This week, a flurry of rumors emerged regarding Nintendo's next console, codenamed the NX. Multiple sources point towards it being a cartridge-based, hybrid-handheld console with detachable controllers, the idea being that you can take it on the go, or plug it into your TV while at home for that dedicated console feel. It'll apparently be powered by Nvidia's Tegra X1 mobile processor, which should give it more oomph than a Wii U. That's pretty solid performance for a portable.
Bearing all that in mind, what do you think of the news? Is this the new Nintendo machine you were hoping for, or are you disappointed? Whatever your opinion, we'd love to hear it.
While you ponder your response, here's the USgamer team with their views on the Nintendo NX.
From what I've heard so far, I love it. I'm not sure about the supposed detachable control elements, and the idea of no backward-compatibility is deeply offensive, but everything else — I'm fully on-board. I have been for, oh, about four years? Before the Wii U even debuted, I began loudly proclaiming to anyone who would listen that Wii U was a half-measure and that Nintendo needed to come up with a system that truly combined console power and portable convenience as a sort of hybrid. That doesn't make me a prophet or anything… it just means Nintendo's business needs look to be aligning with my personal desires as a nerd. I have a hard time justifying the act of sitting in front of a console game for long stretches due to all the demands on my time, both personal and professional, but it can be tough to try to suffer through the low resolution of the 3DS after playing so many PS4/Xbox One games. Something that combines the best of both worlds — TV-based power, handheld flexibility… that's what I need. Sign me up.
The idea of a hybrid-handheld console really works for me. I don't necessarily want another dedicated console sitting under my TV, but I'd happily buy something that I can take with me when I go on trips, but also has the flexibility to plug into a TV when I get home, so I can play on a big screen.
I think the timing is right for this kind of system. The 3DS is now getting really long in the tooth, and PS Vita just doesn't seem to be particularly well supported with games any more, so there's definitely a gap opening up in the market for a console that behaves like a handheld. The question is, of course, how big will that market be? I think a large part of that answer will be governed by price point. If the NX is cheap enough (say, somewhere under $200), it could become the perfect second console.
Software-wise, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some great games available from Nintendo. And while the volume of releases might be a case of quality over quantity - at least over the short term - I do think that we'll eventually see decent third-party support for the system from indies and smaller publishers - and bigger ones if it sells well.
I still have questions about the NX's operating system, how it will work with other mobile games, and what its form-factor will be, but so far, I'm cautiously optimistic about the machine.
I already wrote an article about the potential for Nintendo's NX if it's the rumored handheld from this week's reports. I'm not sure Nintendo will ever recapture the Wii's 'Blue Ocean' with such a device. I don't think the mainstream consumer (at least in the United States) needs a handheld, but for me personally, I'm down.
I think Nintendo will benefit heavily from a singular focus on one device, instead of splitting its efforts between home and portable platforms. I also think that the Vita and 3DS are great platforms, especially for some smaller Western and Japanese developers. I think the high-end of both of those platforms is starting to show and those smaller developers will benefit from a newer, more robust system. I think the NX as rumored can be a home for Nintendo's titles, the strong showing of solid games that we see on the 3DS, the quirky Japanese titles we see on the Vita, and even the lower-powered indie titles that you'll find on Steam or PlayStation platforms.
I like the idea of it. I have reservations of course. The 3DS' battery life is dire - it drains like a nightmare in Sleep Mode - and the Nvidia Shield devices aren't much better. Nintendo's online has only ever reached the level of adequate. And given a lack of backward compatibility, Nintendo will have to relaunch Virtual Console, preferably with a strong release schedule and perhaps with an acknowledgement of past purchases.
But those are just reservations, ideas that might dim my hype, not outright concepts that would prevent me from buying an NX. If this reported system is real, I'm on board.
I think the basic premise is sound; and as I wrote yesterday, I think it's smart in that it potentially allows Nintendo to bring some big franchises to bear. I'm all for a console I can potentially bring with me on a long flight to Europe or Japan.
Otherwise, I guess we'll have to see. Execution hasn't always been Nintendo's strong suit, and they are still woefully behind when it comes to online infrastructure and online sharing (though they're getting a little better). The Wii U, to put it delicately, did not impress when it launched in 2012; and though it's improved over the years, it's fair to wonder if Nintendo has the technical chops to make a system that can toe the line between being a handheld and a full-blown console. I haven't even gotten into the potential price point yet.
But this is all speculation for now. I'll have a more fully-formed opinion when the NX is finally (finally!) revealed. In general, though, if all the rumors are true, then I'm in. I just hope Nintendo can pull this off.
Yeah, I’m down. Initially I was a bit disappointed Nintendo won’t be making a system to compete directly with the PlayStation and Xbox One, but then I realized doing so wouldn’t make much sense for the company. A handheld system might not be as powerful a dedicated console, but it’ll almost certainly be cheaper (especially since reports indicate the tech powering the NX isn’t even quite as robust as the PlayStation 4). I’m pretty confident the NX will launch with a killer line-up too, with Zelda: Breath of the Wild being a notable title. Sure, Breath of the Wild will be on Wii U too, but a portable iteration of the game? Um, yes please.
So if Nintendo can give us a great starting lineup, plus promises of new stuff from its beloved franchises (Mario Galaxy, please), plus affordability, I think it might have a winner on its hands. Granted, its days of being huge are probably long-gone, but as I pointed out earlier this week, Nintendo’s a pretty small company. If enough people get excited about the NX (and it doesn’t have the dismal start that hobbled the Wii U), I see no reason why it can’t make a tidy profit. If Nintendo stays fed and happy, it can function for ages.
It’s worth noting the NX in its rumored form might not attract too many triple-A third party developers, but I don’t know if that matters as much as it did even four years ago. Even if you don’t want a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, most off-the-shelf computers these days are powerful enough to handle big-name Steam releases without a problem. And if the NX is easy to program (sources say it is), then indie developers are going to have a field day.
In short, I am excited and intrigued.