Nintendo NX – Latest news, rumours, specs and what to expect
Nintendo's next flagship platform won't be launching until March 2017, and we are yet to receive any specific details regarding the NX from the company. However, this hasn't stopped a range of leaks, speculation and predictions from coming out of the woodwork.
The NX could support the x86 architecture used by rival systems like the PS4 and Xbox One, while further conversation has the iconic console maker utilising the Nvidia Tegra processor –not the AMD chipset many were expecting.
A recent report claims that the console will go into production at the end of 2016, and will featurie a built-in camera and use cartridges for storing and running games.
Recent reports by Eurogamer and The Wall Street Journal desribe the NX as a portable console with detachable controllers that will make use of cartridges instead of discs when it comes to games and applications.
There's plenty to get excited about already, but as more news filters out we'll be sure to update this page, so be sure to bookmark it!
Nintendo NX – What is it?
2016 has already been massive for games. With the launches of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and even PlayStation VR, virtual reality is really coming into its own and staking its claim as the future of the industry.
PS4 and Xbox One continue to duke it out, and have upped the ante with new hardware in the form of PS4 Pro and Xbox One S. Xbox has also provided the huge news that it will be launching yet another console in holiday 2017, codenamed Xbox Scorpio.
And last but not least, we have the Nintendo NX, the Wii U's successor. Unfortunately, Nintendo has confirmed that the new system will be skipping this year entirely, but we may now be closer to knowing what's actually coming with the next system.
Video: Everything we know about the Nintendo NXNintendo is yet to confirm any specific details regarding the NX’s appearance, specs or form factor.
However, a number of reports from well-renowned outlets have given us a decent idea of what to expect from the platform, and what it might be.
According to Eurogamer, the NX will be a portable system with detachable controllers that will make use of cartridges as opposed to discs, a stark change from Nintendo’s previous platforms.
“On the move, NX will function as a high-powered handheld console with its own display. So far so normal - but here's the twist: we've heard the screen is bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached or detached as required.”
“Then, when you get home, the system can connect to your TV for gaming on the big screen. A base unit, or dock station, is used to connect the brain of the NX - within the controller - to display on your TV.”
Subsequent reports by industry insider Emily Rogers and Laura Kate Dale of Let's Play Video Games also reported on the possibility of a unique social function, which may work in a similar manner to the share button found on PS4.
The majority of details provided to Dale and Rogers can be found below, many of which may be changed in the final NX design.
- In May, I said Nvidia was involved with the system. (Source)
- The screen is around 6 inches (6.2 to be specific)
- The portable screen has a 720p resolution.
- Multi-touch touchscreen (Haven’t heard anything about a stylus.)
- 32 GB of internal storage is on the NX dev kit.
- There is an SD Card port.
- Dock Station has at least 2 USB ports on prototype. Not sure about final product.
- NX will support Unreal Engine 4 and Unity engine
- NX is below Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in raw power.
- Dev kits and prototypes are region free. I heard retail units might be region free too.
- Nintendo still plans to support the 3DS with software through 2018.
Nintendo NX release date – When will Nintendo launch a new console?
Nintendo of America has confirmed that the Nintendo NX will launch in March 2017. The news was announced via Twitter:
To the surprise of many, Nintendo will miss the 2016 Christmas period, the busiest sales season of the year.
Nintendo NX launch games – What will we be playing on release day?
In Nintendo's latest investors call (in which the release date was announced), Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated that one of the primary factors behind launching the system in March is to ensure a solid line-up of software at release and beyond.
"One of the reasons for choosing the launch timing that we did is so that the software line-up will be ready in time for the hardware launch," he said. "Not only at launch, but we also need to be able to continuously release titles after launch. We are planning for this to be a platform that consumers can enjoy for a long time."
A recent report in MCV suggests the NX could feature a 'dream' launch line-up of triple-A titles including entries from the Mario, Zelda and Pokemon franchises.
We could also be playing a bunch of Wii U remakes on the Nintendo NX. A NeoGAF post speculates that Zelda Wii U, Smash Bros 4, Splatoon and Super Mario Maker are all getting the remake treatment, claiming to have heard the report from multiple sources.
However, Mario Maker is currently proving difficult to port due to bringing across player data and created levels, according to the rumour.
Further recent reports have confirmed both third-party support for the console and also Nintendo working to secure third-party exclusives.
First, Twitter user @serkantoto claimed back in January that Namco Bandai was working on Nintendo NX titles, including a Smash Bros. game for launch with the console:
The latest, and more enticing rumour, is that Nintendo is working with Ubisoft to help fund development of Beyond Good and Evil 2, which would be a Nintendo NX exclusive launching in 2017. Neither of these rumours have been confirmed by Nintendo, it should be pointed out.
Related: Best Wii U Games 2016
Nintendo NX News – All the latest
In March 2015, Nintendo confirmed that it’s working on a brand-new console, which is currently codenamed the Nintendo NX.
But it seems that name could be more than just a placeholder. In May this year, a trailer for RISE: Race to the Future seemed to confirm the name of Nintendo's upcoming console as the NX. At the end of the trailer, the screenshot below appears, along with a 'Nintendo NX' logo at the bottom of the screen.
It should be noted that the the NX moniker may indeed just be a codename, as Nintendo Insider editor Alex Seedhouse pointed out:
It could be a console/handheld hybrid
There have been several rumours now that the Nintendo NX will take the form of some kind of hybrid console. Think of something that’s both a 3DS and a Wii U in one.
A patent filed by Nintendo detailed a system that can draw additional processing power from other computing devices. This detailed the potential process of the “game console” connecting to what were described as “supplemental computing devices”, which would “increase the speed or quality of a user’s gaming experiences” using wires, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Now this could be the 3DS-type device connecting to the home console base when you get back to your TV, and turning it into a more powerful home gaming console.
And it could be a very good way to capitalise on both sections of Nintendo’s existing business.
Such a hybrid device is supported by other rumours as well as industry professionals too.
Mitchell McEwan, a Queensland University of Technology video-game lecturer speaking to the New Daily, said that such a hybrid would be a great boon for Nintendo.
“It makes sense – they’ve been struggling in both markets – to not have to support both platforms with independent software, but to actually put all their development efforts towards one console,” he explained.
“The rumour about the NX is that it’s a hybrid console, so it would be a portable console such as a 3DS that interfaces with a home console.”
“You could take games on the go, but then that processing power adds to the home console so you can play games on your TV as well.”
Related: Best 3DS Games 2015
It won’t be like the 3DS or Wii U
If you were worried that the Nintendo NX was going to be a direct replacement for the 3DS and Wii U, don’t be.
Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has spoken out on the subject, saying that the NX will not be a replacement for either of the company’s current consoles.
He spoke out during an Nintendo investor briefing, saying that although the NX will be “a dedicated video game platform with a brand new concept,” the company does not “intend it to become a simple replacement for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U.”
“Regarding your concern about what will happen to Wii U or to Nintendo 3DS, NX is a new platform, so the installed base will have to be built up from zero. When NX is launched, there already will be certain volume of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U hardware widely existing in the market, so from a software business perspective, it would be highly inefficient to stop releasing titles for Nintendo.”
Or the Wii
The new president and CEO of Nintendo, Tatsumi Kimishima recently spoke out about the company’s new console.
Speaking to TIME, Kimishima stated that gamers should expect something “unique and different” from the NX.
“I can assure you we’re not building the new version of Wii or Wii U. [NX] is something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal.”
The NX will avoid the mistakes of the Wii U and 3DS
In the official notes for the 75th Nintendo AGM, Satoru Iwata can be seen talking extensively about the mistakes made with the Wii U and 3DS. That’s especially as he aims to make sure that the company will attempt not to repeat the less-than-successful launches of its previous consoles.
“For Wii U in particular, in cannot be said that it had a successful launch. As for Nintendo 3DS, in Japan there was a temporary slowdown but we managed to make a recovery by offering a number of initiatives collectively. On the other hand, Wii U had not been able to recover at this point in time. Because of this, the size of the installed base compared to the Nintendo DS or Wii era appears to not be as solid and this is reflected in the company’s profitability.”
“I will not share details on NX today but with regard to the launch of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U not necessarily having progressed well and not acquiring sufficient support from software publishers, we intend to offer NX through a Nintendo-like solution. Thank you for understanding that we are making various considerations and preparations in order to avoid what happened with the previous generations.”
He went onto say that the company had been offered several proposals for joint initiatives at E3 2015, reassuring shareholders over the third-party support issues that have plagued the Wii U. That’s thanks to a number of “joint initiatives” that are happening below the surface”.
Related: New 3DS vs New 3DS XL
A similar rumour suggests that the NX may use cartridges developed by Macronix, the same company responsible for Nintendo's 3DS cartridges.
In its most recent earnings report, Macronix cites a "new platform" that will help support financial growth in the company's third and fourth financial quarters. These line up closely with the March 2017 release window for Nintendo NX.
This is all speculation, but the idea of cartridges making a comeback is weirdly exciting. They would hold a significant amount of data, more than enough for modern gaming applications.
"Industry watchers said cartridges were a reasonable choice for Nintendo’s next-generation system, code-named NX, because the company targets a wider range of consumers than Sony or Microsoft. Nintendo’s core fans include small children, who might scratch discs but find cartridges tougher to damage. Cartridges also allow games to load faster, are harder to copy and can be mass-produced faster than discs, they said."
Related: PS4.5 - Everything we know so far
Nintendo NX Specs – What internal hardware does it have?
Again, like the release date, the Nintendo NX’s internals are still shrouded in mystery.
The Wii U currently features an IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor with an AMD Radeon 700 core-based GPU, which was already outdated before the Wii U was even released. That hardware, combined with 2GB of RAM, 1GB of which is reserved for games, means that the Wii U can output in 1080p Full HD, but it can’t compete with that offered by the PC-based architecture of the PS4 and Xbox One.
Hopefully, Nintendo will up the ante with the Nintendo NX and see its games graphically on par with the other new-gen consoles.
If a fresh rumour is correct, whatever form the Nintendo NX arrives in, it will be packing similar hardware to the PS4 and Xbox One.
The sources suggested it will retail for around the same price as the Xbox One too.
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