Excitement is building around the next generation Nintendo NX console, which has reportedly entered “trial production.”

The console is scheduled to launch in March 2017, but the first models of the mysterious device are apparently being manufactured in China right now, according to Digitimes.

Nintendo NX games confirmed
Image Source: Mrbibouche/wikimedia

Foxconn reportedly manufacturing Nintendo NX

Digitimes was responsible for leaking the news that trial production had begun. However the site has a patchy record of reporting accurate leaks.

The report claims that Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, is to be chief producer of the Nintendo NX. It is thought that the plan is to build 9.5-10 million units per year.

Digitimes also reports that some Nintendo NX models will be built by Japanese firms Hosiden and Misumi Electronics.

In 2015 Nintendo announced that the new console would be developed under the NX codename. According to the company the Nintendo NX would be a “dedicated games platform with a brand new concept.”

Ubisoft CEO full of praise for upcoming console

In April, Nintendo said that it would ship the console in March next year. It also confirmed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a launch title.

Details of the console have been relatively hard to come by. Fans of Nintendo have been clutching at straws trying to work out what Nintendo is planning.

However Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was full of positive words about the Nintendo NX: “The new Nintendo [console] is a fantastic machine. It’s really a new approach, it’s really Nintendo, [which is] coming with something new again. We love it.”

Guillemot later went on to claim that Ubisoft enjoyed making games for new pieces of hardware. He said that the company was able to “take more risks.”

Third-party game support crucial for success

Nintendo itself has given very little away about its next generation console. So far we don’t know what it will look like, or what kind of hardware it will use.

Various rumors have surfaced claiming that the console would have a camera, while others say that the Nintendo NX will be a console/handheld hybrid device that plugs into your TV.

As things stand Nintendo has reportedly got support from third-party developers such as Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision and Warner Bros. Commentators are also expecting to see games from the Pokémon, Mario, and Zelda franchises.

“Developer Game Freak will bring Pokemon to the platform, while Nintendo’s first party titles include the previously announced Zelda game – Breath of the Wild – and a new Mario game,” posted UK games business site MCV in a report that cited people close to Nintendo. These games are reportedly “scheduled to appear within the first six months of the machine’s life.”

How will Nintendo compete in console market?

Convincing major game developers to invest in the NX is a major challenge for Nintendo. It will also play an important role in how successful the console is. After all, there is no point having a great device if there are no games that you can play on it.

If Nintendo is going to manufacture 9.5-10 million units of the NX per year, it is very confident. After all the Wii U console only reached 10 million in yearly sales in 2015, which was 3 years after its release.

Some commentators have been skeptical about any future Nintendo console. The company struggled to compete with more powerful machines from Sony and Microsoft. However the company refuses to give up, and may use innovative hardware and games to attract buyers rather than pure power.

The MCV report claims that the Nintendo NX will be less powerful than the current Xbox and PlayStation models. It is expected that the upcoming console will feature visuals “somewhere between a PS3 and PS4.”

Console market set for almighty battle

Elsewhere in the gaming space we are gearing up for a might battle between Microsoft and Sony. Details continue to emerge of the upcoming Xbox Scorpio and the PS4 Pro.

Microsoft claims that its next generation console will be the most powerful ever built, with 6 teraflops of GPU power. In comparison the PS4 Pro will have a reported 4.2 teraflops.

If these rumors turn out to be true, gamers could be in for a dilemma when it comes to buying their next console. If it’s pure power that you are after, it seems like a straight fight between the Xbox Scorpio and the PS4 Pro.

However Microsoft and Sony appear to be competing for the same audience. While Nintendo seems unlikely to compete on power, it can offer a unique gaming experience that many people will enjoy.