Rumors currently suggest that the Nintendo NX could compete with the likes of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One Scorpio. However, the console is coming from the company that got things horribly wrong with the Wii U. So let’s a have a look at what, if anything, is fueling these rumors to try to work out if it’s even possible.
It seems that even though Nintendo has officially said nothing about the NX, many seem confident that it will be some kind of mobile/console hybrid: one that can be used while out and about and also at home plugged into a TV.
I believe these rumors are fueled by patent images which were released/leaked a few months ago. These images show what is supposed to be the Nintendo NX; the patent was originally filed by Nintendo in 2014 and then updated on August 16, 2016 to show that users can swap out D-pads, buttons, and analog sticks.
Nintendo NX powered by Tegra X2
It was not long ago that people thought the Nintendo NX would be powered by a dedicated mobile chip. However, while there has been no official word, this has now become a defunct rumor. Instead, the talk is now about the Tegra X2 chip from NVIDIA. In late August, wiiudaily.com published a report which talked about sources close to the Nintendo NX having leaked information about the chip.
We don’t know how powerful the chip is. However, it is said that if the Nintendo NX gets the chip, it will be as powerful as the PS4. The Tegra X2 is said to have the same four Cortex A57 cores as the X1 but two extra Denver2 cores. They will reportedly support the Pascal architecture seen on higher-end PCs in graphics cards like the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070.
The only other substantial information we’ve heard about the NVIDIA Tegra X2 is that it has a 16-nanometer design. It could be this, along with the Denver2 cores, which make the Nintendo NX a formidable piece of technology.
Nintendo NX dimensions leaked
Nothing has been officially confirmed about the dimensions of the hybrid device, but a leak claims to offer the first detailed dimensions of the NX dev-kit. The leak came via Let’s Play Video Games and a source who is reportedly working on a title for the Nintendo NX.
Apparently, the leaker told LPVG that the NX will be slightly thicker than the Nintendo 3DS XL when folded and have a width of 281mm, thickness of 25mm and height of 92mm.
Pokemon CEO stokes Nintendo NX fire
In a recent interview, Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara told The Wall Street Journal that his company will make NX games.
While this can not be seen as a confirmation of the console’s existence, it is interesting. Pokemon games have almost always been produced for Nintendo’s handheld devices, not consoles. So this could mean that Ishihara is implying that the Nintendo NX is closer to being a handheld device than a console.
Region Free Nintendo NX
Another rumor suggests the NX will be a region-free device, meaning that users will be able to buy and play games from any country in the world. This rumor comes from polygon.com and goes against practices used by Nintendo in the past. With the Wii U and Game Cube, users were only able to play games from a particular region.
Could the Nintendo NX be a unique alternative?
For all the problems Nintendo had with the Wii U, it did get something right. At one point, the Wii was the clear market leader way ahead of the PS3 and Xbox 360, and that was even though the console was not anywhere near as powerful as its competitors.
Currently Sony and Microsoft are fighting it out for basically the same audience, apart from VR. However, Nintendo has for years proved itself to have a much wider appeal that crosses generations. If the company can get the key ingredients right (price, chip, and interesting launch titles), maybe the console will have a shot. Many think that the NX needs to be priced below $300 to have a chance of taking on the more powerful consoles.
Will the Nintendo NX be better than the PS4 Pro? That depends on what you want from it. If it’s pure power, the device is unlikely to be able to compete with the PlayStation, even with a Tegra X2 chip. From what is known about the Xbox Project Scorpio, it will be even more powerful than the Sony console. So on the power front, the answer is no.
However, if you want child- and family-friendly titles, and the much-talked-about mobility, the fact that the PS4 Pro sits underneath or beside a TV could be a deal-breaker. So on that point, if everything we know about the NX is true, it could be a winner.