With Sony having unveiled its PlayStation 4 Pro recently, many gaming fans are already wondering what Nintendo will produce when the Nintendo NX is released next year. This next generation console is the Nintendo answer to the Sony machine, and there has been a lots of information circulating recently regarding what the legendary Japanese video game company is planning for the NX.
Nintendo NX – Tournament Tie-in
Recent leaks suggest that an official Nintendo NX reveal could even happen before the end of the month, October at the very latest, and that there will be a intriguing tournament tie-in to attract gamers. Splatoon players across Europe have the opportunity to battle it out in the first ever ESL “Go4Splatoon” tournament, with the promise of a Nintendo NX prize at its culmination.
Other recent reports suggest that the Nintendo NX could harp back to the history of the Japanese company, and deliver gaming in cartridge form. The rumors suggest that recent advances in flash technology have ensured that this will actually be a smart choice for the NX console, with faster loading speed and speedier production cycles possible in comparison to discs.
With it now possible to store vast amounts of information via microSD, with solid-state drives available weighing as little as a paper clip, it is possible for cartridges to be reintroduced into the video gaming domain. And this is surely something that Nintendo would love to do, considering the fondness that gamers in the Nintendo camp have for this technology.
Analysts also note that cartridges are considerably more resistant to scratches than discs, ensuring that they fit into the family-friendly ethos which Nintendo is always keen to promote. With the suggestion that the NX could ultimately be portable as well, cartridges would also work well with this potential component of the console.
Third Party Support
Meanwhile, Nintendo is working hard behind the scenes in an attempt to ensure that the NX console receives satisfactory third party support. This could ultimately make or break this machine, with the previous Wii U having struggled to achieve external support from video game manufacturers.
Nonetheless, sources close to the Nintendo supply chain have suggested that the company is already well on the way to securing new third party deals. This is excellent news for Nintendo NX fans, considering that Activision, Square Enix and Warner Bros are already on board with the NX release. Nintendo also has established relationships with Ubisoft and Sega, meaning that the console should have no shortage of games when it releases, considering that a raft of new in-house classics will also be produced.
It has also emerged that Pokémon developer Game Freak will be releasing another title in this hugely popular series for the NX. This will, in fact, be one of the early games for the Nintendo NX, forming a rather stellar trio alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a new Mario title; all promised in the first six months of the console’s existence.
Bethesda poker face
But the challenges that Nintendo face in attracting third party developers to support the console was underlined by a recent discussion involving Bethesda’s vice president of PR and marketing Pete Hines. Bethesda is particularly associated with Elder Scrolls games, but Hines was extremely tight-lipped on the topic of whether Bethesda would support the NX.
Hines pointed out that the company has a history of working with Nintendo. “It’s not like we’ve never done anything on Nintendo. We haven’t done anything on Nintendo in a very long time, but we did some Star Trek stuff back in the day. Star Trek: Tactical Assault or something”. But also went on to say that producing games for Nintendo consoles poses technical challenges. Nonetheless, Hines stated that Bethesda is considering working Nintendo, even if he was ultimately rather coy on the NX itself.
Another recent report suggests that Nintendo is aiming for a more diverse marketplace than the traditional hardcore console gamers. Eurogamer quotes an executive, who suggested that Nintendo is attempting to tap into the smartphone gaming niche in particular. “It’s a nice bit of kit, a bit of a novelty, but a good one. It won’t appeal to PS4 fans. Nintendo seems set on trying to upgrade smartphone gamers. That’s going to be a big job for the marketing department,” the source stated.
The same individual suggested that the power of the device will be somewhere between a PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, which would disappoint slightly considering that Nintendo fans had hoped the NX would deliver at least similar specs to the PS4.
Mario to iPhone
An interesting aspect of the recent iPhone7 unveiling was that Nintendo participated in the presentation. The company revealed that it has decided to port Mario to the iPhone for the first time, leaving many market observers wondering why this has suddenly become part of the Nintendo strategy.
The answer to this question is quite simple…Nintendo is facing the least promising Christmas in its entire history as a video game manufacturer. The NX will not be available in 2016, the Wii U is effectively dead already, and titles for the 3DS have been rather thin on the ground. Pokémon Go has been a massive success for Nintendo, but clearly the company needs to expand its cash flow ahead of the NX release.
Finally, there is still something of a public debate on the hardware which could be included in the Nintendo NX. At one time it was suggested that AMD could be involved in the internal mechanisms of the NX console, but this now seems rather unlikely as two new AMD products have instead been earmarked for the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio.
Instead, it is suggested that the Nintendo NX could include Nvidia’s Tegra chips. These chips are often found in mobile devices, and this would seem to tessellate neatly with Nintendo’s desires to produce a flexible Nintendo NX console with a portable aspect.