Nintendo Junior System (also known as Nintendo Jr. and known during development as NinEd) is a handheld video game system released by Nintendo that claims to change how people see educational and even licensed video games. The system is a side project and will not replace any Nintendo system.
The system is not specifically targeted towards children. Players can be any age, but most of the games are recommended for children because of the age ratings of each game. Ironically, the system is also marketed as a recommendation for a child's first video game system.
Age Groups fall into one of three categories: Preschool & Elementary, Middle & High School, and College & Beyond. The levels are marked with a green circle (recommended), a yellow triangle (requires caution) or a red "X" (not recommended) and are found on the back of a game box. The ESRB rating of a game can have an effect on what Age Groups are marked with what symbols.
Learning Skills fall into one of five categories: Math, Reading & Writing, History & Geography, Science, and Life & Other. There can be more than one category in a game, and the category symbols are located on the back of the box next to the Age Groups.
- Touch Screen
- Circle Pad (L)
- Control Pad
- A/B/X/Y Buttons
- L/R Buttons
- ZL/ZR Buttons
- + (Start) /- (Select) Buttons
- HOME Button
- ? (Help) Button
- Circle Pad (R)
User Interface (UI) Features
- Parental Controls
- Nintendo eShop
- Note Pad
Nintendo hopes to have many games released for the Nintendo Junior System that will be available in both physical and digital copies. The plan is to release titles in one of three categories: Casual, Educational or Mixed. While the Educational games are self-explanatory, Casual games are played "for fun" with little to no learning involved, and Mixed games combine the previous two categories. Third-party publishers are encouraged to support the system, but many are skeptical as educational and licensed video games often have bad reputations, and some publishers are still bitter about supporting Nintendo since the failure of Wii U despite the success its successor, the Nintendo Switch.
Launch window titles are as follows:
- Super Mario Jr.
- Mario Kart Jr.
- Art Academy Jr.
Other titles have not yet been announced...