Outspoken Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has once again been posed with a question about Nintendo NX, asked when he believes that the “dedicated game platform” is likely to launch.
To his credit he is quick to say that he doesn’t know, but uses Nintendo’s approach with their past consoles to predict the most likely scenario being that it won’t launch until 2017.
His curiosity swirls around rumours that development kits have already been distributed, news that would mean that there’s still potential for the platform to launch in 2016. But, he is still swayed toward predicting that it will arrive later than that.
“I can talk about Nintendo’s past practice, and use that as a predictor of the future. But, I don’t know,” he responded on Siftd’s Pachter Factor. “Nintendo’s past practice has been to announce their next generation consoles at E3, and to release them 18 months later. And they typically will have a prototype and a couple of game markups… where you can play something.
“But they take about 18 months, and last I checked we don’t have 18 months until the end of 2016. So, it is less likely that something is coming out in 2016. But, the rumours are that there are NX dev kits out there. We don’t know how long they have been out there, but if the rumour has leaked they have probably been out a couple of months. It is really slightly possible that developers can make something for NX console launch in fall 2016, and do a quality product in 13 – 15 months. Slightly possible.”
He believes that possibility is largely drawn from whether Nintendo NX will have parity with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – not only in relation to technical specification, but also in the relative ease of the development environment to port code.
Pachter continued, “The more the NX looks like a PS4 or Xbox One, the more likely it is that it’s coming out in 2016. The less it looks like a PS4 or Xbox One, the less likely. If it’s a different language, it requires developers to tweak a lot of things from Madden, FIFA, Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto in order to get it ready for NX, 13 months is probably not enough time and it’s probably a 2017 launch.
“So again, not knowing what the NX is, I don’t know when it’s coming out. I’d say 20 percent chance it comes out in 2016 in the US, 80 percent chance it comes out in 2017. If you don’t see it before E3, there’s a zero percent chance it’s coming out in 2016.”