It increasingly seems that the Nintendo NX will be up against the Sony PlayStation 4.5 when it launches early in 2017. Sony’s console is expected to be released before the end of the calendar year. With the Japanese corporation keeping quiet about this mid-generation release, the Nintendo NX has taking center stage this week, with media reports focusing on the form that the new console may take when it is released.
Reports suggest that Nintendo could consider a hybrid version of the NX. This is not something that the Japanese manufacturer has specifically mentioned itself, but analysts believe that this would make commercial sense for the video game veteran. With the video game industry having been segregated into handheld and home consoles for some time, there is the potential for Nintendo to produce a device which unifies the two markets.
Wii U hint
This would make sense for Nintendo for numerous reasons, and indeed the Nintendo Wii U hinted at this concept with its separate tablet controller. Those in the know in the video game trade believe that the Japanese corporation is considering the possibility carefully, and consumers could benefit from such a hybrid device when the NX releases early in 2017.
It is notable that the handheld marketplace has proven to be significantly more profitable for Nintendo than the home console market over the last couple of generations, and certainly since the Wii began to bottom out. Both the Game Boy and DS brands have been extremely successful for Nintendo, and this leads many experts to believe that Nintendo could benefit hugely from the hybrid model.
Sony wiped out
Above all else, the sales of Nintendo’s home consoles certainly need a shot in the arm, and this can be provided by such an innovative hybrid model. While the Japanese company has lost massive ground in the home console marketplace, it has been vastly successful with its handhelds, despite the entrance of Sony into the marketplace.
Thus, it could be argued that a hybrid Nintendo NX console featuring a handheld element would very much enhance the image of the brand. The Nintendo DS is unquestionably the market leader in this video game niche, and has been responsible for pretty much wiping out Sony’s efforts in this area.
In addition, producing a hybrid Nintendo NX could be extremely beneficial to Nintendo’s game development studios, and enable titles to be developed more efficiently. Handheld titles are far easier to create than full-scale console titles, which results in a larger number of games on handheld machines. So if Nintendo is to ensure that the NX is a hybrid system, Consumers could benefit from a consistent stream of games.
A hybrid system could also open up a wide variety of new gaming opportunities and innovations. RPG titles which are typically associated with Japanese developers could be made more accessible via handheld means. Meanwhile, popular DS titles such as Pokémon, could be opened up to big screen gaming; surely an attractive proposition for fans of such series. Developers could even utilize the dual-platform that the Nintendo NX provides to encourage players to play games while on the go, and later gain boosts when once again connecting to the main home system. This was previously floated way back with the Sega Dreamcast.
Nintendo could also benefit significantly from the creation of a hybrid platform, meaning that the manufacturing of hardware could be stripped down significantly. Nintendo is, of course, unique in the video games marketplace for manufacturing its own hardware and software. But while this contributes to the innovative reputation of Nintendo, it does also pose logistical headaches for the corporation.
By manufacturing a hybrid console, the Japanese corporation could cut down on the vast manufacturing costs associated with two separate types of device. Marketing budgets could also be snipped significantly, while users would benefit from a less space-intensive product. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima recently stated that Nintendo expects the NX to be “profitable from day one,” citing currency concerns. This would obviously be easier for the forthcoming console to achieve if only one platform is required, as opposed to separate home and handheld consoles.
Nintendo NX – Development teams
While Nintendo has provided no comment on this matter as of yet, there are indications from within the corporation that a hybrid NX is possible. Nintendo has already announced that it has combined the development teams of its handheld and home console systems. This would suggest that the company is tinkering with the idea of its teams collaborating more closely, and this indicates that a hybrid NX could indeed appear in 2017.
Nintendo has also stated that the NX will be an entirely “new concept”, and the idea of combining home and handheld elements is the sort of innovation that the corporation has made historically. It seems that the Nintendo NX could be a unique hybrid console concept when it arrives next year.