the shrinking console market and how poorly the Wii U has performed in the last year.
The report also reiterates the long-rumored talk that the NX would be a home console/handheld hybrid. It also claims that the platform will feature a 5-7 inch display, as well as a controller.
Nintendo nor its supply partners have yet to comment.
The last second production schedule to include VR features confirms one thing — the NX likely won’t have strong VR support. This is a worrying sign for me. I yearn for the days when Nintendo did its own thing and was confident in its products. Also, the fact that VR support is a last-ditch effort, even though the NX was in early development long before VR hit, shows that Nintendo has failed to keep its finger on the pulse of the industry. But hey, Mario Kart in VR? Count me in.
Tyler Fischer is an Associate Writer for MONG who plays video games when he’s not busy researching alien conspiracy theories at 2AM. You can find him on Twitter.