Both Nikon and Canon are very traditional companies. If it was up to them, mirrorless cameras would not even exist. But it is not up to them (luckily). Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fuji are putting all their effort in mirrorless concept and there’s a lot of customers who ditched DSLR and gone for smaller mirrorless form factor. In order to keep up to competition, Canon and Nikon released their own mirrorless cameras but there’s a catch. They didn’t want those models to compete with their own entry level DSLR models so they made them worse than they could be. Canon EOS M has dead slow AF, Nikon used too small sensor size and both were too expensive from beginning. So (almost) nobody bought them. What a surprise.
In order to compete with far more advanced NEX, OM-D and Fuji cameras, you need to have something that makes you special. After two years, Nikon finally realized that so now we have AW1. Detail that makes it different is waterproofing so this little camera can go 15m (49ft) underwater, can withstand drops from 2m (6.6ft) and will happily work at -10°C (14°F). And all that without the need for special underwater case and you can still change lenses. Now we’re talking!