First Click: It's Tokyo Game Show, but where's the Nintendo NX?

September 15th, 2016

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Today is the first day of Tokyo Game Show, a video games show that is not in Tokyo. It’s less of a big deal than it used to be, as the influence of Japanese games has shrunk worldwide over the past decade, but there’s still a lot of stuff to see. Sony in particular has tightened its grip around the global gaming market, and some of the most exciting upcoming titles for the PlayStation 4 are coming out of Japan — The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2, Persona 5, Resident Evil 7, and so on.

But this year, it’s hard not to wonder one thing in particular. Where the heck is Nintendo?

To be clear, I know that Nintendo doesn’t usually attend Tokyo Game Show. But Nintendo doesn’t usually announce a console’s release date several months before showing the dang thing off, either. And that’s exactly what it’s done with the impending NX — the console is set to be released in March, and yet we haven’t seen anything about it. In fact, the only stage we’ve seen anyone from Nintendo on lately has been Apple’s.

Even if Nintendo didn’t attend Tokyo Game Show itself, it would have been the perfect time to announce the NX while the world’s media was in town to cover Japanese games. The company held an event on the TGS sidelines in 2005 to show off the Wii controller for the first time, which turned out to be a much bigger deal than the previous time they revealed the actual console box.

The silence doesn’t bode well for the NX’s software lineup, assuming it does meet its scheduled release date. Nintendo can announce the NX whenever it likes, of course, but its partners would no doubt appreciate the opportunity to reveal their own games ahead of time, too. Nintendo consoles have been notorious for a lack of third-party support ever since the N64 in the ‘90s, so Tokyo Game Show would have been a great opportunity for the public to see the NX for itself alongside a wide variety of games. If those games actually exist, that is.

In the end, we might just see the NX when Nintendo announces one of its Nintendo Direct online broadcasts at extreme short notice. That’s fine, but if Nintendo really does want to release this thing in March, it’s running out of time to tell people about it.

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