A company spokesperson said:”For our dedicated video game platform business, Nintendo is currently developing a gaming platform codenamed “NX” with a brand-new concept.
“NX will be launched in March 2017 globally.”
The announcement comes after poor results for Nintendo worldwide last year - with profits dropping by 61 per cent in 2015 - left many commentators speculating about the future direction of the company.
Sega, who were Nintendo’s biggest rivals throughout the 1980s and 90s, famously decided in 2001 to exit the console hardware sector after poor performance of the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast consoles.
Nintendo’s current generation console, the Wii U, failed to live up to the high-flying Wii console in terms of sales with 12.8 million sales globally as of April this year making the Wii U the worst performing Nintendo console ever.
Nintendo’s hand-held 3DS has sold 41.5 million units in the last four years, although sales have steadily declined year on year.
In March this year the firm launched its first mobile app, MiiTomo.
A focus on mobile gaming, rather than consoles, was one direction many gamers felt could be next for the company.
Gaming Columnist Damien Lucas said: “There have been rumours circulating for some time that Nintendo could focus solely on conquering the lucrative mobile gaming market.
“But this is proof if it was needed that one of the founding fathers of console gaming is still serious about gaming systems. The company’s current home console, the Wii U, has not been as successful as its 100 million-selling predecessor.
“The machine sold just over 12m units. In comparison, Sony’s market leading PlayStation 4, which was released over a year after the Wii U, has shipped a staggering 40m.
“It’s safe to say the NX has it all to do.”
Launch titles for the new console are yet to be announced, although Nintendo has confirmed that Zelda Wii U has been delayed until next year, but it will also launch on the new hardware.