Nintendo’s NX console could be a console-handheld hybrid

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P-NES

Let’s be real here: Despite some outstanding games, the Nintendo Wii U was a terrible console. It looked like a paperweight, had a user interface from hell and the gimmicky GamePad was actually terrible to play games on. That being said, the Wii U was a good thing actually.

Because every time Nintendo has made a blunder of a console, they’ve bounced back with hardware that put them back in the spotlight. After Nintendo tried replacing the GameBoy with the terrible VirtualBoy VR system, they came back a few years later with the superb GameBoy Advance.

When the GameCube failed to really ignite sales even though it had a fantastic library, Nintendo took the world by storm with the Wii console. So yes, I’m excited to see what the big N has learnt in the years since the Wii U became an excuse to buy Amiibo figures.

So what will the NX bring to the table then? The key feature of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles right now, is the ability to share content. But it looks like Nintendo is planning to fuse both their home and portable consoles into one device. If you hear some strange shouting outside, that’s Geoff ranting about how he predicted this months ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal and their sources (pinch of salt,possibly required), Nintendo is looking to officially reveal the NX console as early as next year, with development kits already circulating around studios.

“We are increasingly of the idea that Nintendo might launch the NX in 2016 because of the softness of 3DS and Wii U,” said David Gibson, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities, to the WSJ via AGB. According to the report, Nintendo is also looking to focus on high-end tech for this console, which would include “industry-leading” chips:

The exact shape of the NX hardware isn’t yet clear. People familiar with the development plans said Nintendo would likely include both a console and at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use.

They also said Nintendo would aim to put industry-leading chips in the NX devices, after criticism that the Wii U’s capabilities didn’t match those of competitors.

Nintendo games have never needed the best hardware to run like a dream. But it’s an over-reliance on first-party titles that didn’t do the Wii U any favours.

Third-party support for the Wii U quickly dropped after a year or two past the launch of that console, with nary a developer in sight willing to invest time and money into porting a game over to that platform. Even Ubisoft gave up on the Wii U, after it saw that the console just wasn’t worth the effort.

But third-party support is what the NX needs, in order to stay alive. By the time it eventually debuts, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be almost three years old already. That’s a helluva lot of time for the big two to cement their platforms in the public eye.

But don’t count the big N out, just yet. Because they’ve clearly got some ideas up their sleeves.

Last Updated: October 19, 2015

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