If you’re a patient person and have been waiting for more news about the Nintendo NX to leak or be officially revealed, there’s some good news. At last, we have some firm details about the device, and it shows us what the future may look like for Nintendo. Now before I go any further, Nintendo’s console is not going to be as powerful as the PS4 or the Xbox One; that much is clear. But what it is going to be is the company’s most versatile console to date.
Console / mobile hybrid
In the last week, we have learnt more about the NX than at any point during the previous year, and rumors continue to paint the device as a living room console / mobile device with the ability to play mobile games.
The Wall Street Journal recently stated that the upcoming handheld/console hybrid will not only be able to play cartridges but also smartphone games. The article goes into detail on the subject and suggests that the device will have its own smartphone / mobile titles developed for it. In fact, this could mean that the likes of Pokemon Go would be compatible with the Nintendo NX. However, this would require the device to have a camera and GPS technologies built-in.
Controllers and a TV dock
While Nintendo is still withholding details about its big NX reveal, that has not stopped information from being leaked, which is quite strange considering just a few days ago, the console was still a comparative mystery compared to the likes of the Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation Neo.
As for who has been spreading these rumors, Eurogamer has always been quite a reliable source of information. It believes it has the lowdown on the Nintendo NX, reporting that it will indeed combine both handheld portability with a traditional console set-up. This is possible because of two detachable controllers which neatly fit on either side of the device and can be removed and then reattached when a user requires.
However, if you’re a gamer who wants a traditional home console experience, it looks as if there will be an included option for this with the Nintendo NX too as there is some talk of the device being able to connect to a bedroom or living room television via a docking station, as for further details on this, there currently aren’t any.
Power, graphics and backwards compatibility
If you’re a Nintendo fan who is hoping for a gaming experience on par with the likes of the Xbox Scorpio or the PlayStation Neo, you will be disappointed as the NX will not be as powerful as those consoles. Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra mobile CPU, this will give the NX a decent amount of processing power, but it won’t be enough to allow it to compete graphically. As for why Nintendo chose to use the Tegra chip, it looks like its ability to balance graphical requirements with power efficiency is one of the reasons its use was confirmed.
Unfortunately, however, this does mean that the Nintendo NX is unlikely to be compatible with the Wii U, but it may be able to handle older Nintendo games on its Virtual Console.
In one of the more surprising rumors, Nintendo NX games are expected to come in the form of cartridges, and the only game to be named so far that may appear in this format is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, it is thought that these new cartridges are unlikely to reach the sizes of those found on earlier consoles like the SNES, NES and Nintendo 64.
As for mobile game compatibility with games other than Pokemon Go, games like Miitomo and upcoming releases like Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem have been suggested as good games for the console/mobile hybrid.
So for the third time in a row, Nintendo is going to launch a console that is not on par with the other consoles available at the time. “Not being close” are not the words I would like to use; In fact, I would say it will pale in comparison to the likes of the PlayStation Neo and Xbox One Scorpio when they launch in 2017.
The Nintendo NX seems like a business decision from Nintendo, as in many critics’ opinions, it has shied away from competing with Sony and Microsoft in favor of trying to create its own space yet again. Plus, this means that the company is going to focus on one single platform instead of launching a new handheld device and console at the same time.
As for when we may see the console, Nintendo has let slip just enough information to suggest a September reveal of the hybrid console. Like Sony with its PlayStation Neo, it is believed that Nintendo is holding off to ensure that it gathers enough launch titles to be respectable. However, another reason could be that it is waiting for development on a new and more powerful Tegra chip from NVIDIA to begin.