Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd said it will release a short video later on Thursday of the next-generation game console it plans to launch globally in March – an announcement that sent its shares up more than 4 percent. The Kyoto-based games company has disclosed few details of the console beyond its codename, NX. The three-minute video will be available to watch on the company’s website at 11PM (1400 GMT). The console’s success will be crucial to Nintendo as the firm still places console gaming at the centre of its business, even as casual gaming shifts from living rooms to smartphones. Sales of Nintendo’s current Wii U console have reached 13 million units since its 2012 launch. Its predecessor, the Wii, launched in 2006, has sold 101 million units to date.
The disappointing sales added impetus to shareholders and observers urging Nintendo to embrace smartphone gaming. Nintendo finally announced its entry into mobile last year and earlier this year decided to bring some of its popular characters to mobile. That led to the runaway success of its game Pokemon GO. The company plans to debut its game franchise Super Mario Bros on Apple Inc’s iPhone in December.
Analysts have said Nintendo’s family-oriented game titles compete with smartphone games more directly than titles from rival console makers Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp , which focus on high-end graphics targeting core gamers. With only a short trailer for its new console, information is likely to be limited, senior analyst Takeshi Koyama at Mizuho Securities said in a research note.
“Nevertheless, we will be looking to get a sense of how the NX is different, and what kind of things will be made possible as compared to previous and existing game devices,” he said.
Shares of Nintendo rose as much as 4.6 percent during Thursday trade in Tokyo, outpacing a 1 percent rise in the broader Nikkei average share price index.