According to a recent patent update, the Nintendo NX could feature a modular controller that has swappable features. Discovered by Reddit users, the patent was originally published in 2014 and updated yesterday. It now shows that users can swap out d-pads, buttons, and analogue sticks.
Hybrid console/ handheld device
This would give the Nintendo NX controller a customizable design which a player could adapt to suit any game they wish to play. It would be in line with rumors about the device and its portability that have been doing the rounds over the last few weeks and months. This customization also makes sense when you consider that it can be used for a combination of handheld mobile gaming and bedroom-style console gaming.
Nintendo’s next console code-named NX is set for launch in March 2017, and it is almost becoming consensus now that the device will be a handheld hybrid and offer backwards compatibility with titles from the Wii U.
What you need to know about Nintendo’s next console
Nintendo has not revealed much about the NX, but thanks to people who claim to be close to the Japanese tech giant, information has begun to leak out and a clearer picture is emerging.
Nintendo NX may be VR-ready
Whatever happens regarding the rumors, one thing everyone can be sure about is that the console will be dramatically different from what came before it. The latest rumor to help shape that vision arrives in the form of VR.
Apparently in a recent shareholders’ meeting, the company talked about “researching” VR technology; however, according to Twitter’s NStyles, who attended the meeting in Kyoto, video game designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that Nintendo was concerned about the health implications of users playing VR games for long periods of time. So it is not clear if VR is something they are planning to include in the NX console or for a later device.
Keeping parents happy and users healthy
Nintendo seems to care about the eye health of its users as well and apparently has much wider health concerns too. That is why the Nintendo NX could support a heart rate monitor. According to the Commercial Times, a circuit design company from China called Pixart has been increasing production of a CMOS-based heart-rate monitoring sensor that could go into Nintendo’s next console.
According to a report by EuroGamer, the Nintendo NX will contain a version of the NVIDIA Tegra chip which was previously used in the NVIDIA Shield. This, however, means that it is highly unlikely that the hybrid console could be compared to the competition from Microsoft and Sony.
At the moment, it is can be that Nintendo NX dev kits are running a Tegra X1, which is the most powerful mobile chip currently available, but it’s a mobile chip, not a desktop chip, and this means that the console is not likely to be able to match the power of the Xbox One or PS4. However, without any confirmation from Nintendo as to whether this information is accurate or that the NX will indeed hit the shelves containing the Tegra X1, everything we know is subject to change.
Nintendo NX price
In the past, one of the biggest downsides of Nintendo’s previous consoles and handheld devices was their price. So with that in mind, for it to do well, the Nintendo NX needs to be the cheapest video gaming system on the market. And there are rumors circling suggesting that Nintendo has learned from its past mistakes and intends to make the NX value for money.
As for the NX and its price tag, rumors suggest that it could be anywhere from $250 to $350 and come bundled with at least two revamped Nintendo classic titles.
Games and third-party support
A recent report claimed that Nintendo would bring titles like Mario, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and a Pokemon game to the Nintendo NX within six months of its launch. However, new rumors are suggesting that early NX adopters could see more than one of Nintendo’s own titles actually launch with the console.
It is also believed that one of the many reasons for the long wait for information about the console is due to Nintendo’s insistence on getting a full third-party developer line-up to support it pre-release. This apparently has now been achieved with publishers such as Call of Duty developer Activision, Watch Dogs 2 developer Ubisoft, and Final Fantasy developer Square Enix on board and preparing titles for the console.
I’m hoping that Nintendo opts for some kind of big announcement for the console to build up customer anticipation/excitement before the actual launch next year. However, if it decides to take the quiet road until March, maybe it should have its own version of a Samsung Unpacked or Apple-style announcement! That being said though, I doubt it has the will or the ability to pull off such an event.
Please share your thoughts on the patent information and rumors above. Also let us know what you think Nintendo should do to whip up some excitement for the NX.