Nintendo NX: Everything we know about Nintendo's new mystery console

We know the release date and games on the Nintendo NX

Nintendo NX

If I had to pick one thing? Better launch games.

The Nintendo DS was the rare exception to the rule that successful Nintendo consoles debut with an all-new Mario or Zelda game (remakes and 2D Mario retreads don't count). Nintendo was smart to hedge its bets and shift development of Twilight Princess to both its old and new hardware, and it could do the same with the NX to maximize exposure of the next Zelda game.

Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy were amongst the highest-profile releases for their respective Nintendo consoles, and there's no surer bet to launch a Nintendo console alongside than an all-new Mario game. If a game with a name "Super Mario Universe" debuted the same day as a new Nintendo console, the hordes of lapsed Nintendo fans could likely return to the fold.

Nintendo NX

However, Wii Sports and Wii Fit proved that Nintendo doesn't need to (and perhaps shouldn't) lean on a new IP to become a smash hit if new tech is impressive enough. If Nintendo creates a console-portable hybrid and can come up with a simple concept that encourages players to both take the tech on the go and tether it to a TV, a good pack-in game can offer proof to the casual crowd, while the launch day Mario or Zelda game will capture the hardcore.

Nintendo NX price will be a major factor

In addition to their unclear identities and unexciting launch slates, high initial price tags were the biggest roadblock for Nintendo's most recent portable and home consoles.

For the NX to succeed at launch, it needs to be the cheapest video game hardware on the market, and by a large margin. Whether it's due to creating the next control innovation or breaking tradition by selling hardware at a loss, you can rest assured Nintendo won't bungle launch pricing for a third consecutive console.

Nintendo's previous generation of consoles, the DS and Wii, gained traction by launching at $150 and $250 (£99.99 and £179.99) respectively, so whether it's focused on dominating your living room or your public transportation commute, Nintendo knows where the sweet spot lays for pricing its consoles.

When will we see it?

Given Nintendo's history of teasing, revealing and releasing consoles, a holiday 2016 release for the Nintendo NX is likely. Just look at Nintendo's track record.

The Wii U was first teased ahead of E3 2011 and debuted in 2012. The 3DS was first announced in early 2010, a year before it came out. The DS was teased in 2003 and revealed in 2004. The Wii is the rare exception because it was teased at E3 2004, shown for the first time a year later, and released over a year after that.

Nintendo NX

We're hoping for a big reveal just before E3 in June this year, but a massive announcement event at the world's biggest games show wouldn't be a bad thing either. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all.

The continually-shrinking portable landscape has led to Nintendo's first major third-party game development, and the Wii U's poor sales performance has likely sped up the NX's timeline.

The Wii U's lifespan can't extend another two years with the severe lack of third-party support, so it's not unreasonable to expect this system's lifespan to be cut off at four years. If anything, a 2016 release may finally move Nintendo out of the way of the PlayStation 5 and Next Xbox releases, truly differentiating Nintendo from the masses. And if we've learned anything, Nintendo does best when it separates from the pack.