Nintendo, once the biggest and best video game company on the planet, has had a rough few years. The company’s last console, the Wii U, absolutely tanked. As such, the Japanese video game giant is moving away from it as fast as possible on the way towards its next console. However, even though Nintendo has seen better days, they most certainly still remain one of the most beloved (if not the most beloved) video game companies in history. Millions of fans are awaiting the company’s next console, dubbed the Nintendo NX, and we’ve got good news: it’s almost here.
Nintendo NX to be officially announced next month
Nintendo has been incredibly tight-lipped regarding their upcoming console, and rumors and speculation swirling around the internet has been the primary (if not the only) source of information regarding the NX. What the console looks like, what kind of specs it is packing, and what kind of features it has; these are all really anyone’s guess. Now, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, it seems as if fans won’t have to wait much longer.
According to the report, analysts well-versed with the situation believe that the company will officially share the details for the Nintendo NX by early October. As it is September, we only have a few short weeks until we get an official announcement from Nintendo, assuming that the analysts are correct in their prediction.
Taking a look at current rumors and speculation, Nintendo plans on releasing the console in March of next year, which doesn’t leave the company much time to leverage and promote the NX. From now until then, Nintendo needs to announce the console, build hype, and release it in a proper manner. As October still falls within the fall season, an early October reveal for the Nintendo NX isn’t entirely out of the question.
Nintendo very tight-lipped about NX details
The only thing that Nintendo has said regarding the console so far is that it will be very different from the company’s last two video game consoles. “I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U,” Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said in an interview last year. “It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.” Kimishima also called the console the “next step in our dedicated device strategy, the core and primary focus of our business.”
While we know the Nintendo NX exists and is in development, we know little to nothing about the console itself. What will it actually look like? How will it function? According to another report from the Wall Street Journal, the console will “likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use.”
Current speculation regarding the Nintendo NX
This suggests that the NX could be some kind of console/handheld hybrid that bring together both sides of Nintendo’s hardware business. In fact, former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who passed away last year, revealed a few years ago that the company’s R&D groups for handheld and console gaming had been merged into one division.
In July 2016, Eurogamer reported it had confirmed these rumors regarding the home/portable hybrid device, and painted a clearer picture of what the console could look like. According to the report, the NX will be a powerful handheld with its own screen flanked by two detachable controllers, allowing for local multiplayer while on the go. At home, the Nintendo NX can be plugged into a base station for gaming on television sets.
The same report also confirmed that cartridges will be used with the device alongside digital downloads, with Nintendo recommending 32 GB of storage as the standard size. The console will supposedly be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra mobile processor, running a brand-new operating system, not Android, as previously rumored.
According to other reports, the Nintendo NX could ship without region-locking, a system of locking games from certain regions so they function only in their respective region. If the console indeed lacks region-locking, then it would allow owners to buy and play video games from any country in the world.
Nintendo may also be planning to ship games from many of its biggest franchises within six months of the NX launch date. According to reports, Nintendo plans to release NX games based on The Legend of Zelda, Mario, and Pokémon ready during the console’s launch window lineup. These three franchises are no doubt the company’s most popular and highest-selling properties, and their presence will likely fuel the NX’s early sales.
A June 2016 report also included speculation that the Nintendo NX would feature some kind of virtual reality support. The report, which claimed Nintendo had delayed advance mass production of the NX, suggested that part of the reason for the delay may be to allow Nintendo to incorporate an unknown type of VR functionality.
If the Nintendo NX is indeed officially announced and unveiled in October, then we only have a few short weeks until the final details and specifications are announced. In the meantime, stay tuned for additional details as they come in.